Has Gaming Hit a Graphical Halt?

Graphics have always been a key component of gaming ever since they became a popular mainstream form of entertainment. It was one of the main reasons for propelling the gaming industry to the level…

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Dead_Pixels_257d ago

Just sorted it. Thanks for raising the issue.

mikeslemonade256d ago

People keep buying Nintendo products. Which not only degrades graphical growth but also quality games.

SuperSonic91255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

We will never hit a wall when it comes to computer graphics. Never.
Not even the 100 year old Hollywood is there yet .... and same goes for video games.

The two has a lot of home work left to do.

Sound quality is pretty much there at the peak.

Game play mechanics has peaked during PS2 era. Everything we see today has been done by that time. They arevjust mixing and matching them today.

But about graphics....
Artificial Intelligence needs more improvement.
Physics needs lots of improvement.
Compression needs to improve too.
Lighting needs more improvement.
Frame rate needs lotso improvement.

So video game graphics is not there yet.

UltraNova255d ago

The aboslute graphical ceiling would be when game engines produce visuals that are literally and beyond any doubt, indistinguishable from reality. That includes everything from lightning, physics, animations, textures, geometry, draw distance etc. A reality simulation if you like.

I'd say we are about 50 years at least off that target.

WilliamSheridan255d ago

We might not hit a reply on graphic ability, but we will hit a point where the pay off for the time spent adding the detail will diminish. I think we are nearing that point. I could be wrong, and developers may find a way to automate some of that detail, but I expect that growth to slow as developers switch to AI and physics.

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SharpCT255d ago

Video games arent there YET. But we are starting to hit the ceiling for how great the game can look from a graphical standpoint.

So what if pcs can get 4K, 8k etc.. it's not ever going to be The jump SD was to HD. Period. They just will continue to milk the next technology

255d ago
Maddens Raiders255d ago

I think Ultra Nova nailed it.

wonderfulmonkeyman257d ago (Edited 257d ago )

If it hasn't, then I hope it does soon; the over-focus on pleasing graphics nuts is inflating budgets way too often, and giving MT's and GaaS room in the heads of devs that are desperate to make up the difference.

Which means we, as consumers, suffer through games being either more expensive without these things to try and make up the difference in costs, or ruined, when the devs include these Microtransaction and Games-as-a-Service ideas, to try and pull in more money in an effort to counterbalance the outrageous budget-inflations.

The "Fidelity Focus Fiasco" has gone on long enough.

It's literally been ramping up more and more since the very start of gaming, but now that we're hitting a point of diminishing returns thanks to the limits of tech [and average consumer income rates that simply cannot keep pace with it for very much longer if things keep jumping in price, slowly but surely, over time], it's time to either slow down or stop on it, at least for a while.

I mean, unless graphics fanatics WANT another gaming crash, like the one back in the 80's, with the only difference being the cause of it...

Dead_Pixels_256d ago

I think if we have a game crash anytime soon it will be in regards to the current microtransaction fiasco and the treatment the ESRB have towards the issue. I do believe that gameplay and other elements of a game need to be given more attention within the industry now more than ever.

mcstorm256d ago

I agree and I think this is where Nintendo always come out on top of the others.

I'm not saying every Nintendo game is better than every Sony and Microsoft or even 3rd parts but I don't ever recall Nintendo putting out a broken game that needs a day one patch ect.

I love some of the games we get now on all 3 plus my but the industry has become like the phone industry where people want the same games you like phones and they are cod and fifa. Ide love to see one or 2 big ips a year and then see smaller / new ips hit the market in between from the same publisher. For me we just see to many of the same ips. Don't get me wrong I love some of them forza ms and horizon being one of them but I do wish Microsoft would do them every 2 years so a ms every 4 no Horizon every 4 but 2 years apart from each other. The same with games like halo, UC, killzone cod ac, batman ect

Teflon02256d ago

Mcstorm, look up the skyward sword fiasco. That game was released on a system that doesn't do patches and it still got a patch lol. Also every Nintendo game now gets day one patches to add things or correct things now. Every company needs those patches the second they become available to use. Nintendo is now getting as careless as everyone else. They just took an extra Gen over everyone to start doing it because patches weren't available

SuperSonic91255d ago

Look at what that kidtendo posted in this discussion?

Totally irrelevant!

What does loot boxes, the North American Video Game Crash have to do with video game graphics fidelity topic at hand?

That guy's brain is a mess.

That crash was brought about by low quality games and rip offs not graphical advances in gaming.

ChrisW256d ago

The fact that it can cost millions of dollars to make AAA high-graphics games is reason enough for programmers to go "retro" and favor gameplay over graphics.

KyRo255d ago

Good graphics don't need inflated budgets. Hellblade looked mind-blowing and easily one of the best looking games of this generation and the budget was a fraction to what some of these other games are using.

frostypants255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

The current gaming market has literally nothing in common with the 80s gaming crash. C'mon.

You're right about diminishing returns. It takes bigger and bigger hardware boosts to have a smaller and smaller practical visual impact. 4K vs 1080p is far less visually discernible than 1080p vs. 480p, for example...despite being a far greater increase in pixels.

But major noticeable jumps are still happening, particularly in the areas polygon count, lighting, and shadows. And regardless of your opinion, many do find that these things add significantly to a game's immersion (in games where immersion is a goal).

I would also wholeheartedly dispute that graphics are what is inflating game budgets. In fact over time this stuff gets rather commoditized, to the point that a hobbyist at home can create amazing demos (see: almost every freaking thing DSOGaming ever posts on this site). The sheer amount of content in non-party games has exploded from 1-10 hours in the NES era to often 30-100 hours today. THAT'S the main culprit. The market demands more content for the money than ever before. On top of that, the sheer complexity of the games is many orders of magnitude higher, even before factoring in graphics. Even most of those cutesy retro-graphics indie games of today are way more complex than the games they take their visual inspiration from.

If graphics truly do not matter to you, there are endless options out there. The gaming market is not going to crash over this.

jmc8888255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

Wrong on so many levels. You have to know what drives the trends. You have incorrectly done so.

Few are graphics fanatics. Just about everyone wants graphics to improve over time. Every time you make a game, you learn stuff. You have more powerful equipment. You can pull in new techniques others have used. Graphics advance because it's almost impossible to NOT have them advance. You clearly haven't figured that out.

Diminishing returns? Nope. We're not even 10 percent, hell 1 percent to the best graphics ever. Diminishing returns to you only means you haven't thought things out long enough to figure out how much better graphics are on the table. There's 4k, 8k, 16k... guess what, even 16k isn't anywhere close to how things go. 128k? Nope. Even higher... much higher. Then you have things like 2000FPS... not a typo. Then you have much higher IQ, physics, etc, etc. Even then we're only talking about FLAT screens. You have VR, you have AR, you have holographic tv/games. (Think the type of games they played in Robotech... coming up from out of base almost like those old flat Pac Man arcade games you'd see at Pizza hut)

Why do some people believe in stopping progress? The human race is anti-entropy. The universe is undergoing entropy. The human race builds, betters, improves, and evolves. That's what we do. So your 'fidelity focus fiasco' is just pure backwards thinking.

Games are more expensive because... get this... the money you use to buy them is worth less every day. Also because most big AAA games are made by Wall Street entities, who load up on debt, stock buybacks, mergers and acquisitions (during stock market bubbles with debt).

I.E. is $100 a share, if not in a bubble, it's $5 a share. But Activision decides to buy it at a premium for $120 a share and does so with debt they procured at 0 percent. They don't have that much cash because they've been funneling it all via dividends. They then take out another loan so they can announce a stock buyback. $1 billion more in debt so they can temporarily raise the price of their stock.

Then they realize the IP's they bought at a premium, with debt, wasn't worth 1/20th of what they actually paid. The games from that IP bombs. The market goes down. Interest rates goes up. Suddenly, short of cash, they have to keep servicing their debt, but at a higher interest rate. Thus their debt payments skyrocket.

To try to survive they raise game prices, cut back on scope of games, more micro transactions. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve, BoE, BoJ, ECB all turn the printing presses on overdrive. QE-infinity. More junk bond purchases. More backstops. Outright buying of stocks and direct monetary interventions. The purchasing power of your currency goes from $4 a gallon of milk to $20 a gallon of milk. Developers have no choice but to raise game prices, but can't completely pass it on since the consumers didn't get pay raises. Thus they ONLY raise it to say $100 a game, instead of fully passing it on and charging $150-200.

wonderfulmonkeyman255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

Sorry, buddy, but diminishing returns actually is a thing; the human eye cannot fully distinguish the differences between 1080P and 4K at this point, and the differences they'll be able to pick out only shrinks with the jump from 4k into 8k and beyond, because the differences in these little leaps just isn't big enough to have the dramatic difference shown as clearly.

Until we get to the point where graphics actually do start looking human, which is going to take a while yet, there isn't going to be any major leaps that justify favoring the expenses that go into trying to push for more and more graphical fidelity, over the leaps they COULD be making if they put even half of that focus into brainstorming on gameplay enhancements and new ideas.
You can live in denial of this all you like, but the fact is that the industry has been going nuts over graphical fidelity for quite a while now, and the big three have been dragging the sheeple by their collars with it the whole way.
You can see it every time you look into a comment section about a multiconsole port; no one focuses on differences in gameplay. It's ALWAYS about graphics. There are more nuts out there than you're willing to admit to yourself.
It holds back developers from focusing on areas of gameplay that are far more important than those extra few pixels needed to make a sweat drop stand out against a person's forehead.

Some amount of improvement per new machine is expected, yes, but not to the point that fanatics keep expecting, and OVERGLORIFYING.

And to be quite honest, it isn't needed, either. It just takes up more budget that could be going towards more important things.
Clearly you haven't figured THAT out.

I've also already pointed out, quite clearly, that if another crash happens, it WILL be due, at least in part, to budget inflations that could have been curbed if they weren't trying to pull out more and more from each budget so that they could get their devs to focus so much on drawing out more and more of a machine's maximum abilities in favor almost solely of graphics improvements.

Blaming wall-street for the mis-focus of development dollars is like excusing EA for microtransactions.

jmc8888255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

Same thing for consoles, which is why if you want a true successor to an Xbox 360 in PS4/X1, it would of cost about $799. They couldn't. So they made the PS4/X1 weak... because they ARE weak, and charged a rate people could afford... $399. But because they did, they had to release new half gen console just 3 years later. Even then, they are STILL gimped and losing about 30-50 fps because of poor CPU.

You blaming graphics is hilariously wrong for higher costs. It's called the money printing press and the machinations of idiocy on Wall Street. Focus your blame where it belongs.

We definitely aren't in a situation where there's a bunch of crap games out there flooding the market like the 83 crash. It's the opposite, we have too many good games coming.

The gaming crash will come when you have too many games. Back in the 1980's people were charging too much for crap games. The next one can come one of two ways.

1. Worldwide Economic Depression
2. Quality games crash... where everyone has 200-1000 games in their backlog and simply can't justify buying games.

It's not going to come because of developers and people wanting better graphics.

That's like saying the higher prices of cars is because they keep changing the look of the body every year slightly. Clearly you don't have your finger on the pulse of what drives things. I just told you what does.

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PhoenixUp257d ago

Visuals always find a way to improve no matter how great they look at a period in time

Dead_Pixels_256d ago

Yeah, I seem to think that too, but this generation has definitely been the most underwhelming since the birth of the home console.

PoSTedUP256d ago

i think its because of the rapid progression and graphical leaps we have seen in the past that we have hit some sort of brief plateau. i do believe it is and has been compensated by progression in 3D, portability, VR and processing, imo. which isnt a bad thing. everyone has their preferences but im happy with how the industry is progressing minus MT's etc. in the home console industry.

Tru_Blu256d ago

I have yet to have that wow moment on ps4 so I get what you are saying. Solid console though.

Teflon02256d ago

I get what you mean but horizon was a wow moment for me. That game felt leaps beyond anything I've played all Gen. Uncharted looked amazing as well but because the games always looked great, it wasn't too much of a wow factor. But Ratchet and Clank was definitely my biggest wow factor this Gen. I was in awe when I saw that the game looked like a high quality Pixar movie all the way through

SuperSonic91255d ago

Have you ever considered the cost, the time and man power needed to make that leap?

Also the dramatic change from SD to HD is not gonna happen again, dude.

SuperSonic91255d ago

" Graphics have always been a key component of gaming ever since they became a popular mainstream form of entertainment. It was one of the main reasons for propelling the gaming industry to the level…"
Thank you for saying that. I hope that truth sinks into the brains of many Nintendo loyalist/apologists here.

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SuperSonic91255d ago

Agree 100%.

Video game graphics are like the Super Saiyans of video gaming. They will always ascend in power.

How they can go beyond god or Ultra Instinct status is beyond me.

theXtReMe1257d ago

They always start to peak around 3-4 years into the generation. the problem this generation, unlike most before it, is the PS4 and Xbox One started the generation at a decent deficit to PCs best. Making the generation age even quicker. It didn’t help that the CPUs were underpowered, which left AI and Physics improvements behind. So the generation has been about really nothing more than visuals... and in some ways, I think we actually took a step back from last gen (in the aforementioned areas). Which is why these mid gen refreshes were kind of a necessity. Hardware prices for a true generational leap werent where they needed to be and the tech was still in its infancy(Ryzen).

Every generation I start getting the next gen itch around the 3-4 year mark, as by then we start to see the consoles hit their stride and the games get as good as they possibly can within the confines of the technology powering them. Though there are a few games that stand out later, which then starts teasing us with what could be when the next consoles release.

Im interested to know what everyone’s consensus is on the perfect generation length. I am usually ready at the 4-5 year mark, sometimes at the 3. I am huge on Physics and AI advancements. Red Faction: Guerilla showed us how much fun real world physics can be and how incredible they are when used for gameplay. Totally changing the way we play and how we think about enemies and the environments they are in. Using those environments against them... though, the glaring issue is and was(in that game) AI knew nothing about those physics and couldn’t turn them around on you. If they happened to trigger a physics related incident In their favor, it was strictly accidental and not a reflection of any AI advancement. Which is why we need advancement in AI, so it can use every advantage you have at your disposal.

I hope that CPUs are as advanced as the GPU next gen, because without them... we will have another gen like this where everything but the visuals remains the same, including gameplay.

I like the Pro and the X, but they were a means to an end to help us through the later part of the generation with visuals that kept consoles competitive with PCs best and looked good on a 4K TV. 2020/ 2021... Im looking forward to that true generational leap in hopefully every aspect I’ve mentioned. Making games smarter, their game worlds more alive and more dynamic and their visuals exceptionally more beautiful.

jonos256d ago (Edited 256d ago )

I agree with you most of the part, but I wouldn't blame CPU to much about AI and Physic. If you look back, there were some amazing games with AI or Physic. F.E.A.R, Far Cry even Half Life (all originals) had A.I. that some modern games are still to behind too match. For example, Half Life 2 had really nice physic, Max Payne 2,3, Painkiller game e.g.

I think the main problem is that game developers are to lazy. Good AI and physic takes time to develop. Quick money is something that destroys those games.

lio_convoy255d ago (Edited 255d ago )

You are obviously a n00b to the gaming scene and your ignorance is forgiven. Consoles have always been a generation or two behind PC's since the mid 1990's. This is old news. You want awesome gfx? Go spend $1500 on the latest Nvidia GeForce Turbo SuperCharger Nitrous 250000 and another $3000 on a high end PC and rock that 4K video at 120 fps! You want a budget solution that delivers good quality visuals and a platform you don't have to upgrade yearly to keep up with the latest games? Get a console. There are trade-offs to both. You want the best powered console? Get the XBOX. You want the most popular console this generation with some of the better games? Get PS4Pro. You don't care about graphic fidelity, but want a second screen? Go Nintendo.

Will games get better looking? Yep. Higher resolutions, higher quality textures and more triangles are all coming next gen. We haven't plateaued yet. Not even close.

zb1ftw777256d ago (Edited 256d ago )

I don't know if it has or hasn't.

What i do know is that graphics that simulate real life i find extremely boring.

Much prefer a game like Zelda or Mario than a game that looks and feels exactly real.

PoSTedUP256d ago

it depends for me. im hooked on zelda atm and its amazing. but i do enjoy racing simulators like gran turismo. and gta5 more than saints row. the level of graphics depends on the game and genre. we need both imo.

Xenophon_York256d ago

Good to ebb and flow back and forth between photorealism and 'cartoon-esque' or impressionalism.

Sam Fisher256d ago

I love all, my mood changes when a great game is made, no matter the look

PoSTedUP256d ago

agreed 100%. the gaming industry always has an abundance of pleasing games for me. im always happy.