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Next Gen Consoles Sound So Boring!

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Russell G, Feb 27, 2020.

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  1. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Just saw this article, and the writer really nails a lot of my thoughts on the PS5/Xbox X machines coming out. Thought it may be of interest to some.

    https://www.ladbible.com/technology/gaming-8k-teraflops-and-loading-times-the-new-consoles-sound-so-boring-20200227

    *I know, Ladbible for gaming news? UGH! But the writer, Mike Diver has a long history in games journalism and wrote a couple of books. He's turning Gaming Bible around after doing the same for Vice/Waypoint before he left when they tranistioned to video)
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Haven’t read the essay. I can only say that as a very casual gamer these days, if Nintendo released a Switch Pro Gen 2 X One model, and it had nothing more than a bezeless 1080p screen, 2x the GPU and double the battery, I’d buy it immediately. Boring? Maybe. What I want for good gaming on the go? Definitely.
     
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  4. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Every generation starts out boring. That's how I felt when Sony announced the PS4 and it's launch lineup consisted of sequels (that did nothing more than look prettier than before) or new games that looked uninteresting. The fact of the matter is that the initial launch is going to be showing off the raw power of the hardware in ways that are immediately obvious and simple to understand. It takes a while for anything to really dive deep into what can be pulled off. However...even then, it will be underwhelming. The leap in graphics is never going to be as impressive as, say, the Atari to the NES or the SNES to the N64. We're hitting a point of diminishing returns so long as games are just prettier ways to press a couple buttons while lights flicker on a TV. Sure, we'll get raytracing so that light and sound in games is more realistic, but it's going to basically turn into a more accurate simulation that still plays exactly how games have always played.

    Personally, I'm actually more excited about the backward compatibility features of the next gen systems. I'd love to be able to put my PS3 and PS4 in storage so I only have 1 box out. I'd love to get a Series X and play everything I missed this gen (since I never bought a One). And being able to utilize remote play on my phone on both or save multiple game states even when my console is completely off and unplugged sounds amazing.

    But just prettier graphics? I don't think I really care.
     
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  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Assuming backward compatibility with Fallout 4, maybe I can finally spend more than 5 minutes in downtown Boston without having to restart my console. :)

    - Walter.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    What’s your console? I played 60+ hrs of FO4 circa 2018 with basically no problems.
     
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  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    This is kind of what the article is about. As Morgan posted above, all the launch news is about hardware specs and 8K support, but nothing about games. It seems the games part pretty much peaked around the PS2. As opposed to the previous generations like the 16 bit and PS1 era where the marketing was much more around gaming experiences. So the article is more about "Where's the new gaming experiences? Where are those things to get excited about? Is their more to offer other than bigger/prettier games?"

    Morgan also mentioned hoping for a PS5 that will be a one and done box so he can tuck away his PS3 + 4. This is the only info I'm looking for since the game are going to basically be "bigger/prettier". Let me play all me PSN titles at the very least, regardless of the system. If it's truely backwards compatible to the PS3 and PSN titles, I'd be more tempted to pre-order it since it would dramatically simplify my backlog situation. If not offered, I can see myself potentially skipping this generation since I have so many titles I want to play, and series on the PS4 I've held off buying since I have a backlog to play.

    Should be noted that the article isn't saying the new systems suck, or that current games are garbage. I think he's around my age and really put into words the lack of real interest and excitement I'm feeling. So far I haven't seen a "OMG! I have to try this game!" title.
     
  8. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    Re: Dave's post...

    I'm running an XBox One S. Pretty much anywhere around the Old North Church, Haymarket Mall, or Faneuil Hall results in an instant crash with a lot of buzzing if I do anything other than move very slowly while hidden. Any sort of engagement with Gunners, Mutants, or Raiders will usually kill the game.

    (Usually what I do is try to move inward, killing everything around the outskirts while slowing working my way inward. This seems to reduce the loading on the game and I can usually map everything. Stopping the game, restarting the console, relaunching the game (to clear memory?) and then fast travel to the desired destination is another way to manage navigation in downtown Boston.)

    I have a lot of mods loaded and have read quite a bit on the topic of load order management, and the game runs pretty well everywhere else in the FO4 'world', so I tend to think it is more of a load / memory management issue; but I can't say for sure. I've done quite a few play throughs of FO4 and seemingly the one constant in all of them is that downtown Boston just kills the game.

    - Walter.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    People on forums say they want new gaming experiences but most consumers don't. Peripherals don't sell. If you want a new gaming experience you can buy a Quest or a Switch. Sony and Microsoft are going to go for the mass market and I'm ok with that. There's room in the world for experimental hardware and it's fine that those exist outside of the main players and it's cool that at least one company, Nintendo, still wants to bridge those two. But it's 2020 and Nintendo still hasn't figured out the goddamn internet, so there's that.
     
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  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Huh. I played on a PS4. But I don’t know anything about running mods on a console. I was playing vanilla FO4.
     
  11. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Lead Actor

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    I haven't played vanilla in ages. The only reason I tend to replay Bethesda games is due to the evolving mod universe for Skyrim and Fallout 4. I'll have a character who I've leveled up to demi-God status and then 'Oh look a shiny new mod!' and I'm starting a new play through. :)

    - Walter.
     
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  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I think you’re describing middle aged malaise. :)

    You’re harkening back to the halcyon days of your youth, over 25 years ago, when everything was new and amazing to you.

    I suspect that today’s youth are equally excited about the amazing new hardware coming out, with no load times or level boundaries thanks to SSD and massive graphics throughout (see the articles on the upcoming Spiderman game), or whatever else 2020 hardware enables.
     
  13. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Sam - I don't necessarily think "new experiences" needs to be all about experimental hardware and accessories, but rather games that do something that's actually new. The best example I can think of is Shadow of Mordor. The game did something on the PS4/XBO that wasn't technically capable on the PS3/360 and was an actual evolution of the basic game that it was integrated into. Rather than just a big open world with a boatload of boxes to check or lots of particle effects, the developer actually did something fundamentally unique.

    That's why raytracing seems ready to underwhelm for me. Sure, light and shadows will look better and pathfinding or sound tracking will be improved, but you're still going to be playing a million games where you're a space marine running down a corridor and shooting a machine gun at aliens for 6-8 hours. The stories won't be better, the core gameplay loops won't be different, and you're still basically interacting with the game in the same way that we've been doing for 20+ years. Very few companies are willing to tweak their hit franchises into new experiences or come up with different ways to play things. New console launches are the time for companies to either rely HEAVILY on what works for their existing franchises or to make something totally bonkers that will sell solely because there are so few options available. However...having a big backward compatibility feature set on the new consoles will negate the interest in those bonkers games. Why buy this generation's Fantavision when I can play a prettier version of the 8-month old FF7 Remake?
     
  14. Jeff Cooper

    Jeff Cooper Cinematographer

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    A lot of truth there. I find my gaming preferences changing drastically as I get older and have less time. I get rather annoyed at games where I make progress and then die, having to re-do a bunch of stuff I already did, like the game is wasting my time. Contrast that to when I was younger and I'd happily sit there and replay the 'Nintendo Hard' games over and over perfecting every pixel of them for that perfect run.
     
  15. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    You may be right because:

    This is kind of where I'm coming from. To pull up my middle aged pants and GET OFF MY LAWN WITH YOUR CRAZY MUSIC... :P

    Way back when the Super Nintendo launched, we were losing our minds seeing the new pictures of Super Mario World. We COULD NOT WAIT since we figured nothing would top Mario Bros 3. My older cousin had a job and saved up to buy at launch, so I went with him to get the SNES on I think the Friday it came out, and he bought the launch titles. Guess which one we played all night?

    Pilotwings. Basically a tech demo disguised as a game. Super Mario World was amazingly impressive. Prettier/bigger, with new game play mechanics but still a Mario plat former at heart. F-Zero, super fun and boy could you FEEL the speed compared to other racers. Pilotwings though wasn't really like anything on the NES or on the PC at the time. Closest analogy would be a flight sim version of Lunar Lander from the 70's, maybe? But that night, it was fresh and new.

    I'm hoping all the tech stuff that blows right past me ends up in some similar games. It can happen. I'm playing the Witcher 3 right now. Gameplay wise, it's very familiar, but presentation wise its one of the few RPG style games where choices actually feel like they matter so it feel fresher than SKYRIM. (I put in hundreds of hours into Skyrim, I love it, I'm not knocking it at all). So what makes Witcher feel fresh and new to me has less to do with graphics and gameplay as opposed to the presentation and storytelling.

    I'm curious to see what that Cyberpunk game brings to the table. Really thinking about, I'm more interested to know if the terraflops and whatnot mean the games play less buggy and require less patching, but that has more to do with programming and making release dates than hardware.
     
  16. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    The Xbox Series X "no exclusive" strategy still baffles me. A BIG part of the excitement of new systems is the game exclusives that launch with them. Take that away, and it there is no draw for me at all. I don't care about terraflops, or extreme processing power for a game I can already play on my XBOX One S in 4K!
    I'll take the hit, and save $500.
    I'm not sure about the PS5 yet..
     
  17. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I'm only on team PS5 due to having a PS3 and PS4 and not wishing to switch horses. Depending on the PS5 specs, I may just end up getting a Switch to get access to the sweet Nintendo titles that neither can offer.
     
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  18. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    So many good to great Switch games. I love the system now, but it took me a while to warm up to it, mainly because so many of the WiiU games I owned were being ported over at full price on the Switch. I don't like paying full price for the same game twice. That was/is lame.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    There's a bajillion of them on Steam and now Switch, and ID @Xbox. If you are judging new gameplay experiences by AAA titles you are doing it wrong. =)

    But again none of that is going mainstream. Sure a title like the War series can come out with a signature feature like Nemesis (And the rest of the game is nothing but a Batman clone, let's be real), but that's not the hardware manufacturer's job. Hardware improvements are stuck to peripherals, and some like Wiimotes will be a hit and some like cameras will have more muted success.

    We've had the 3D world since N64 and everything on that top is incremental improvements. VR/AR/MR are the next obvious jumps but even those won't fundamentally change gameplay. The real hardware improvements are in how you interact with the environment and even those too will go mainstream or die out.
     
  20. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Sam - I agree to some extent with what you said. The problem is that, for example, Microsoft is making a new Halo game and it's basically going to be like ALL of the Halo games except with better graphics. Killzone: Shadowfall at the PS4 launch was a solid FPS that did absolutely nothing new besides look prettier than PS3 games. Now that graphics on the PS4 and Xbox One X are so good already, the leap to the next gen consoles is going to be underwhelming pretty much no matter what. "Fake" light rays in a PS4 game versus "RTX" rays in a PS5 game will end up looking the same to the player after 10 hours of shooting zombies in the face. The actual games themselves and how people interact with the experience isn't really evolving in a way that the hardware benefits.

    Like you said, there's a ton of unique experiences on every platform and, yeah, they're mostly indie games. I just finished Kentucky Route Zero and loved it, but there's really no reason I couldn't see that game existing basically as it is on, say, the PS2. It does something new and interesting that I haven't experienced in gaming before but would I go buy a $500 console for it? No.

    I do think that the stagnation of control method (since everything uses the same basic design now) has limited what kind of interactions you can have with games now. Adaptive triggers and joysticks and better rumble are nice, but the fundamentals of the games aren't really getting better because...well...developers like to fit their games into particular boxes. They're afraid of experimentation. And the reality is that you don't need a more powerful box to actually experiment. (Hence, Nintendo's entire business strategy!)
     
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