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Posted by Vigorousjammer

I've been recently thinking about what people might be doing with this next console jump, and I'm not sure there's going to be a huge change.

If we look back on past generations, it's always been every other generation of consoles that made a big leap.

Let's take a look back:

- Going from Xbox to 360, or PS2 or PS3, huge leaps with internet pervasiveness, downloadable games, menu & interface. Even going from Gamecube to Wii, huge controller change, the advent of motion gaming was a huge change, weather you like it or not.

- Going from PS1 to PS2 or N64 to Gamecube, let's even say Dreamcast to Xbox. Sure the graphics were better, but not much else changed. Games were pretty similar, and expectations for games were similar.

- Going from SNES to N64, or Genesis to Saturn, HUGE leap, and with the PS1 coming out and the advent of polygonal gaming, things were changing about games in a big way.

- However, going one generation back, NES to SNES or Master System to Genesis, Not much really changed... it was mostly just better graphics.

I might be over-explaining something fairly basic here. It's really just your basic tick-tock theory, but it's good to take a look at the past...

Even sight-unseen, my hypothesis is that the next generation of consoles will simply give us better graphics and not all that more advanced games or systems. What do you guys think?

Posted by theManUnknown

I would be perfectly fine if the next generation dedicated itself to general optimization and to reducing the overall cost of development that seems to have ballooned in recent years. High commercial risk stunts creative innovation as investors demand projects to be more "safe" and likely to return on their investment. Anything that can happen to reduce these perceived risks is a good thing in my opinion. Even if it entails switching the entire industry over to cell shading.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

I'd be fine if the whole industry switched over to Cel-shading... Maybe that sequel to Jet Set Radio would finally come out, then, lol.

Posted by JasonR86

Sure. It could be. Anything is possible.

Posted by CJduke

All I want for the next consoles is better graphics, physics, ext. I want the games to run as well as possible and look amazing, I don't really care about new gameplay and I certainly don't care about social networking or motion controls.

Edited by benspyda

I just want more interesting games. Game design has really stagnated. And by interesting I don't mean more indie platformers or puzzle games.

Posted by Hunkulese

You're crazy if you think ps1 to ps2 or NES to snes weren't huge leaps forward.
2 buttons to 6 didn't dramatically effect how games are played?

Posted by PeasantAbuse

There's going to be crazygrafx.

Posted by Jrinswand

Aside from the next Xbox's video card supposedly being weaksauce, do we actually know anything about the next generation of consoles? I've already got a 360 and a PS3 and I was hoping that I could just upgrade my PC and skip out on the next round of consoles altogether.

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@Hunkulese said:

You're crazy if you think ps1 to ps2 or NES to snes weren't huge leaps forward. 2 buttons to 6 didn't dramatically effect how games are played?

Okay, maybe NES to SNES was a slightly bigger leap than PS1 to PS2.

I just remember tons of games being basically the same except now it's a "super" version, like "OH HEY GUYS here's Super Punch Out! cool, RIGHT GUYS?" or "OH HEY! Here's Super Mario World!" or "Hey guys, Final Fantasy is still pretty awesome, here's more of it!" or how about "Hey guys, it's another Metroid game!". Don't get me wrong, those games are still great, incredible even... hell, the SNES is actually one of my favorite consoles of all time, but it was basically a slightly more advanced NES, It's NOTHING like the jump to N64, with polygonal graphics, analog control, fully implemented camera systems. It's was a much bigger leap.

As for PS1 to PS2, just look at the games, I mean, mostly everything was just a better looking sequel, with maybe some better controls. The addition of dual analog sticks was a small leap, but it's nothing like the giant leap from PS2 to PS3, Online gaming became much more of a thing, downloadable games, wireless controllers. I mean, admittedly, these were all things Microsoft did first with the Xbox 360, but it was still a big leap for the entire current generation of consoles as a whole.

I'm not saying the next generation of consoles isn't going to be exciting or great, I'm just preparing to be underwhelmed, looking at the technology we currently have out there, and thinking about what they COULD add to these new consoles... it doesn't seem like they could do much more than prettier graphics, which is fine.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Even the visuals were a huge leap, thanks to things like shaders coming around. Course since then visuals and especially physics have come a long way, as has storage. So bigger more dynamic games could be a pretty significant change to things.

Posted by DarthOrange

Were you alive during those transitions? Each and every single one of those has been a huge leap forward. If you are going to try and tell me going from the original Hot Pursuit on PS1 to Hot Pursuit 2 on the PS2 were the same thing you are crazy.

Same goes for NES to SNES. Maybe your becoming old and jaded?

Posted by wewantsthering

Yes! Let's assume random information about unannounced products!

Edited by believer258

Next generation, I'm getting a PC. I am happy with my consoles and I don't plan to leave the idea of a console behind at all; however, the M+K, better graphics, and other little bells and whistles excite me a good bit more than another box that will be struggling to keep up later on. Besides, the new Xbox is rumored to be using a graphics card, or a variant thereof, that was never meant to be top of the line when it was released and isn't exactly great these days.

"But Believer, graphics don't matter when you've got great gameplay!"

I suppose that's true, but look at games like Crysis or Battlefield 3. Both are available on consoles, but both versions are gimped a bit technically to get them on there.

To bring this around to thread relevancy (and make it sound less elitist, which it isn't), the leaps from each generation since the NES have been larger than you're giving them credit for. Boiled down to simplicity, the SNES was pretty much the NES taken to its logical quality conclusion. This, however, means so much more than just that. The SNES helped to bring about common saves instead of passwords. It brought about bigger, more expansive game worlds. It brought about more complexity, more depth, and better controls. These days, there aren't many NES games that can be ported to a modern console and considered both relevant and playable without a lot of overhaul. SNES, on the other hand, has many games that this can happen to. Hell, Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, and Donkey Kong Country hardly need any editing to still meet playability expectations - they're all fair, well-made, well-paced, and overall well-done.

The Playstation -> Playstation 2 progression did much the same thing for 3D. You are right in the sense that the PS2 games were essentially the same as PS1 games, but the PS2 was so much better and brought so much more to the table in terms of graphics, playability, controls, and more that considering their quality standards the same is just plain folly.

The next generation of consoles won't really see that same thing. Mastering how to put down this art has already been done. I think the next generation will instead bring more refinement and will, if money and corporations allow it, bring about an exploring of the medium proper instead of figuring out how to make it work better. That's what this generation started, but the logical conclusion of exploring any art form is never done.

And that's my overly wrought, unexpectedly long two-cents. Also, I normally don't talk about games as art but here I think it's relevant.

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@DarthOrange: Perfect example of how it DIDN'T change much.

The graphics were better, so what?

And yes, I was alive, I'm 23...

@wewantsthering: I know nothing has been announced, but i'm just providing speculation based on the current state of technology, and the stuff they've been showing at CES and tech shows... like, what would they put into this next generation of consoles? What could they do?

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@believer258: Yeah, I'll agree with everything you've said. It's basically what I was trying to get across in my original post, but you just explained it much more expertly.

I'll also add that while those changes (NES to SNES, PS1 to PS2) were more relevant than I was saying in my initial post, I expect the same level of changes to be made going from this generation of consoles to the next.

Edit: oh, also, I have recently built an awesome gaming PC as well and will probably stick with that for a while as well. Of course, if you factor in the cost of changing out graphics cards every 2 or 3 years, it adds up. However, I also like to take into account the constant insane sales on Steam and the Humble Bundles that basically give games away for free, and I feel like it's a worthwhile investment.

Posted by DarthOrange

@Vigorousjammer: Did you not notice the change in physics, audio quality, UI and just the size and detail of the track. Also they went from the PS1 which could only play CDs to the PS2 which could play DVDs. The controller also had pressure sensitive buttons which meant that now in racing games pressing the button down harder actually did make you go faster. Also wireless controllers became a thing during the PS2 era on all consoles and online play with consoles became possible with the xbox and PS2 for the first time. Sounds to me like you are just jaded. Just out of curiosity how happy are you during your birthday and christmas compared to any other day? :P

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@DarthOrange: Okay, as for the non-gaming components of game consoles, it's been pretty consistent, I'll give you that. Especially on Sony's end, it's been a straight jump from CDs to DVDs to Blu-Ray.

However, talking specifically about the gaming portion, I feel like for most games during the PS2-era, physics were less about gameplay changes and more about changes in the graphics, so it can kind of be lumped into the same category.

As for online play, sure you could do it on a PS2, but it was still pretty minimal. I will say that Xbox Live was huge when it first launched, and was a pretty significant change, but they moved it even further when the Xbox 360 launched.

More to the point, I guess I just feel as though PS1-era and PS2-era games mostly just FELT the same. There were obviously some minimal changes between those generations, the biggest of them being the graphics, but it's not quite as large as the change between Xbox and Xbox 360 or PS2 and PS3.

I'm not jaded, I just have a different outlook on it, I suppose. Hell, I'm still looking forward to the next generation of consoles, I guess just not as much as I was looking forward to the launch of the 360, or the launch of the Sega Saturn.

Posted by DarthOrange

@Vigorousjammer:

I don't know what else to say. It was so much more then just graphics. If they felt the same to you though then I don't think I can convince you. Here is my last shot:

The vast improvements made to games was huge. The size and scope and speed of everything was improved exponentially. Hell maybe I'm just easily impressed but this looks like a pretty damn big leap to me.

Posted by matthias2437

Any generation of consoles is going to be underwhelming to me.

Posted by kermoosh

i understand your point but where else can they go. other than better graphics/performance, consoles already have modern design or graphics (instead of polygons have actual things) and all 3 have reached into motion control and even added video apps and social networking. the ps3 has an internet browser. i understand the whole console jump but where else can they go, they have already reached into every crevice, all they can do is expand on it

Posted by iam3green

maybe, i am looking forward to better games, new things to do. i am not looking forward to motion controls. i don't think i want to be playing games with them.

Edited by Mr402

I'm waiting for E3 to make my decision about the next generation. MS, Sony and to a lesser extent Nintendo will have to show me something really compelling for me to early adopt any of the offering's they are providing. Too many hardware issues coupled with teh fact that most AAA games don't get released for at least 1 to 2 years after the new console drops means that I won't be missing anything by waiting. My plans are to build a mid-range gaming pc. Consoles will be purchased down the road a couple years when hardware revisions and bugs have been ironed out.

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@DarthOrange: That comparison isn't even fair... Ultimate Battle 22 was initially a Super Famicom game.

That would be like comparing the PS1 version of Final Fantasy IV to Kingdom Hearts.

If we take a look at the best games on each platform, there honestly wasn't much change, but of course if you pit an underdog against a great game you'll notice a huge change.

Like what if I compared the NES game Robodemons:

to the SNES game Gradius III:

Of course the latter looks better, because the first was a horrible piece of garbage! It's an unfair comparison!

Now, what if I compared Gradius 3 to another NES game, such as... Life Force:

Of course, since they're both good games, there's not a huge difference, just some minimal changes.

Now, think about the changes of the best games between SNES and PS1/N64... huge, right?

Now, how about the changes between the best games of PS2 and PS3? The amount of innovation in this generation of game development is pretty big.

Just look at stuff like Heavy Rain, and how about LittleBigPlanet. Game developers also started implementing better AI, larger worlds, innovative control schemes... it was a major shift forward. Admittedly, some of this innovation started at the end of the PS2-era with stuff like Kill.Switch, and Shadow of the Colossus.

There was so much innovation going into this generation of consoles, and I just don't see it happening again... at least not to the same extent, that was the whole point of this post to begin with, not to have a petty argument about PS1 or PS2 being better. Obviously PS2 did some things better, and had some classic games on it, but let's say it was about three steps up a ladder, while SNES to PS1/N64 was like ten steps up a ladder.

Honestly, I also don't think innovation is really necessary this time around. Like others have said in this thread, a console with a higher resolution and more polished graphics, maybe a nicer frame-rate and faster load times is fine, albeit a bit underwhelming, like I said in my first post.

Edited by Ravenlight

@believer258 said:

Next generation, I'm getting a PC.

Welcome to your new home, brother. The yacht club meets on Tuesdays and your live-in masseuse should already be installed.

@Vigorousjammer said:

That would be like comparing the PS1 version of Final Fantasy IV to Kingdom Hearts.

TBF, I enjoyed FFIV much, much more than Kingdom Hearts.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

@Ravenlight said:

@Vigorousjammer said:

That would be like comparing the PS1 version of Final Fantasy IV to Kingdom Hearts.

TBF, I enjoyed FFIV much, much more than Kingdom Hearts.

Ha, true enough. Maybe that wasn't the best comparison. :P

Posted by JTB123

Well it really depends on what you want/expect the next consoles to deliver. Graphics wise I want 1080p and 60fps to be standard, no matter what. I don't care if there's a hundred enemies on screen with nukes attached to them, if I throw a grenade at them, I don't want the frame rate to suffer. Until I see something concrete regarding new consoles I'm really hesitant to even think about what I want out of them, all I know for certain is what I don't want, which is a start I guess.

Edited by bam13950

I think you are a younger gamer that hasn't seen to many generation switches. Go play Final Fantasy VI on a snes emulator and then go and play Final Fantasy III on a NES emulator and then try and tell me that SNES to NES was not a huge leap in graphics, sound, and gameplay. Every generation is a huge leap it just take time for leap to show itself. There are early 360 games that look graphically worse then late ps2 games. When the new consoles come out the games are not going to be drastically different, but I guarantee that five years down the line what you will be playing then will be completely different from what we are playing now. It has been seven years since there have been knew consoles this is probably going to be one of the biggest leaps we have seen. Rumors are that PS4 may be able to output at 2160p. That means nothing right now, but in 2005 less then 25% of people in the us owned an HDTV, and about 20% of those people had a 1080p, but PS3 still shipped with the ability to natively output 1080p. If next gen consoles do end up being able to ouput 2160p then that means that in five years we could be sitting in front of a 2160p tv playing 3D games similar to 3DS without the need for 3D glasses.

Moore's law has also continued to work for the last seven years. Remember how the 400 dollar 360 launched with a 20 gig HDD? Now you can buy a 4 terrabyte HDD The next consoles will not launch with a 4 TB HDD but it is a very nice indication on how much computing power has grown, since our current gen launched. You can buy an android phone that is more powerful then both an Xbox 360, and a PS3. I think we are about to see a huge leap in video games.

This is coming from someone that said the same thing you said in your blog in 2005. I also dont think we will ever see a decline in the jumps in between generations until moore's law stop working.

Posted by BraveToaster

I'll pass judgement when all the next-gen consoles are released.

Posted by egg

@Vigorousjammer said:

It's really just your basic tick-tock theory, but it's good to take a look at the past...

pointless tick tock theory that means squat, like saying all white consoles win console wars (only exception being PS2)

Posted by tourgen

graphics still have a long ways to go. don't underestimate how much more awesome they can get. We aren't even anywhere near real-time raytracing yet. I think it's more of an issue of people growing up along side this generation and this generation sticking around so long. People are starting to think this is all there is just because it's what they've seen for the last 7 years.

Posted by Korwin

@bam13950 said:

Rumors are that PS4 may be able to output at 2160p. That means nothing right now, but in 2005 less then 25% of people in the us owned an HDTV, and about 20% of those people had a 1080p, but PS3 still shipped with the ability to natively output 1080p. If next gen consoles do end up being able to ouput 2160p then that means that in five years we could be sitting in front of a 2160p tv playing 3D games similar to 3DS without the need for 3D glasses.

Outputting at 2160p (4K) isn't the same as rendering at 4K, odd's are even at that level of output they will simply scale a 1080p image out. The amount of horse power it takes to render at 2160/60hz only barely exists now, and that's using the same level of assets that current technology can handle.

Posted by bam13950

@Korwin said:

@bam13950 said:

Rumors are that PS4 may be able to output at 2160p. That means nothing right now, but in 2005 less then 25% of people in the us owned an HDTV, and about 20% of those people had a 1080p, but PS3 still shipped with the ability to natively output 1080p. If next gen consoles do end up being able to ouput 2160p then that means that in five years we could be sitting in front of a 2160p tv playing 3D games similar to 3DS without the need for 3D glasses.

Outputting at 2160p (4K) isn't the same as rendering at 4K, odd's are even at that level of output they will simply scale a 1080p image out. The amount of horse power it takes to render at 2160/60hz only barely exists now, and that's using the same level of assets that current technology can handle.

I know that it is pretty far off right now, but it has been done before I believe it was at CES 2010 or 2011 where they linked 4 PS3's together to turn Gran Turisimo 5 into a 3d game without glasses. It is possible that they will pack PS4 with the enough horse power to do that. PS3 only has 512 megs of ram, so getting that 4X more would not be hard. The problem they will run into is advancing the CPU enough. I expect them to pack as much as they can into the next batch of consoles. This way they can prolong the next generation past the traditional 5 year life cycle again. It is also very unlikely that we will see a new Xbox or Playstation until 2013, and by then technology may have advanced enough to allow the amount of horse power needed for 2160p to be put into a console. When PS3 launched it cost sony 900 dollars to build a PS3, and I expect they will do something similar for the next gen console.

Posted by whyareyoucrouchingspock

When I was younger I use to enjoy first person shooters. Now those are mostly console domain and thus inferior to what they use to be. Most genres now are console based. Simplfied and re-designed for a mainstream auidence sitting on a couch. Perhaps if I was younger consoles would appeal to me. As a long time gamer, my mind has matured with age so I seek out more sophisticated games with substance. These genres have always typically been on the pc. I use whatever free time I have to play games designed for a mature mind such as Total War. Regardless of whatever technology is used in consoles, they will always have a mainstream sit on the couch nature. At some point i'm sure strategy games like first person shooters will be butchered by easy console money. Until that time though, I will enjoy my pc with games designed for my mature mind.

Edited by Vigorousjammer

@tourgen said:

graphics still have a long ways to go. don't underestimate how much more awesome they can get. We aren't even anywhere near real-time raytracing yet. I think it's more of an issue of people growing up along side this generation and this generation sticking around so long. People are starting to think this is all there is just because it's what they've seen for the last 7 years.

I don't doubt that, honestly. I'm not one of the people saying this is "All there is" and more of the type who's saying "We're just not there yet".

I also think a lot of game design has become stagnant. There's still some people doing interesting things with game design, but I think we'll still see a lot of the same type of games we've been seeing for the past 7 years in the next console generation.

I'm willing to bet once the PS5 comes out in year 2020 or whenever, and whatever Microsoft's planning to release at that time, we'll see some really incredible stuff happen to gaming. As for right now, I just don't see any big change happening.

Of course, this is just all wild speculation, but that was kind of the point of this thread in the first place. Hell I put "possibly" right in the title... you people informing me that I'm just speculating need to step off your high horses. I know I am, it's fun to think about.

@egg said:

@Vigorousjammer said:

It's really just your basic tick-tock theory, but it's good to take a look at the past...

pointless tick tock theory that means squat, like saying all white consoles win console wars (only exception being PS2)

Right, and these "console wars" you speak of totally have a point to them! Get real.

Posted by Napalm

I think I'd really like to read about Will Smith's technological argument for why going middle-of-the-road in the hardware department for the next cycle would still blow this generation away.

Posted by StayPuftGiant

Seems like the perfect time for Sega to take the industry for a spin by coming out with the Dreamcast 2 already. By making it easy and cheap to make games for to get some studio and indie titles lined up and getting some hardcore titles, it would be amazing.

Posted by freakin9

I think Nintendo was wise in trying to add new ways to play games, because when you go from trailing well behind PCs to being right where they are you are going to naturally stunt the abilities of the next console to wow the audience. This is probably the least interesting next-generation coming up that I can remember. I mean maybe open world games will look way better, but if you don't like those games to begin with... I'm sure though game companies will think of a way to wow us, whether they be creating new genres or simply getting smarter about how to do everything that we've already been accustomed to..

Online
Posted by SexualBubblegumX

You're forgetting the jump from NES to SNES wasn't just graphics. Games contained more information.  Plus saving instead of a password system became more common.  Also It was mentioned how controllers changed.



Posted by Totori

maybe it'll actually look as good as the killzone 2 trailer.

Posted by Clonedzero

i dont think the jump to the next gen of consoles will be that significant. at least graphics-wise. maybe game-savy people will notice, but your average consumer won't really notice a big difference.

sure PC exclusive games look amazing now, but they don't look THAT much better than stuff on the PS3 and 360. you aren't going to get a console thats more powerful than a top end PC since well thats as far as the tech has gone.

personally i think the next consoles will be more powerful, but the jump in graphics and power isn't going to be that huge. it'll be more utility with the console. being a full media box rather than just a video game console with extra media features.

Posted by SockemJetpack

If the next generation goes how I think it's going to go... that is with a shift to mostly motion control and free to play/casual gaming; I see a lot of "hardcore" gamers switching to PC instead. I recently decided to beef up my PC to a respectable power level for the first time in years and connected it to my TV. Having done that I have gotta say that my 360 looks like a baby toy after spending some time modding games and playing at a constant 60fps (yes I know better monitors go higher but 60 is fine with me).

If the next generation does make that shift to ultra casual and leaves gamers like us out in the cold the PC could be a viable solution to a lot of people. And as we all know... where the people go... the money goes.

Posted by Grumbel
@SockemJetpack said: 

that is with a shift to mostly motion control and free to play/casual gaming; 

Seeing how Nintendo tries to get back into hardcore gaming with the Wii U and 3DS and how games like CoD still make the most money, I don't think a all-casual future is likely, especially when iPad and iPhone are already grabbing large part of that market.
Posted by SockemJetpack

@Grumbel: I sure hope you're right.

Edited by Zekhariah

It is a bit underwhelming that the new consoles will probably be less powerful than a PC you could have had several years ago.

But more consistent motion control could make it an interesting transition. Along with the media center capability. Consoles are so far behind PCs that items at this point that the physics and graphics have a lot of room to improve too. Art style (does every open world game need to be cartoony or flat) and restricted environments have been used to avoid pointing out the pitfalls, i.e. Crysis 2 levels areas are less open on consoles so that the texture quality and relatively poorer lighting is not brought into the forefront as much.