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#51 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5524 posts) -

No. I hope my mind is blown by the advances in hardware. Look at the contrast of what the last generation was able to do and look at what we have coming out now. There needs to be a leap like that again. What feels like a stagnation in the industry can be transformed into to a fresh vitality by advancements in hardware.

#52 Posted by StarvingGamer (8254 posts) -

No and they never will.

#53 Posted by Stonyman65 (2711 posts) -

The more processing and graphical power you have on hand, the more you can do.

#54 Posted by RioStarwind (547 posts) -

Without any progress games will most likely fade into the background for a while like they did when Atari crashed. Having a new generation of consoles usually breeds new IP and new directions for older franchises. The extra power could also let a idea that someone thought wasn't possible now doable on the new hardware.

#55 Edited by EXTomar (4743 posts) -

PC gamers kind of need specs to guage if their system can handle the software smoothly. I would love some sort of "game-benchmark" that is an independent third party tool that anyone can run against any game that would spit out a number that is relative against your system benchmark number.

Idea: Maybe this is something GiantBomb.com could support? It would require the creation of the benchmark tool which isn't an easy task but actually storing aggregate data from users is easy for GB.com to do.

#56 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1441 posts) -

Hardware specs in anything will always be a key focus. There is no end to it, because it's in our nature to advance.

#57 Posted by leebmx (2244 posts) -

@NoelVeiga: I've really enjoyed reading your posts in this thread. Some interesting stuff to think about. Puts in perspective the boastful claims by Activision for MW3 or COD:BLOPS to be the biggest entertainment launch in history everytime it comes out.

#58 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5495 posts) -

@NoelVeiga said:

In the end, those models are treading water, because the hard cap of the industry isn't the amount of people in the world, it's the amount of people interested by the experience you're providing. Triple A games are enjoyed by a tiny amount of people. Being generous, maybe the 150-odd million that purchased a PS2 at any point in history. That's less than the amount of people that went to watch The Avengers, and you're lucky if you get 5 to 10% of that to buy your game in any format. In case I'm not being clear here, this means that if you convinced every moviewatcher that went to see any given action film this summer to also buy one videogame, that game would outsell Modern Warfare by a ratio of anywhere between 5 to 1 and 20 to 1.

The rest of your argument is okay but this whole segment is largely false; unless you're suggesting we expand all video game endeavors to China and India (and drastically lower the price); the worldwide audience may exceed 150 million (for a handful of films mind you, not "any given action film") but in the context of $60 vs $5-15 only one fourth would have to match the same; the next time any entertainment launch of any kind reaches 600 million individual sales worldwide be sure to let me know. Calling the PS2 "fringe" is a bit ridiculous, and the two markets reinforce each other quite frequently. There are a number of films that rely almost solely on the CoD kiddie audience to sell; Battle: Los Angeles for starters.

#59 Posted by Aterons (198 posts) -

It depends, the worse the console market does the more graphic develop. So if the next console gen is a more or less average in terms of sales than you could expect the next one to maybe never appear thus in about 20 years you might as well have real-life like games on a PC. If the console trend continues you still got about 30 years until that happen but it will happen.

Still, things like huge strategy games exist and if you really want to implement shit like real-life stone and wood texture in games those 2 might take a bit longer until poor hardware "catches up" to them. But generally speaking, yes, if only nvidia and CDPR keep up the work like they did in the last 5 years than 20-30 years and games will likely reach a "top" in terms of graphic, fps, sound... etc

#60 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@NoelVeiga said:

@Seppli said:

The lowering of the barrier of entry is of significance, because it increases the market potential extremely. Your fallacy is to assume that the industry wouldn't try to develop products for this broader market. I could imagine interactive crime or romance novels to be a big hit with stay-at-home females, offering interactivity perfectly controllable by the lowliest of tv remotes.

You are mixing two things here again. I agree, lowering the entry point in price AND design brings more people over... to Angry Birds and Wii Sports.

Those games are already far below the technical capabilities of the hardware we are using today, so no concern on hardware specs or development cost there.

But that money that goes into the industry at large doesn't go into games that push the visual and gameplay envelope. The barrier there isn't tech or price, it's design, and if you design triple A hardcore games for the mainstream, you'll likely lose both. The point I was making is that there isn't a version of Darksiders that appeals to the mainstream. Even for free that won't happen.

As for multi-window sales, just like movies, it's all about timing. A product trickles down from release price to budget price to flate rate and streaming services. For streaming services it's imaginable that there will be a spotify-like free tier of service, that's advertisment supported and comes in lower fidelity, as well as multi-tiered subscription models for more and better access to a comprehensive library of games. Surely there will also always be a market for dedicated gaming hardware too, with experience enhancing devices like the rumored omni viewer for the PS4, or the projection device for the next Xbox - for the customer-base we are part of - the enthusiast gaming market.

I already mentioned this, but the reason why this doesn't work is that you are getting the same experience from all of those potential windows. A guy that watches a film on a theatre is MORE likely, not less, to buy the DVD or Blu-Ray. A person that purchases a game at retail... already owns the game. If you want to monetize that guy further you have to create new content, and then you're back to spending money, instead of putting your movie on a disc and calling it a day. So the problem of the idea of that Spotify-like service is that whoever signs up for that will stop buying games at retail, and whoever buys all their games at retail will not have a need to sign up for any of those other things.

In the end, those models are treading water, because the hard cap of the industry isn't the amount of people in the world, it's the amount of people interested by the experience you're providing. Triple A games are enjoyed by a tiny amount of people. Being generous, maybe the 150-odd million that purchased a PS2 at any point in history. That's less than the amount of people that went to watch The Avengers, and you're lucky if you get 5 to 10% of that to buy your game in any format. In case I'm not being clear here, this means that if you convinced every moviewatcher that went to see any given action film this summer to also buy one videogame, that game would outsell Modern Warfare by a ratio of anywhere between 5 to 1 and 20 to 1.

Yeah. The cap here is not technology or money, the cap is... well, appeal. You can deliver the content however you want, but with the amount of people willing to play the triple A games the industry is making the math just doesn't work. We need more people interested in games. If games got the penetration of the iPad (which is more expensive than any available console) this would be a different conversation. Apple sold 75 million iOS devices in three months. That's more than the lifetime sales of the 360, at a higher price point.

Okay. I think I better understand your points now, and you talk sense. Thanks for taking the time to further elaborate. Though I believe in the long run, virutal experiences will develop irrefutable mass appeal - along the lines of cyber blowjobs and virtual cocaine. Realistically within the foreseeable future however, your point of view makes a lot of sense.

I believe, the more time passes, the more gaming-literate people are out there - and if games keep getting better and better, it will be harder and harder to *not see* their appeal. It's a medium with the potential of being *better than life*. In many ways, it already can be. At least that's my outlook on gaming.

#61 Posted by NoelVeiga (1100 posts) -

@leebmx said:

@NoelVeiga: I've really enjoyed reading your posts in this thread. Some interesting stuff to think about. Puts in perspective the boastful claims by Activision for MW3 or COD:BLOPS to be the biggest entertainment launch in history everytime it comes out.

Thanks!

It's the biggest in terms of revenue on a single window. I don't want to minimize it, because it's huge. What I'm saying here is that it's still about getting 60 bucks from maybe 10 or 15 million people and then hopefully getting another 60 bucks through DLC from a bunch of those. It's a relatively closed, relatively niche market that is being tapped very extensively, rather than the "blue ocean" movie approach of getting everybody to go give them some money once or twice every so often. The result is that growth is hard, even if there are a bunch of people not giving them money.

The real shame (and danger) is that Hollywood, for all the crap they get, can manage to be less risk-averse than the gaming industry. They can gamble 200 million on something nuts like The Avengers, or fund mid-size weird stuff like Fight Club or Scott Pilgrim. If a bet that large goes bust in gaming, most companies would have to go out of business (cue THQ reference).

Things are changing quickly, though. I, for one, am very interested to see where all these cool little indie games end up going, and each of them is larger and more intricate than anything ever made for the SNES.

#62 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3860 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

@ArtisanBreads: Well I think this generation was a big leap too, but not as big of a leap as PS1 to PS2, certainly not as big of a leap as SNES to PS1, and if current spec rumors are even close to accurate, it sounds like the jump from PS3 to PS4 will be even less significant than this one was. I do think that we have many years to come where we will be pushing the boundaries of AI, physics, and scale, but I have my doubts about whether or not these improvements will continue to fundamentally improve gameplay. Also I think the more advanced the specs become, the more expensive and time consuming it will be to develop for. So we will see a lot of game studios struggle to keep up as a result of this, and what fun would amazing specs be if it meant only companies like EA and Activision could afford to actually stress the technology?

I do agree that AAA development is becoming a bit difficult... but it will always exist in some form. I believe engines and tools will help the process as well over time, so that expenses can come down.

But I guess where you see this generation as a smaller leap relatively, I would just stress while that may be true, that doesn't make it insignificant. As I put in my last post, open world games are a great example of what has been added this generation to our games. PS2 era we had our GTA with very primitive graphics, no physics, no real aiming mechanics, poor draw distance, etc. Now GTA IV and Red Dead have the best character physics systems in any game. They are full fledged shooters with a ton going on on screen. We have games like Red Faction Guerilla with destruction of the environment in an open world. We have Just Cause 2's scale.

Even with these games devs are picking and choosing. Next gen we may be able to see a game, say Just Cause 3, that has Natural Motion-esque animation on characters, Red Faction like building destruction, and the same or bigger scale than Just Cause 2.

Hell, another good example is crowds. The Hitman games have been the only games to even accurately create a crowd. This would add a lot to other games as well.

Maybe these sound small to you, but to me they add up and some, like say Red Faction Guerillas destruction, are true game changers.

#63 Posted by NoelVeiga (1100 posts) -

@Seppli said:

Okay. I think I better understand your points now, and you talk sense. Thanks for taking the time to further elaborate. Though I believe in the long run, virutal experiences will develop irrefutable mass appeal - along the lines of cyber blowjobs and virtual cocaine. Realistically within the foreseeable future however, your point of view makes a lot of sense.

I, for one, hail our future cyber blowjob market and foresee it to overtake the remainder of the print magazine industry :)

@Fredchuckdave said:

@NoelVeiga said:

In the end, those models are treading water, because the hard cap of the industry isn't the amount of people in the world, it's the amount of people interested by the experience you're providing. Triple A games are enjoyed by a tiny amount of people. Being generous, maybe the 150-odd million that purchased a PS2 at any point in history. That's less than the amount of people that went to watch The Avengers, and you're lucky if you get 5 to 10% of that to buy your game in any format. In case I'm not being clear here, this means that if you convinced every moviewatcher that went to see any given action film this summer to also buy one videogame, that game would outsell Modern Warfare by a ratio of anywhere between 5 to 1 and 20 to 1.

The rest of your argument is okay but this whole segment is largely false; unless you're suggesting we expand all video game endeavors to China and India (and drastically lower the price); the worldwide audience may exceed 150 million (for a handful of films mind you, not "any given action film") but in the context of $60 vs $5-15 only one fourth would have to match the same; the next time any entertainment launch of any kind reaches 600 million individual sales worldwide be sure to let me know. Calling the PS2 "fringe" is a bit ridiculous, and the two markets reinforce each other quite frequently. There are a number of films that rely almost solely on the CoD kiddie audience to sell; Battle: Los Angeles for starters.

Your rebuttal is entirely out of context with the comment. I was illustrating the amount of people that are active consumers on both markets. We had already discussed the differences in pricing and business model elsewhere.

#64 Posted by upwarDBound (654 posts) -

No. This generation has been good but it could be much better. We can't even play many of the games we have now with a smooth framerate, so absolutely not.

#65 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

Dude, no.

#66 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5495 posts) -

@NoelVeiga: Again the target audience is 12-25 year old males with some crossover in the 25-35 market; if you restrict movie ticket sales to only that audience in the United States and Europe then you'd come up with a comparable number for major releases (adjusting for price as needed). The Worldwide market is artificially bloated in the case of movies and plenty of movies that would have failed or only succeeded mildly domestically have gone on to succeed incredibly worldwide; some farcical examples include Pirates 4 and the Ice Age films.

#67 Posted by NoelVeiga (1100 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: I... am not sure who you're arguing with, but I'm pretty sure it isn't me...

#68 Posted by BelligerentEngine (345 posts) -

More like Eight-Four Gay...

#69 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

PROTIP: If 8-4 said it, it's probably wrong.

#70 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3860 posts) -

@Jrinswand said:

PROTIP: If 8-4 said it, it's probably wrong.

As far as tech, YES.

#71 Posted by buft (3318 posts) -

i picked no because obviously as time goes on older PC's will struggle to play newer games but in saying that, if you've bought a Reasonably powerful PC in the recent past its almost certainly going to play games that are coming out. Games most recently tend to scale incredibly well so that the a broader range of people can play them.

#72 Posted by big_jon (5732 posts) -

No, I can't wait for a new Xbox.

#73 Posted by Hunter5024 (5691 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads: Yeah I totally agree with you, we definitely aren't there yet, and we do have a long way to go still. I just think we're inching closer and closer towards the point of semi-insignificance.

#74 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5495 posts) -

@NoelVeiga: Ah the old feign confusion internet trope, works wonders! Anyway it's fine if you just abandoned that section of your argument since comparing two distinctly different markets without a filtration method is completely useless unless you're only discussing the potential impacts of said markets on one another (as opposed to saying one market is niche but implying that it could possibly compete with another market that was designed to reach out to 10, 20, even 50 times as many people).

#75 Edited by tourgen (4505 posts) -

I hope we aren't hitting a hardware plateau. That would be sad and suck some of the fun out of gaming.

Right now our gaming worlds are mostly static geometry. maybe a few dynamic objects. maybe if you're lucky a few pre-computed destruction bits. But fully dynamic and simulated environments are coming. kind of like minecraft but with 64^3+ mesh resolution with fluid dynamics, thermal transfer, and forces. Yeah that's over 1TB of memory and the ability to load & process it, and that sound ridiculous now, but give it 10 years. It's going to be amazing. You'll look back at hand-designed polygon worlds like Skyrim and say, "God damn how did we look at this garbage and not choke on our own vomit?" Kind like like trying to play tomb raider on a ps1 now.

and of course there is real-time ray tracing. that would be cool to see taken mainstream sometime soon.

#76 Edited by NoelVeiga (1100 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave said:

@NoelVeiga: Ah the old feign confusion internet trope, works wonders! Anyway it's fine if you just abandoned that section of your argument since comparing two distinctly different markets without a filtration method is completely useless unless you're only discussing the potential impacts of said markets on one another (as opposed to saying one market is niche but implying that it could possibly compete with another market that was designed to reach out to 10, 20, even 50 times as many people).

For the love of shit, I already told you I didn't compare the two *markets*, I merely listed some factoids as an attempt to provide a perspective of the NUMBER OF PEOPLE that participate on each market. You came in and started pointing out that one of the products is more expensive than the other (which we had already mentioned multiple times before you joined the party). The point was never that gaming isn't a large industry or that it doesn't move revenue, but quite the opposite: that triple A gaming drives a lot of revenue from a relatively small group of people with a relatively uniform set of cultural likes and dislikes.

The point, again, is that gaming risks becoming a niche market, large or small, in the way comic books did in the US. The point, again, is that this is a bad thing for creativity, as it reinforces a uniform set of design sensibilities. The point is that this is in turn causing the gaming industry to move towards areas of growth that the mainstream is interested in, through things like mobile gaming. The point, ultimately, is that these areas of blue ocean growth don't need powerful hardware to drive business.

Which is what the thread is about.

For the record, I wasn't "feigning confusion", I was insulting your reading comprehension and suggesting that you sound like a crazy person. There's a difference.

#77 Posted by leebmx (2244 posts) -

@NoelVeiga said:

@leebmx said:

@NoelVeiga: I've really enjoyed reading your posts in this thread. Some interesting stuff to think about. Puts in perspective the boastful claims by Activision for MW3 or COD:BLOPS to be the biggest entertainment launch in history everytime it comes out.

Thanks!

It's the biggest in terms of revenue on a single window. I don't want to minimize it, because it's huge. What I'm saying here is that it's still about getting 60 bucks from maybe 10 or 15 million people and then hopefully getting another 60 bucks through DLC from a bunch of those. It's a relatively closed, relatively niche market that is being tapped very extensively, rather than the "blue ocean" movie approach of getting everybody to go give them some money once or twice every so often. The result is that growth is hard, even if there are a bunch of people not giving them money.

The real shame (and danger) is that Hollywood, for all the crap they get, can manage to be less risk-averse than the gaming industry. They can gamble 200 million on something nuts like The Avengers, or fund mid-size weird stuff like Fight Club or Scott Pilgrim. If a bet that large goes bust in gaming, most companies would have to go out of business (cue THQ reference).

Things are changing quickly, though. I, for one, am very interested to see where all these cool little indie games end up going, and each of them is larger and more intricate than anything ever made for the SNES.

I find this question so interesting, because I think the next generation of consoles are a very crucial test of how people want to consume and play games in the future and what the market will bear as regards games of different size and budget. I think the hope and expectation of most of the people in this thread, and most 'gamers' in general is that the tech and power of gameplay is going to continue at steady pace until we are all living in virtual worlds. However this might not be the case and we might plateau a lot sooner than many people think. I think the fact that we are still in a console generation which has been twice as long as any previous should give any techno-fantasist pause for thought.

I don't have the figures but all the talk I hear is that game sales (or at least boxed, full price game sales) have dropped off over the last few years. If new consoles coming out and games getting brighter and more intelligent gets people to start spending money again then that is good news as it means the market is excited by new and more powerful tech but if not........

A positive will be if Microsoft and Sony manage to position their new machines as hubs for home entertainment which might mean getting controllers in a lot more people's hands, even if initially they are only using them to switch on Netflix. Then their big problem, as far as gaming goes, will be to convert these people who are using their Xbox to watch TV or whatever to start picking up games - if they can do this then the sky's the limit. But for tech to move forward fast these need to be AAA games people are playing and games makers are going to have to get a lot better at speaking to, and making games for, potential audiences they are not currently very good at understanding. Otherwise, as you say, tech-intensive gaming will remain just a niche, although a profitable one for the best publishers and creators.