#1 Posted by VictoryBlixt (117 posts) -

During the PS4 conference today the games looked very good, but they looked like the games we already have but with a higher poly count but essentially the same. When you go back and look at the difference between PS2 games and their sequels on the PS3 the difference is staggering, the games shown today all look like they could be scaled down to run on the PS3. Did anyone else feel that the graphics, while impressive, weren't that impressive? Am I simply too jaded to appreciate the awesomness of PS4 graphics?

#2 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19155 posts) -

Like Vinny said, the last big leap was from the last generation into the current one (PS2 to PS3). From now, the technical advancements will be more minor or subtle than that.

So yes, I suppose we have. I still think things like Killzone and deep down looked amazing from a graphical standpoint, however.

#3 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

They were impressive graphics but after Crysis 3 hitting this week it wasn't quite as big an impact as it may have been otherwise, for me.

I wanted to fall asleep during the another driving game and another Killzone parts.

At this point I just want to see some serious AI improvements and larger worlds littered with content, not large worlds that are devoid of soul and things to do like most open world games.

#4 Edited by SuliPatchouli (18 posts) -

They weren't that impressive compared to many contemporary computer games. They could always get better though.

#5 Posted by VictoryBlixt (117 posts) -

@sooty said:

They were impressive graphics but after Crysis 3 hitting this week it wasn't quite as big an impact as it may have been otherwise, for me.

I wanted to fall asleep during the another driving game and another Killzone parts.

At this point I just want to see some serious AI improvements and larger worlds littered with content, not large worlds that are devoid of soul and things to do like most open world games.

Yes what I want from this generation is games that simply weren't possible on the PS3, a la Assassin's Creed 1 and the PS2

#6 Posted by Willy105 (4686 posts) -

I feel we reached that when I first saw footage of the 360 in 2005.

#7 Posted by hidys (1028 posts) -

If your were looking for large leaps in visual quality you weren't going to find them nor will you ever see them again in new consoles. There will likely be improvements in physics, ai etc that will be clear next gen.

#8 Edited by TruthTellah (7647 posts) -

The more leaps you will be seeing is in what developers can achieve in games, the physics involved, and the overall depth. So, even when graphics aren't making a massive leap, you're actually seeing depth added to experiences. That's the true potential of the next generation.

#9 Posted by videogamesarenotart (121 posts) -

its just the effect of capitalism that inhibits progress

#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4282 posts) -

The more leaps you will be seeing is in what developers can achieve in games, the physics involved, and the overall depth. So, even when graphics aren't making a massive leap, you're actually seeing depth added to experiences. That's the true potential of the next generation.

People said that shit the last time, too, and that there's no way Sony could make a game that looked as good as the Killzone 2 target demo. And then Killzone 2 came out and looked so much better than the target demo.

Point is, people can't chart the path for graphical fidelity until they've gotten enough context to do so. That comes with the new hardware and seeing what kind of muscle developers flex. I imagine we'll see some amazing looking games in the first two years (Watch Dogs is fucking gorgeous) but we won't see the truly "next gen" stuff until after that two year mark.

#11 Posted by Max_Cherry (1111 posts) -

What are you talking about? Did you see that old dude's face!?

#12 Edited by Grelik (132 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: are you talking about the pre rendered footage of killzone 2 that was shown and played off as in game? because i recall the game came out and the graphics were significantly worse than the first trailers shown of the game...

#13 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

What are you talking about? Did you see that old dude's face!?

Showing one guys face on screen isn't that impressive. I would wager a similar level of detail is entirely possible on the current consoles.

#14 Posted by Kohe321 (3522 posts) -

Nah, this looks insanely good. Some of the games presented, like watch dogs and that dragon dungeon crawler thing, looks to be just a big leap as the PS2 to Ps3. Or that face and skin technology. Seriously, imagine an RPG with that stuff.

So no, this doesn't seem like a minute improvement with diminishing returns. Far from it.

#15 Posted by ShaggE (5982 posts) -

Remember, this is launch stuff we're seeing, and incomplete launch stuff at that. Look at your 360/PS3 launch titles real quick, as a refresher. The leap is still quite notable.

#16 Posted by Morningstar (2048 posts) -

Hopefully we'll get games that play better , and AI that behave better, I don't need such a huge graphical leap.

#17 Posted by Branthog (7332 posts) -

Returns aren't always going to be graphical realism, itself. There's a certain degree of perceptive-improvement. That is, environmental things that add to the overall experience. More complexity of an environment, versus fewer high polycount models. Additionally, remember that we're watching these all on 1080 screens. I do my PC gaming at 2560x1600, so even the most powerful thing on 1920x1080 (like a console) is going to look a little less impressive to me, I think.

Also, consoles are generally using commodity hardware. The only thing holding us back from mind-blowing stuff right now are development budgets, console-focused development, and return-on-investment focused development where good enough is good enough. Take someone known for utter overkill insanity and put their output on today's beefiest consumer hardware on a PC and your brain will be fried.

We are a very long way from reaching some sort of plateau, as far as technological potential. We may reach a point where manufacturers and developers stop exploiting and demanding more (probably not), but we are very far from a "well, that's all we can accomplish!" point. Even in twenty years, nothing in a game will even remotely compare to the absolute complexity of a real world environment and everything you see on the PS4 in 2013 will look dated as fuck in five or ten years. The number of sounds, diffusion of sounds, and different things that can impact sounds and how they are projected and perceived are infinite. Same with the complexity of lighting, shadows, the way natural things look and move.

I remember thinking how nothing could ever look more realistic than Mortal Kombat in the arcades, in the 90s. So people who say that about games today kind of make me chuckle.

#18 Posted by TruthTellah (7647 posts) -

@truthtellah said:

The more leaps you will be seeing is in what developers can achieve in games, the physics involved, and the overall depth. So, even when graphics aren't making a massive leap, you're actually seeing depth added to experiences. That's the true potential of the next generation.

People said that shit the last time, too, and that there's no way Sony could make a game that looked as good as the Killzone 2 target demo. And then Killzone 2 came out and looked so much better than the target demo.

Point is, people can't chart the path for graphical fidelity until they've gotten enough context to do so. That comes with the new hardware and seeing what kind of muscle developers flex. I imagine we'll see some amazing looking games in the first two years (Watch Dogs is fucking gorgeous) but we won't see the truly "next gen" stuff until after that two year mark.

Well, sure. Graphical fidelity will certainly be nice this time around. My point is simply in the expansion of what developers can do, and it is best shown in next gen dev tools. You can still focus on shaders, but the actual development process with next gen engines will allow for easier testing of features, individualization of locations and characters, more variety to experiences, and other areas of gameplay and design depth. That's what you'll be seeing once developers start switching over to newer engines for games releasing in 2014 and beyond.

#19 Edited by SlashDance (1758 posts) -

I don't know. The first few 360 games didn't look that much better than Doom 3 or Chaos Theory. Gears of War was probably the first one that made you think "ok, I can see a pretty huge difference now", and even that basically looks like shit compared to what we have now on current consoles.

For early PS4 software I thought what they showed looked pretty damn good. (not counting the bullshit tech demos).

#20 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4282 posts) -

@grelik said:

@oldirtybearon: are you talking about the pre rendered footage of killzone 2 that was shown and played off as in game? because i recall the game came out and the graphics were significantly worse than the first trailers shown of the game...

The target demo looked like a more anti-aliased version of GRAW2 with Killzone assets where as Killzone 2 both aesthetically and visually is a massive leap forward. Go and find video of the target demo and then play some of Killzone 2. You'll see just how much better that game actually looks.

The same thing happened with all of that pre-rendered crap at the launch of this generation. Eight years on we're leaps and bounds ahead of what we thought to be "impossible" back in 2005-2006.

Well, sure. Graphical fidelity will certainly be nice this time around. My point is simply in the expansion of what developers can do, and it is best shown in next gen dev tools. You can still focus on shaders, but the actual development process with next gen engines will allow for easier testing of features, individualization of locations and characters, more variety to experiences, and other areas of gameplay and design depth. That's what you'll be seeing once developers start switching over to newer engines for games releasing in 2014 and beyond.

I wasn't arguing that we're going to get better physics and the like, only that I chuckle when people say "that's it, we're at about as good as games can look" when, as @Branthog mentioned above, people can remember saying that about Mortal Kombat in the arcades. Hell, I remember 3D gameplay being impossible to comprehend outside of a first person perspective like Doom. S'it.

#21 Posted by VictoryBlixt (117 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: But when do you reach the point of diminishing returns of money required to make a game look amazing and sales, the cost of developing games is skyrocketing and the more realistic the game the more money that must be spent

#22 Edited by aquamarin (553 posts) -

I remember thinking during the N64 days that I bet in two gens we'll have games that look basically like real life, which would have been this (360) gen. I do think developers kinda hit their stride about midway through the gen due to effects, lighting and shading that really trick the eye into seeing some realistic looking things, such that IMO, some of this gens games won't look like total shit in a number of years. That said though, I still look forward to some "holy shit I can't believe this is a game" moments coming up.

#23 Edited by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

I don't know dude, Capcom's tech demo looked pretty insane to me.

#24 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4479 posts) -

I'll be interested when they have the Witcher 3; meanwhile Crysis 3 awaits!

#25 Edited by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -

I thought Uncharted looked pretty good but then Uncharted 2 looked way better. So I think there is a potential for the games to look better. Correct me if Im wrong but wont the next big leap in console graphics happen after TVs with more pixels become more popular? I have no clue when it comes to these kinds of things.

#26 Edited by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

at the risk of blasphemy, graphics don't really impress me anymore. they'll continue to get better incrementally. a strong art-style (a la journey) always makes up for whatever limitations there are.

the future is behavioral AI. you can't really show that in a succinct demo- but that's where i'm expecting the next great leap will be. who knows when, however.

#27 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

@shagge said:

Remember, this is launch stuff we're seeing, and incomplete launch stuff at that. Look at your 360/PS3 launch titles real quick, as a refresher. The leap is still quite notable.

Exactly. Games are only going to be as good as we know how to make them. Currently, we know how to maximize the power of the current consoles, but no one knew how to do that when they were first released. I urge people to go see find the live stream of Jeff playing Perfect Dark Zero on the 360. Launch title that looks / plays like complete shit compared to games today, yet got great reviews.

Once developers start making more games for the systems they will stretch the limits and start producing games that look even more amazing than what was shown today. It just takes time. I think the games they showed looked great and imagine what comes out when they spend another 2 years tinkering with it.

Personally, I was very happy with the way the graphics looked in their demos. Especially when they were probably making the games originally for the PS3 then ended up moving development onto the PS4 once they got the dev kits. I am not sure what kind of graphics people were expecting, but it met my expectations. I am excited more for the raw processing power and RAM enhancements that will help tremendously with gameplay and new mechanics; that's why I play games.

#28 Posted by AiurFlux (899 posts) -

In terms of graphics, yes. But in terms of gameplay not really. Watch Dogs looks fucking amazing because of what it allows you to do. That's the goal for this generation I feel, putting games back into the hands of the players. The day of the corridor shooter has to die, and it has to die soon. That Killzone demo, while pretty, just didn't do anything for me because of the linearity. I want a game where I can have multiple paths and options for doing a mission, and if I exhaust all those paths by fucking up I can go back to an exhausted path and just fucking try batter my way in like a tank. That is where gaming absolutely has to go otherwise it will stagnate and a console crash will happen. People will get bored of the same shit over and over. There are only so many times that Activision can pump out generic Call of Duty games before people say fuck off. There are only so many times that EA can pump out generic Call of Duty clones before people say fuck off. Maybe it's taking longer than it should, but it will happen.

#29 Edited by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

@aiurflux: I wouldn't say EA pumps out Call of Duty clones. 90% of the people that buy Battlefield buy it because it gives them what Call of Duty doesn't -- massive open maps where they can fly, drive tanks, tactically ambush people, etc. I do agree CoD style is stale, but you can't fault them for trying to get some of that market. Especially for those like me that loved the first Medal of Honor more than the original Call of Duties.

#30 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Yes, screw graphics. Crysyis 3 looked great but gameplay was EHHH

#31 Posted by Pezen (1466 posts) -

History repeats itself. I remember people saying the same thing between PS1 to PS2 and PS2 to PS3. Every time it's "graphics will look just mildly better." And yet when that generation comes and you're in it, going back to the previous one is a stark reminder that things have improved. Also, these days we're just too constantly fed with updates that the big "jumps" doesn't feel as big because we've slowly been getting used to prettier graphics over time by being on the internet.

#32 Posted by Dauthi693 (129 posts) -

@pezen said:

History repeats itself. I remember people saying the same thing between PS1 to PS2 and PS2 to PS3. Every time it's "graphics will look just mildly better." And yet when that generation comes and you're in it, going back to the previous one is a stark reminder that things have improved. Also, these days we're just too constantly fed with updates that the big "jumps" doesn't feel as big because we've slowly been getting used to prettier graphics over time by being on the internet.

Doesn't help when at places like E3 the demo run off PCs making it seem like there isn't that big of a leap.

#33 Posted by louiedog (2330 posts) -
@pezen said:

History repeats itself. I remember people saying the same thing between PS1 to PS2 and PS2 to PS3. Every time it's "graphics will look just mildly better." And yet when that generation comes and you're in it, going back to the previous one is a stark reminder that things have improved. Also, these days we're just too constantly fed with updates that the big "jumps" doesn't feel as big because we've slowly been getting used to prettier graphics over time by being on the internet.

I agree. I've been playing games since the 80s. The last two generational shifts had the exact same things being said. The previous generation had that big shift from 2D to 3D and I guess was a bit more apparent to people because I don't remember it from them.

However, I do remember similar things from PC hardware discussion. Pentium 200 MMX? Isn't that overkill? Just get the 166, games aren't going to look that much better. 8 MB of video ram, what for?

When you go back and look at PS2 graphics compared to today, it is staggering. When you go back and look at PS3 launch title graphics (and performance), it's much less so. What you saw last night were early PS4 games and targets they were aiming for. In 5 years no one is gong to look back and think, "damn, they were right, we didn't need new consoles."

#34 Posted by Veektarius (4147 posts) -

I think that a consequence of the long console cycle is that serious gamers and developers have begun converting/optimizing to PC, and thus are more familiar with the upper bound of what tech can accomplish right now. If this had happened three years ago and people were still tightly in the clutches of the consoles, they'd have less perspective and probably would be more impressed with a system that could pump out, say, Witcher 2 style graphics, especially given how few companies had attempted to achieve that level of fidelity on the platform until recently. Not that 2010 was a good time to release a console, I'm just talking about perception.

Since PC capabilities are on a continuum, consoles are never going to impress except from the perspective of cost-effectiveness or hardware innovation (e.g. the Wiimote) to someone cognizant of current computer hardware.

#35 Posted by TooWalrus (12973 posts) -

i started playing inFamous last night. Its fun, buy not particularly pretty, a little more power is going to go a long way- gaming NEEDS new consoles.

#36 Posted by stryker1121 (1237 posts) -

Is there a ceiling to hit in terms of graphics? More important is better gameplay, better AI, and by all means better story-telling. Give me "next-gen" in all those categories and I'll give you my money, gladly.

#37 Posted by Winternet (7936 posts) -

Until we reach VR/AR heaven, yes.

#38 Posted by gorkamorkaorka (430 posts) -

"Nintendo didn't really update the graphics much for OoT 3D."
"I think they just redid the textures."

Remember how many people said things like this when Ocarina of Time 3D came out? People don't realize how "bad" older games actually looked. It didn't help that a lot of us saw Crysis 3 on a PC a few days ago but it's quite obvious from some of the demos (the one with the dragon) that the PS4 is leaps and bounds beyond the PS3.

#39 Posted by MAGZine (435 posts) -

@gorkamorkaorka: the difference of graphics between N64 and OOT3D were pretty obvious to me, but that's probably because I had played the game in the last year and people have some pre-conceived notion of any game not looking like Crysis to be balls.

Seriously. Play Goldeneye 64 on a 50" TV and tell me that graphics improvement is only been "incremental". Even comparing games at the beginning and end of a generation will be like WHOA. Or cross-platform. Load up metro 2033 on XBOX, then on PC on Ultra.

#40 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@gorkamorkaorka said:

It didn't help that a lot of us saw Crysis 3 on a PC a few days ago but it's quite obvious from some of the demos (the one with the dragon) that the PS4 is leaps and bounds beyond the PS3.

The sad thing about Crysis 3 is it doesn't actually look much better than Crysis which is 6 years old this year. I'm not sure what's going on there, or why Crysis still remains among the best looking games out. Either PC hardware didn't evolve fast enough or developers having to cater for consoles for so long this generation has held things back severely.

#41 Posted by Pr1mus (3513 posts) -

Graphics are fine and all but what i really want from better hardware is for the AI to finally leave 1998.

#42 Posted by TheHT (10279 posts) -

It's the first reveal, so I highly doubt we'd have gotten much more than games showcasing the tech.

Knack wasn't incredibly realistic and the gameplay mostly resembled a Crash Bandicoot game, but it all looked like a proper Pixar movie. And of course that million-object physics stuff is central to that game.

Watch Dogs looked like another open world thing, but the Chicago depicted in it was far more believable that any other open world I've seen. Where other games look unnaturally condensed, everything looked more proportional to a regular city. Plus if that's actually got online play where other players are going about helping or hindering a single player? Couldn't see that happening on current tech on the same scale or with much more than having a gun buddy or player-controlled goons.

Then you've got the "how good do cars look" game and the "how sharp does this sci-fi city look" game and the like. Though you did have Media Molecule up there with their sculpting and puppeteering thing, which was pretty cool.

#43 Posted by Scrawnto (2413 posts) -

It's funny, as a graphics nerd I've actually been pretty impressed by a lot of the stuff I saw. Some of the scenes I saw in Deep Down looked like ENBSeries stuff you see coming out of mod communities on the PC, which can still bring all but the beefiest PCs to their knees. I don't know if I'm just more receptive to the incremental changes than most, but I thought the differences were pretty clear.

Also yeah, of course it's not going to look much better than the best of the best out there on the PC. What do you think those demos were running on? You have to consider what raising the baseline of performance will do for the industry as a whole, and especially open worlds. With that much RAM, I'm willing to bet you won't see much texture pop-in next generation, and maybe we won't have any more Crysises shoehorned into tight corridors and valleys.

#44 Posted by pyrodactyl (1643 posts) -

The deep down footage was really impressive

#45 Posted by BBAlpert (1259 posts) -

I like to look at old magazine covers like these to keep things in perspective, but I wouldn't argue that there isn't some amount of plateauing when it comes to game graphics.

#46 Posted by phantomzxro (1532 posts) -

Sure but i think I'm also pass the point of needing some huge jump in graphics. I just want games to play better. What excites me more is seeing how smooth these games play and how AI and overall performance is flawless. I want it so we no longer have to wait 15 to 20 mins (ps3) to download patches at the start of a game. I want to be able to play a game seamlessly without having to download high texture packs or swap between disc (xbox360). I want to be able to enjoy games without having to worry about which version is better in the sense of which one is not buggy or broken.

If we can have a system that we don't have to worry about screen tearing, frame rate drops, or just games that are buggy messes i would be far happier then having an explosion in graphics that will restart all these problems and growing pains as people try to get use to the hardware.

#47 Posted by dungbootle (2454 posts) -

If I can't ask "is that real", then games still don't look good. It's getting better, but we haven't hit a plateau just yet.