Would you care if video game graphics stopped improving today?

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sixghost

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#1  Edited By sixghost

Maybe this is just a by-product of the 360 being the first console I paid for myself, coupled with the fear of having to throw down another $400-500 dollars for the console + accessories again, but I have sort of realized lately that I really wouldn't mind if 360/PS3/Wii was the last console generation ever. Graphics have seemingly gotten to a point where they are respectable enough to convey meaningful stories, as well as impressive gameplay. 


I think I'd much rather see game devs start to focus on improving the supporting aspects of games, i.e. story, writing, voice acting, cinematography, AI, sound desgin, etc.

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natetodamax

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#2  Edited By natetodamax

Probably. They would get old fast if NOTHING changed.

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Skytylz

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#3  Edited By Skytylz

I don't know, this is a hard question.  It would be interesting though to see what directions they take the art in games.  I think it would be alright, companies would quit going for real and go for more imaginary looks.

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inkeiren

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#4  Edited By inkeiren

I would care. Games can be great without amazing graphics, but being able to use higher resolutions, draw distance, and the like allows people to make games with more powerful visuals, and there's nothing shallow about that.

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Fbomb

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#5  Edited By Fbomb

I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world.

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frankxiv

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#6  Edited By frankxiv

no

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Optiow

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#7  Edited By Optiow

I think they will always keep improving, but I would not mind so much...I still play old Ps2 graphics games.

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Jadeskye

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#8  Edited By Jadeskye

yes i would, graphics are not the most important thing in a videogame but they are a sign of ever present progression and immersion.

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Ryax

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#9  Edited By Ryax

if they stopped today, i wouldnt care cuz thats new hardware i wont have to buy.

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FireBurger

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#10  Edited By FireBurger

Yeah, I would care. I know technical graphics aren't everything, but they can certainly help to "transport" you into the game world when they are really good. Plus, storytelling and graphics go hand in hand, which many people fail to realize. If you want a more "touching" story, technical graphics need to improve to better convey emotions and overcome the uncanny valley.
 
Besides, graphical improvements come with greater processing power in general, which is used for plenty of other things beyond just graphics. Personally, I feel like the people who say they don't care about improved graphics don't realize the potential in them. I feel like they would have been the same people who said, "Why would you need color television?"

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Chuggsy

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#11  Edited By Chuggsy

I love being blown away by graphics in games. The scene on the train in Uncharted 2 was the most recent example of my mind exploding. 
 
Also, if all studios stopped focusing on graphics, gameplay and story wouldn't suddenly be amazing. They're 2 completely different development fields, they have almost nothing to do with each other. Games with shitty graphics have shitty stories just as much as amazing looking games.

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FluxWaveZ

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#12  Edited By FluxWaveZ

I wouldn't care.  I don't give a crap that I still play games in SD and I still go back and play old PS2 games (Metal Gear Solid, for example).
 
And seriously, a poll would have been nice to gauge the site's users response to this question.

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#13  Edited By AndrewB

Graphics in games still have a long way to advance, but for the time being I'm happy with things the way they are. I'd much rather see a true 10 year cycle for these things (so long as the level of quality in the hardware design improves enough to make that a reality).

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Cant say i would

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JoelTGM

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#15  Edited By JoelTGM

Eh, bring on the better graphics.  A lot of effort right now is spent on optimizing the games.  I'm sure a lot of devs hate being limited like that, having to spend time picking at the visuals until the game runs at 60 frames per second. 

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Interfect

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#16  Edited By Interfect

What I really want is a real goog cycle with these systems. That pushes them to the max. Has a good lifespan and ends when it really needs to. So no. I would be bummed out if nothing new started to happen after 8 years ish,

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deactivated-57b1d7d14d4a5

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Not really. I'm more worried about physics now.

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sixghost

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#18  Edited By sixghost
@Fbomb said:

" I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world. "

Obviously it's not a black or white choice of improving the graphics instead quality X, but how can you imply that it has no effect at all? Developers have a finite amount of money to develop games, and money spent hiring artists and other graphics people is money that can't be spent to hire more writers, composers, cinematographers, talented voice actors, etc.


Do you honestly think the quality of the stories/dialogue in games games wouldn't skyrocket if they were able to hire 10 professional writers instead of 10 people devoted to the graphical side of things?

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Synchronatic

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#19  Edited By Synchronatic

I really would. The constantly progressing graphics of games is constantly interesting to me, and helps in the immersion of the game world. I mean, I'm not a graphics whore or anything... Okay, maybe just a little bit of a graphics whore but that doesn't make me a bad person!

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RandomHero666

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#20  Edited By RandomHero666

Realistic Graphics can't improve much more, some games are pretty damn lifelike right now.
What i want is more games like BorderlandS & XIII.

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Babble

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#21  Edited By Babble

I'd be good, in my opinion the technology that exists is perfectly adequate, it's how it's used and the art style applied that makes a game look interesting.

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CharlesAlanRatliff

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Yes, though I am fine for quite a while.

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august

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#23  Edited By august

They fucking better keep working on graphics. I want my holodeck before I shuffle off.

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FireBurger

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#24  Edited By FireBurger
@RandomHero666: Sorry, I have to disagree. I think video game graphics are still far from photorealistic. Sure, GT5 running at full speed may fool you at a quick glance, but I've yet to play a game with a fully realized world where I felt like I could reach out and pass my hand through the grass, feel the sun on my face, or what have you. This isn't even to mention the other areas in which gaming can become more immersive (3D, other senses, etc.). That's not to say that games like Borderlands or PoP which put an emphasis on art aren't important, but games still have a long way to go.
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Fbomb

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#25  Edited By Fbomb
@sixghost said:
" @Fbomb said:

" I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world. "

Obviously it's not a black or white choice of improving the graphics instead quality X, but how can you imply that it has no effect at all? Developers have a finite amount of money to develop games, and money spent hiring artists and other graphics people is money that can't be spent to hire more writers, composers, cinematographers, talented voice actors, etc.


Do you honestly think the quality of the stories/dialogue in games games wouldn't skyrocket if they were able to hire 10 professional writers instead of 10 people devoted to the graphical side of things?

"
Ask Bioware. Ask Bethesda. Ask Quantic Dream. 
The graphical portrayal of a game delivers the story, so if you hired 10 writers for 10 million, and blew your budget, I don't think a 2D sidescroller or stiffly animated version of heavy rain or Mass Effect 2 would be as compelling. It's a delicate balance, just like my engine analogy I originally used. Sure you can spend money elsewhere, but what's the point of beefing up suspension, if your car isn't going to be any faster? You say it's not a black and white choice, but then give a black and white example, and I will disagree again, because spending all your money on story won't mean a thing if you can't properly convey it in a graphically compelling way.
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Bigandtasty

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#26  Edited By Bigandtasty

I would care, but not that much.

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gingertastic_10

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#27  Edited By gingertastic_10

If they mix it up different styles then I think it'd be fine.

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sixghost

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#28  Edited By sixghost
@Fbomb said:

" @sixghost said:

" @Fbomb said:

" I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world. "

Obviously it's not a black or white choice of improving the graphics instead quality X, but how can you imply that it has no effect at all? Developers have a finite amount of money to develop games, and money spent hiring artists and other graphics people is money that can't be spent to hire more writers, composers, cinematographers, talented voice actors, etc.


Do you honestly think the quality of the stories/dialogue in games games wouldn't skyrocket if they were able to hire 10 professional writers instead of 10 people devoted to the graphical side of things?

"
Ask Bioware. Ask Bethesda. Ask Quantic Dream.  The graphical portrayal of a game delivers the story, so if you hired 10 writers for 10 million, and blew your budget, I don't think a 2D sidescroller or stiffly animated version of heavy rain or Mass Effect 2 would be as compelling. It's a delicate balance, just like my engine analogy I originally used. Sure you can spend money elsewhere, but what's the point of beefing up suspension, if your car isn't going to be any faster? You say it's not a black and white choice, but then give a black and white example, and I will disagree again, because spending all your money on story won't mean a thing if you can't properly convey it in a graphically compelling way. "

Clearly I didn't mean putting together some shitty looking game as a vehicle for a story. And I meant the choice wasn't black and white in the sense that one aspect of the game doesn't have to completely fall off in order to improve another. In fact the underlying point in this thread was that quality graphics are integral in telling an engaging story, and that I thought the current state of graphics is good enough to use as a platform for improving other aspects. I don't know exactly how the game business works, but I assume the more detail required to be put into the models and environment in the game, the more people, and money,  will be required to finish it. All I'm saying is that in the future I would much rather prefer that most of the inevitable increase in the cost to make games goes toward the other aspects of the game, not just dumping it all into the visuals.


To use your analogy, at some point car manufacturers decided to stop making their cars more and more powerful, and start investing their resources in other aspects of the car, like the interior, safety features, etc. Now obviously they won't completely neglect the engine when they design a car now, but they focus more on making the car more well rounded in other ways. 


Maybe that analogy doesn't exactly work, but I think you understand what I mean.

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deactivated-57b1d7d14d4a5

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@Fbomb said:

" @sixghost said:

" @Fbomb said:

" I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world. "

Obviously it's not a black or white choice of improving the graphics instead quality X, but how can you imply that it has no effect at all? Developers have a finite amount of money to develop games, and money spent hiring artists and other graphics people is money that can't be spent to hire more writers, composers, cinematographers, talented voice actors, etc.


Do you honestly think the quality of the stories/dialogue in games games wouldn't skyrocket if they were able to hire 10 professional writers instead of 10 people devoted to the graphical side of things?

"
Ask Bioware. Ask Bethesda. Ask Quantic Dream.  The graphical portrayal of a game delivers the story, so if you hired 10 writers for 10 million, and blew your budget, I don't think a 2D sidescroller or stiffly animated version of heavy rain or Mass Effect 2 would be as compelling. It's a delicate balance, just like my engine analogy I originally used. Sure you can spend money elsewhere, but what's the point of beefing up suspension, if your car isn't going to be any faster? You say it's not a black and white choice, but then give a black and white example, and I will disagree again, because spending all your money on story won't mean a thing if you can't properly convey it in a graphically compelling way. "
 
Games have been delivering great stories long before 3D. Bioware can tell you from experience. If you think a game without Mass Effects graphics can't be compelling, I will tell you from experience that it can.
 
Graphics can be a great tool in adding atmosphere to a game. More sophisticated technology can aid in developing new stylistic approaches, and this can effect atmosphere in games. But the relationship between graphics and atmosphere is not linear. A text adventure can have great atmosphere. A game with great graphics (Far Cry 2) can have terrible atmosphere. It is not only about what you have, it is about how you use it. Graphics help set the players expectations. Think uncanny valley. What is the player going to accept with x stylistic approach? Game design is not so simple as "better graphics, better game."
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Claude

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#30  Edited By Claude

I like the better AI that comes with improved tech more than graphics. But with power comes both, does it not?

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deactivated-57b1d7d14d4a5

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@Claude: 
AI is much slower, unfortunately. :(
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#32  Edited By Scooper

Yeah I would care. I want shit to look better as time goes on.

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Claude

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#33  Edited By Claude
@Bellum: 
 
Why is that? Do developers rely on the power for graphics over AI?
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davidwitten22

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#34  Edited By davidwitten22

Would you care if schools stopped improving their resources? 
 
We all know graphics are going to keep improving. Honestly, ignoring graphics is just plain lazy. I may love NCAA Football '06 but god knows I don't want to be playing it 10 years from now.

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captain_clayman

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#35  Edited By captain_clayman

i would 
 
it's not so much the REALISTIC look that i care about (hell, crysis looks brand spanking new today and it came out in 2007) 
it's the advancement in physics and animations and stuff.

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#36  Edited By Bear
@sixghost said:
"I really wouldn't mind if 360/PS3/ was the last console generation ever. Graphics have seemingly gotten to a point where they are respectable enough to convey meaningful stories, as well as impressive gameplay. 
"
I agree, for the most part. Visuals in games accomplish what they need to accomplish, and they look great while doing it. It has gotten to the point where graphical improvement will start to have diminishing returns; there's only so far you can go in attempting to simulate reality, and stylistic graphics show even smaller improvements.
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#37  Edited By CandleJakk

I wouldn't want them to stop improving forever, as film and regular television would increase exponentially, making the games look worse by proxy, but I could definitely deal with an hiatus of improvement visually. I'd much rather video games tackle improving their ability to convey meaning & depth in story, and making characters much more able to  relate to.

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Fbomb

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#38  Edited By Fbomb
@sixghost said:

" @Fbomb said:

" @sixghost said:

" @Fbomb said:

" I think you've missed the point. People don't actively choose one aspect of a game and say screw you to the other. It's like saying, car manufacturers should stop improving their engines, and spend more time improving the suspension. It's an amalgamation of all aspects that pushes a game forward, and graphical enhancements are a part of that. Some games can use older graphical technologies adaquately, but others need to push the envelope to better immerse a player in their world. "

Obviously it's not a black or white choice of improving the graphics instead quality X, but how can you imply that it has no effect at all? Developers have a finite amount of money to develop games, and money spent hiring artists and other graphics people is money that can't be spent to hire more writers, composers, cinematographers, talented voice actors, etc.


Do you honestly think the quality of the stories/dialogue in games games wouldn't skyrocket if they were able to hire 10 professional writers instead of 10 people devoted to the graphical side of things?

"
Ask Bioware. Ask Bethesda. Ask Quantic Dream.  The graphical portrayal of a game delivers the story, so if you hired 10 writers for 10 million, and blew your budget, I don't think a 2D sidescroller or stiffly animated version of heavy rain or Mass Effect 2 would be as compelling. It's a delicate balance, just like my engine analogy I originally used. Sure you can spend money elsewhere, but what's the point of beefing up suspension, if your car isn't going to be any faster? You say it's not a black and white choice, but then give a black and white example, and I will disagree again, because spending all your money on story won't mean a thing if you can't properly convey it in a graphically compelling way. "

Clearly I didn't mean putting together some shitty looking game as a vehicle for a story. And I meant the choice wasn't black and white in the sense that one aspect of the game doesn't have to completely fall off in order to improve another. In fact the underlying point in this thread was that quality graphics are integral in telling an engaging story, and that I thought the current state of graphics is good enough to use as a platform for improving other aspects. I don't know exactly how the game business works, but I assume the more detail required to be put into the models and environment in the game, the more people, and money,  will be required to finish it. All I'm saying is that in the future I would much rather prefer that most of the inevitable increase in the cost to make games goes toward the other aspects of the game, not just dumping it all into the visuals.


To use your analogy, at some point car manufacturers decided to stop making their cars more and more powerful, and start investing their resources in other aspects of the car, like the interior, safety features, etc. Now obviously they won't completely neglect the engine when they design a car now, but they focus more on making the car more well rounded in other ways. 


Maybe that analogy doesn't exactly work, but I think you understand what I mean.

"
No, no, the analogy is solid. I can see what you're saying, and I guess I'd agree when you put it that way. I think that the expense for better art direction would be exponentially higher now, and this generation's hardware will stick around longer as a result. There will be a time when we'll have another graphical leap, but that's a lot farher off because of the costs wyou're alluding to. So, yes, I think I was stuck on the idea you were saying it's time to dial back the graphical detail to focus more on story development, when you're actually calling for a scenario where, we've achieved a high level of graphical detail, now it's time to start fleshing out story elements more. And I totally agree. I think Heavy Rain is a great example of this--Mass Effect and Uncharted 2, for that matter. It's no longer about making the most graphically advanced games, what's redfining how we play games now is their story.
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deactivated-57b1d7d14d4a5

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@Claude said:
" @Bellum:   Why is that? Do developers rely on the power that's used on graphics over AI? "
 
Nah, AI is just a genuine pain in the ass to develop. The broader the scope, the less reliable an AI can be. That's why strategy games have so often relied on giving the AI players a handicap.
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Liminality

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#40  Edited By Liminality

Yes.

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Pinworm45

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#41  Edited By Pinworm45

Yes. Graphics aren't everything but better graphics improve other areas. It is, for example, easier to get drawn into a story you're able to connect with the characters, and creating life-like characters is a big part of that, particularly animation. It's part of what makes games like Half-Life 2 and Mass Effect classics.

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#42  Edited By pause422

They won't, so it doesn't matter.

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wwfundertaker

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#43  Edited By wwfundertaker

Not really, becuase it will reach a point where the cant improve the graphics. So this might mean more time will be spent on improving the story and gameplay.

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Yummylee

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#44  Edited By Yummylee

Every game looking like uncharted 2, I could cope.
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#45  Edited By Relys

I'm fine with dwarf fortress. 
 
I really, really, really despise graphics whores.

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#46  Edited By DJL

I guess not, seeing as how some games already look pretty freaking amazing as it is.

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#47  Edited By Meowayne

Would I care?
 
Of course I would. 
 

Graphics not being able to improve anymore would be the best fucking thing in the world.

 
Imagine: Developers being forced to actually pioneer in content. What an amazing utopia this is to imagine!
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#48  Edited By Geno

I don't think graphics have quite gotten there yet. Some games are close, but I think I'll only be satisfied once we reach Avatar-level or what's generally considered Pixar level. That probably won't be until next next gen.  
 
@Meowayne: Why do you think that graphics come in the way of content? If anything, it improves it. Look at the graphics of the Atari 2600, those graphics can't be improved anymore. Are you saying that we should've stayed there? Could anyone ever develop games like Uncharted 2, Mass Effect or Heavy Rain on it? No. Graphics, content and gameplay are locked together. Hardware is used for more than just pixels. 

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#49  Edited By gamer_152  Moderator

I would care. It's not that I'm not happy with the level of realism in todays video game graphics and I appreciate how important art styles are as well in video game graphics, but it seems like there's still so much potential for graphics to improve and when one day we could be looking at photorealism in video games it seems such a waste to throw that all away.

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Superior graphics= better immersion and superior storytelling.