Well, considering that developers spend a lot of their time and effort optimizing for outdated consoles, it kinda does.
Developers can call for new systems all they want, but today's technology isn't what's holding back innovation.
We're nearing the end of the longest console cycle since consoles had distinct cycles. But to hear some tell it, as hardware and packaged software sales have stagnated, the ability and drive to innovate have similarly hit a silicon wall. Alarms have been raised about when the new consoles need to come and what sort of magic they need to be able to work.
2K Games executive Christoph Hartmann's claimed modern games are stuck in a rut of mindless action because they cannot sufficiently portray emotion and human drama without photorealistic graphics. DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson said gamers are tiring of first-person shooters because most do not make enough strides in new ways to render the action. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said developers are being penalized by the long console life span, and "it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity."
These statements from AAA publishers and developers cast away all blame for the middling state of AAA gaming from themselves. They encapsulate the tunnel vision so woefully common among the established ranks of the industry. New technology is not the only or best way to drive creativity, and taking that approach is dismissive to the advancements games have made that weren't driven by technology.
The association between new tech--most often in the form of consoles--and fresh thinking in games is not invalid. The numbers show that companies tend to launch many more new franchises at the beginning of hardware cycles than in the middle or end. But this is only for business reasons: new systems create a market full of consumers eager for any title to justify their expensive purchases. This means publishers can afford to let developers throw their new ideas against the wall and see which ones stick. Those which work out well can be turned into lucrative franchises, and those which don't probably still moved decent numbers thanks to a smaller field of games to compete against.
Eventually the polygons get so small they can no longer be told apart.
Maybe we haven't bought too many new ideas from the neighborhood GameStop and fed them into our consoles recently, but that doesn't mean there are none. Original ideas are springing up everywhere games can be made and (relatively) easily distributed--observe Minecraft and its successful Xbox Live Indie Games clones! Unabashed intellectual theft is the sincerest form of flattery, after all, and a great metric for how successful any given game is at carving out a new market.
But trying new things is a dangerous business, and for every Minecraft there are dozens of innovative efforts languishing in digital indices. So risk is a game for the young and the small. That's why much of the new vocabulary of games is coming from independent developers. It's not only the indies inhabiting Xbox Live or Steam, either. Mobile phone and Facebook titles exploded because their creators gave different kinds of games to different kinds of people in different places than before, without losing much sleep on competing as graphical powerhouses. Current technology seems to be able to handle most of their good ideas just fine.
It wasn't always this way. In previous generations, new hardware did fundamentally change our games. It expanded our perspectives from two dimensions to three. Then it let us play and compete with other people half a world away. The gaming industry grew accustomed to those leaps, and to the spike in sales and interest which came with them. But, in a beautifully succinct demonstration of the law of diminishing returns, eventually the polygons get so small they can no longer be told apart. And yet some people, chiefly those deepest entrenched within the AAA game industry, insist they cannot succeed without more. From all this a likely conclusion emerges.
The canvas is ready. Perhaps we just need more inspired artists.
Video games are about the experience. You want great stories? Put a few billion into a Square and pull off an Enix. You want a good publisher and developer? Send a message to yourself in the past warning of involvement with Electronic Arts; they've been ignoring the smell of their own feces since at LEAST '95.
On a side note, however, there was a generational divide back around 2000. First it was the NES and SNES, which masked the failure of the Virtual Boy, aka 'reverse Scott Summers'. There was the Sega Genesis, which did ok, and introduced Sonic... But then there was also the atrocious SegaCD, and the GameGear, which ate batteries like an M60 eats bullets.
Then came the real era of gaming, where 3d first really stepped onto the scene. If you had brothers or sisters who played, N64 was probably your system (goldeneye and mariokart!). Single children got the PSX if they were lucky (go single player RPGs from square!). In 2000~ when the PS2 was the shizz, and let's be honest, it was better than the gamecube and dreamcast, despite the dreamcast having a cultish following.
Which is when the era of the '12 year olds' started. That would be when you suddenly had young kids screaming over microphones about shooting or getting shot--- those kids seemed to want more CoD, Halo, and graphics. Many of them don't care why or how they got to that spawn point with a rocket launcher, just that now they can kill things without aiming.
So, do we need innovation to make fps better? Nope. FPS would only be better from graphics and the settings in which they took place. Add thousands of more maps and maybe you could pretend that is innovative. Personally, I love chaos in my FPS play... The maps you play 8v8 or 10v10 on, I'd love to play 25v25 or so, with constant 20second respawns; locations like downtown NYC, but you can hide inside streetside shops, all of which are programmed in, each individual candy bar falling with its own physics. Catching on yet? That's silly to try for a console; too much data required while still having lots of maps available at once. Pick one console, your computer.
Unless you want mobile gaming. That's really the only area gaming can improve in technologically---- you can't surpass the computing power of a desktop in your console unless you PUT the computing power of your desktop in your console... and then you just have a larger PS3.
Agree, Bordelands isn't designed to be realistic, it has its own art style that cartoonish looking, yet is an awesome game. I bet they would use the same art style in the next generation but may be more polished and some better physics maybe or something.
Industry is making rounds around the FPS war game genre that sells atm. They fear to go beyond that.
When the industry was in the early time they dared to do more new IP.
I miss Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter. Now all I see is war games, mostly and very few good Action Adventure games, like Uncharted, AC, Darksiders and Dark Souls is an awesome RPG. IP that dared and sell.
Cant wait for the Last of US and Watch Dogs. I know that most of the games I have mentioned are PS exclusives but it is true. Xbox has war games mostly, look Halo and Gears of War. Cant name any other good exclusive.
Anyway, developers need to do something from scratch. Forget what sells atm.
in my opinion, wii u should have a classic controller packaged over the tablet. Tablet is a terrible choice. Why would you trust a Gamespot. San Francisco is pretty weird city. I would trust some website from NEw York City
Doesn't CEO blatantly console limitation is holding them back from developing better games? I like games with new ideas, andriods and ios got new ideas popping up despite being flooded with thousands of clones after the first pioneering success. Ubisoft CEOs shut up already, now you are making console piss off cause already a powerful console is out there.
By the way, how powerful is the WiiU? I know having a game screen on your gamepad is cool, but how WiiU can made third party developers make use of both the gamepad screen with the TV screen when newer consoles came out??? WiiU strategy, if third party can't make innovative use of the gamepad screen, then blame the developers for not being innovative, fire back, cut them down!
Publishers are in control of developers, but it is the audience that is in control of the publisher. If we keep buying shit we will be fed shit all year long. If the Wii U fails I think we will see dark days ahead because it shows that it is gamers that are not willing to embrace new ideas.
The really amazing about humans is that we can empathize with images that aren't fully realistic or even human. That said, we don't need photorealism to make us *feel*. I don't like how developers are using the lack of a new console as a crutch for a lack of innovation.
We will never reach a point were video games become so graphically advanced that they really do become "photo-realistic". But, we can have fun trying to get there. And with each advancement - with each baby-step we make toward that unobtainable goal we have legions of gamers around the world clamoring for more. Why is that? Because video games are a form of technology, of course. Technology is emergent. It's never stagnant.
Sure, it's fun to look back and be nostalgic. We can have fun playing new games look like they could have been made twenty years ago. But, even that gets old (pardon the pun) quick. No, the main driving force of the video game industry should be technological innovation. That's what we gamers love. That's what we crave. And that innovation does indeed fuel an immense amount of creativity.
And that benefits not only big game developers but small indy game makers too. Imagine if the industry never progressed passed the days of the NES. Would we all still be playing video games now? I highly doubt it. So, why stop now? We need to constantly keep pushing the envelope on what we think can be possible with all technology - even video games. Lest we become disinterested in the industry in general and video games (both big and small) all eventually go the way of the dinosaur.
I agree 100% Too many well established game developers are no longer game makers but merely companies making money. Saying that they need new hardware to make a good game is an excuse for being lazy.
Well the game I've been playing non stop for 2 months now is Minecraft....... for me this is proof that gameplay is everything...
Most developers dont have enough time to make good games, as they spend it all for good graphics - comparing the last console gens, its not the graphics that matters for best games, or the hardware to enable best graphics - i cant remember any generation that had the best games on the best looking console. The wii has the best games of this gen, but the worst graphics, while the xbox and ps3 force you to be online with your console and update every game, the wii is more what i console used to be in the past - i and guess everyone who wants to play action games better use a pc with mouse and keys inseadt of crappy gamepad controles for shooting games, a genere somehow destroyed by this console generation. Just look at Crysis and Crysis 2 - 2nd game isnt really bad, but compared to the first its really lame, levels, gameplay all has been changed for console gameplay - like a lot of other games too, max payne, deus ex, all turned out as lame console games. But i think a lot of people controlling the market are just ideots - all they want is a save way to the money - milking everything that sales. Guess its just what happens to creative mediums.
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You didnt find a good game since the ps1, n64 in the mid 90s?!
What is a good game for you? And why do you think we need a console from 6897777777777777777777777432642346234987236467826423489236487236462394623946738467828496239462764923642364762398746237894826
years away to have something equal to 16 and 8 bit era of gaming ...
Just buy yourself a wii, or wait for the wiiu, there are a lot of goo games this gen, but xbox360 havent seen any of them.
publishers are destoying the videogame industry. If control could ever get back in the developers hands us gamers would be in good hands.
Oh and to answer your question "Would Borderlands have been better if it was photorealistic?"
Borderlands would have been better if there wasn't horrible jagged edges and muddy textures everywhere detracting from the overall beauty of the art style. Borderlands would have been better if the facial expressions and emotions of key characters were better expressed through advanced AI. Borderlands would have been better if the devs who came up with this idea could run wild without the limits of current gen consoles, fleshing out an amazing game and world without having to edit themselves due to restrictions.
c'mon, get real.
@cryfreedom66 ... Borderlands looks amazing as it is, both on my PS3 and on my computer, and I've never run into muddy textures. Advanced AI has absolutely nothing to do with graphical capabilities, at all, and if current consoles were "limitless" as you say, then the entire game industry would be spending months after months trying to make games photorealistic to please all gamers who can't appreciate a title for what it really is. We'd all have absolutely nothing but "CoD Ripoffs" and the like. Do you even know what it takes to make 3D models, let alone photorealistic ones? The only reason Crysis 2 and 3 are being released so soon as opposed to nearly every two decades is because they're using finished, recycled material rather than rebuilding it from scratch.
In short, if we continue to focus "innovation" through graphical prowess, devs will have absolutely no time and money to actually innovate the actual gameplay. It's a fact, ask any (real) 3D model designer as I have done.
Am I OPPOSED to new consoles for better tech? Of course not. Am I excited to see the graphical and computing prowess of the Wii U, PS4, or Xbox 720 that follow? Of course I am.
But I'm not going to sit by a lame excuse that claims that they can't do anything innovative with the incredibly impressive technology that they have nowadays. If an indie dev can prove them wrong with Minecraft or Terraria, or Portal, or even Path of Exile, they have no excuse.
@Aleksa8 Im sorry, you seem intelligent enough so I will try to argue constructively. "We'd all have absolutely nothing but "CoD Ripoffs" and the like" this is the current problem, its happening right now, so invalid argument.
"Do you even know what it takes to make 3D models, let alone photorealistic ones?....because they're using finished, recycled material rather than rebuilding it from scratch." -again a current problem. As technology evolves so does the way in which games are made, there has already been a lot of talk about how next gen systems will be easier to develop for and take less time due to advanced dev kits (google it) This current gen has been notoriously hard on developers due to hardware limitations...every major game thats been released in the past 6 years has gone through an editing process in which ambitious ideas and features have been slashed due to limitations.
"But I'm not going to sit by a lame excuse that claims that they can't do anything innovative with the incredibly impressive technology that they have nowadays" I am not claiming that either. Devs and corporations who want to churn out drivel in order to make a quick buck will continue to do that in the next cycle as they do in this one. Advanced tech simply allows creative dev teams to realize an idea to its full potential. Look at peter molyneux, renowned for writing checks his a$$ cant cash aka dreaming big and being shut down by current gen limitations. Imaginitive, creative dev teams exist in this cycle, sure...the advance in the technology will make them even better...argue all you want but i'm right.
As the article suggests, there's nothing wrong with having devs wanting to experiment with new consoles (in fact, as gamers, we encourage it), but claiming that they can only do innovative things with newer consoles and not being capable of doing so with the current gen is ignorant and just a means of cashing in (see above for details on how that even works).
Well if you want to get a little technical about the CoD Ripoffs bit, technically they're more simply "frequent" rather than the only thing in sight. I mean it's possible to find something unique on the store shelves like Borderlands, Skyrim and the like if you were to look around. In the future, however, if graphics take the stage, there won't be any focus on gameplay elements, since people will be too geared to focusing on developing great visuals.
On the other hand, the advanced Dev kits will, for the most part, only allow for more complex animations and graphical details. Whether or not it'll actually make models easier to develop at a realistic level is something I don't see realistically happening at least until AFTER the next generation, but I guess we'll find that out once the next gin finally hits. Regardless, developing animations and graphics is a chore. The Uncharted Trilogy was hardly anything but a minor (you can dislike all you want, but it is what it is) graphical update with each sequel. But that "minor" upgrade was what took so much time and money from Naughty Dog from even attempting something genuinely innovative and unique for the series. Most of each of the games were nothing more than gunfight, scripted event, gunfight, scripted event, et cetera. Unless the superior dev kit honestly makes this all easier, even to the point where it replaces hireing actors with smart, realistic animation AI (for without that bit it STILL won't be a step forward), there will not be any time and money left over to appeal to gamers who want good gameplay. So they have to make a choice: amazing graphics, or amazing gameplay? They will have to compensate, and because of the graphically advanced consoles of the future, they're going to HAVE to lean towards graphics if they want to see a profit; the gamers will expect it from them no matter what the reviews say about how great their gameplay is.
I'm not saying that new consoles won't allow for innovation. Yes, you're right, new consoles will open up a lot of new doors, but my point still stands that there's a LOT that game devs haven't even bothered doing with current gen consoles because they focus too much on graphical prowess rather than legitimately unique gameplay aspects, and that this is just an excuse to either
A) be one of the first to start a new IP with the safety of a new console release (it's one of the surest ways to make sure people actually want to buy your game, as there isn't much of an option to begin with)
B) procrasitnate a little longer so that they rake money in while waiting for a new system. It's already basically what Blizzard's doing with D3. They don't have Online DRM to prevent you from hacking, they have it so that if you get hacked, you're expected to buy another copy to keep playing, while they pretend to help you retrieve an account, which they know would hinder sales, so they never bother.
Geniuses like Peter Molyneux aside, the fact that devs cry for new tech for new ideas is a bad sign altogether. As right as you are about the fact that the current gen has some creative brains in the bunch, it's a safe bet that they're going to have to slide to the focus on graphics (whether even they like it or not) for next gen consoles to justify the game as a legitimate product on a high-end system.
This article is silly. Stop trying to justify this stagnant cycle. Bows and arrows weren't necessary to hunt and kill an animal. The wheel wasn't necessary to move things. Motion pictures weren't necessary for entertainment. I know these are far reaching examples but seriously, this argument can be made against any type of innovation in the history of man.
To put it in perspective, look at the major innovations during the renaissance and tell me that new technology isn't important in the development of an art form. Good grief, cant stop technology people...just accept it.
@cryfreedom66 i like it, we need new consoles will bring in new fresh games the big publishers aree waiting for next cycle bc its going to bring in more sales
i think we need both graphics and gameplay equally . just look at LA noire . the facial animation is just amazing and gameplay too . the problem is we can play game for the good gameplay and ignore the bad graphics. but we cant play a game for good graphics and ignore the crappy gameplay.and now we have good graphics and bad gameplay
wipe away all the shiny bells and whistles and we are all just playing combat on the 2600,...... CoD, duhhh!
I couldn't help but smirk with the shameless plug for Gamestop in there. Are Gamespot and Gamestop sex buddies or what?
@WolfGrey Gamespot is an article website in which ordinary people write articles about video games. Real world references like this one are more than likely to happen in almost ever other article, as they're not competing game dev companies which try to avoid even mentioning another business for fear of "accidental advertising."
I find it strange that 2K Games cry for more realism to better portray characters. NO character was even remotely memorable to me as the entire TF2 cast and even Borderlands (1 AND 2) which 2K Games ironically published. Borderlands used low tech, and not only did it look amazing in every possible way (great visuals with superb lighting and attitude) but it also offered a new simple but effective innovation, the Random Gun Generator. You didn't need the PS4, Wii U, XBox 3, or even a U-Station 720 for that.
Good article but developers shoudn't depend on new consoles to be creative. They should take more risks stop charging for silly dlc costume in games. Im a RPG fan but many of them (except for skyrim) are too similar and don't stand out. Im ready for some new groundbreaking games.
Maybe developers feel the need to reinvent the wheel, because if they make something that has been done before, EA might sue them for IP infringement.
I love how someone always has something to say about what a person needs or doesn't need to to be creative. Creativity and insporation comes from everywhere, so to say that a new consoles won't spark innovation and creativity is ignorant. I for one cant wait for the next xbox.
@bourne714 Creativity has always been about pushing the limit of quality content with what you already have. While it is true that new techs may open the door to new possibilities, it shouldn't be used as an excuse to stop creating. A great game should be about the balance of good content be it the storyline, gameplay and looks. When we talk about fresh ideas, I doubt most gamers are looking for something completely ground-breaking because all we want at the end of the day is a game that is engaging enough for us to spend time with the game. When developers start demanding for new consoles when they "think of new ideas", what will happen ultimately? Are we willing to fork out dollars for new consoles each year? Not me that's for sure.
That is how it is suppose to be why is everyone crying for the next gen. The later they'll release it the better the hardware will be.Enough said.
Up until recently, minecraft sold 9.2 million copies multiplatform - just to put these AAA devs in perspective lets see how that tallies against other games, Minecraft outsold the following - FIFA 12 (Multiplatform), Gears of War 3, Gran Turismo 5, Halo 3 and Reach, Super Mario Galaxy, its even more than Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation 1 only) - so hardware isnt the issue at all
innovation doesnt come with high number of polygons but when full innovation is hard to achieve, the good looks together with little innovation surely will do the job and please many... there are tons of games that are praised by their fancy looks, the only downside is , everything gets old after a couple of times, and the better graphics will be taken for granted and we will always ask for more....smoother animations, better looking environments and characters, longer draw -view distances, higher number of elements on screen at a time, will surely turn many moderate ideas into masterpieces....
limbo awesome game, short and once done you dont go back, battlefield gets alot of praise for its fancier looks, tons of mods for skyrim to make it look better, naughty dog games gets alot of praise for their graphics, imagine them being ps2 quality,
what story could really stun you , now, after so many stories you had witnessed, what matters is how the ideas are executed, the more power will enable better execution maybe...
How about Gamespot credit the people who reply to their articles because this one is simply based off the statements I've read from us readers that have commented on other related stories. Gamespot should be initiating discussions not responding to them...
IMO...I don't think a new console is the answer right now. Systems still sell, games still sell, accessories still sell...everyone is still looking forward to the next version of their favorite game (whatever that may be) and who doesn't buy DLC!? Plus, pre-orders have definitely risen once Companies starting adding marketable bonuses and exclusive extras or add-ons. Save the "next big thing" for at least another 2 years. Like late 2014 or early 2015. There's still plenty of room to make a very good profit...I think Developers and other companies are just starting to get greedy and want to be that "first innovator" to take the next step, even if uneccesary, just to make that next buck.. That's my opinion.
I blame band-wagon hoppers. One good idea comes up (CoD, MineCraft, so on), and EVERY SINGLE AAA game has to be way too similar to CoD, Minecraft, or whatever. Wanna know why Mario thrives so well? Cause not everyone and their grandma is up on his genre's nuts. They gave up trying to beat him ages ago because Nintendo's the king of platformers (one thing they'll never let die), so when Nintendo makes a new one (Kirby, DKC:R, so on), it feels more fresh because even if we see the same faces 50 times over, Nintendo's the primary one pushing 'em out, so they have time to really work with the games and add bits of innovation where they see fit (level design, gimmicks, concepts, so on). FPS games, zombie games, and sand box games are all over the place now. Everyone and their grandma has these things in their stack/shelf of games somewhere. There's just too many people wanting to do the same thing cause they see CoD, MineCraft, and so on doing it. I mean, seriously, zombie apocolypse games used to actually be an original concept. Now it's annoying.
Perfect example: We've had 7 Mario Kart games since the original one. It's gotten to the point where even after Nintendo's put gliders on these things and made them drive in the water, it's still "the same old, same old" (I found that to be a bit unfair in G-Spot's review). Why aren't their more kart racers? If Mario Kart is becoming stale, where are the other guys? Where's the competition? Nowhere. They're making FPS games for casuals and little kids who SWEAR that X, Y, and Z are totally different war time shooters (that they shouldn't even be playing due to that M rating), so if you want a kart racer, you're pretty much stuck with Mario Kart or some way bad knock-off like M&M's Racing. Thus, MK7 rakes in millions easy, and it's not even that much of a graphical powerhouse. Apply this logic to every All-Star in Nintendo's arsenal, and that's why Nintendo doesn't give 2 spits about having the best hd look or the most realistic eyelash graphics.
It would be quite interesting to see backward compatibility with xbox 360 game, like would the next console be powerful enough to run GTA 4 at full 1080p with AA at 60fps and if it could would microsoft let us or would we need to buy a new game
@XThreat I don't think that's possible. The game was programmed to be in 720p so to have it run at 1080 would need a personal update, DLC, or new game altogether. Hence HD remakes.
That's easier said than done. I think nowadays devs need to be much more creative than 10, 20 years ago, because many of the innovations back then were only natural as new tecnologies emerged. I mean, eventually someone would create the side-scrolling platform or fps genres...
Every year gamers become more and more hard to please, the appealing games now need to have a good storyline, interesting characters, cinematic cutscenes and/or innovative game mechanics. You've seen the E3 conferences, many games are more like interactive movies (Tomb Raider, Beyond, RE: 6), since putting gamers in a linear storyline it's a lot easier than coming up with truly new ideas.
That's why I don't think simply a powerful next-gen console will change the gaming scenario. There's almost nothing we can't do with the current generation, that's why Sony and MS are in no hurry to release their new consoles, and neither I see gamers eager to buy a PS4 and 720.
What I believe can help developers throw their ideas against the wall would be new forms of gaming devices (like the Wii U, or maybe even something like the Google Glass). Right now I'm much more attracted to the Indie-gaming industry, that on the past few years have been a great source of good ideas, than the big companies (some exceptions, like Ubisoft and Naughty Dog)
aww, come on guys...EA needs to justify why we should spend money on next years re-hash of the same game. Give them a break. Besides I can't see my character's nose hair yet...it totally messes with the immersion.
Xbox Live, Xbox Live, Xbox Live, STEAM...has the writer ever played any PSN indie games or even WiiWare?
I think what Guillemot in particular said has been misrepresented. The point isn't that the hardware doesn't allow new ideas but gamers are most receptive to new IPs earlier in a consoles life span. Not hardware limitations but consumer apatites. Look at the IPs that have been generated early in this generation, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Uncharted, Gears of War, Mass Effect. In fact nearly every major gaming IP made its breakthrough early in a console cycle, from Mario to Master Chief. It is harder for a new IP to gain traction late in a console's life, though not impossible. For example God of War. I can't think of one on the current wave of consoles Dishonoured has a chance.