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Do we really need any more consoles?

RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Games and Technology
Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I'm starting to feel like after this generation, I'm going to stop with new console purchases. It's not because I'm starting to dislike videogames (which is most definitely not true), but rather because I'm starting to feel like there's no point to making new consoles. With the recent batch of new consoles, we've gotten features like gesture based controls, downloadable games (of both the indie and nostalgia variety), online play as a common feature, downloadable game content, wireless controllers as the default, and HDTV support. Really what more can you add with an additional lineup of consoles? I suppose various kinks can be worked out (like a sequel to the Wii in 5-6 years with HDTV support & enhanced control), but it really seems like we've past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to hardware and that if games are going to continue to improve, they'll be relying more on advancements in game design techniques than advancements in hardware.

In addition to the diminishing returns on hardware advancements, there's the sheer number of quality games that are out there. I'm a big fan of JRPGs. Back in the 8/16-bit days, it wasn't too hard to play every good RPG out there as long as you had a little money. Nowadays, I really feel swamped with all of the quality titles out there and that's just one genre. Given that I like a wide variety of genres (just about everything aside from sports games) & the number of very fun games with near infinite replay value (Guitar Hero, Civilization IV, various fighting games, classic arcade-style twitch games, etc.), I'm starting to feel like I could avoid buying any game made after 2007 and still have enough to keep me occupied for years. Heck, though I own a Wii & XBox 360 and enjoy both greatly, I still haven't come anywhere near close to finishing or even playing all of the games I'd like to play on my PS2.

To put it another way, do we as gamers really need systems that are more powerful than the Wii, XBox 360, and PS3? Would it be better if console makers decided to stick with these systems and just make them more affordable and more reliable and game makers just focused on making more enjoyable and better designed games without having to relearn how to make games every time the next set of systems come up? Or do you prefer having a new generation of consoles with advanced technology come out every 6 years or so?

RainbowDespair on

Posts

  • TaximesTaximes Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    donkey-kong-country.jpg

    With such great graphics, we should have just stopped there.

    Just because you can't think of many improvements, it doesn't mean there's nothing to strive for. If video games stop advancing before full-on indiscernible-from-reality Virtual Reality games are around, I'm going to be pissed.

    I do agree, though, that there could be some more time before generations. I certainly think the last gen was cut off a little prematurely, but that's no reason to think that the 360, Wii and PS3 are the end-all be-all of all gaming ever.

    Taximes on
  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I am only really just getting into Xbox + PS2, and have a Wii. I have no intention of getting a 360/PS3 any time soon.

    I am rocking 'Bwiihind the curve' for the time being. I feel like getting the most out of the games i missed out on from this generation just gone, whilst getting my waggle on with the Wii. Then by the time I want to get a 360/PS3, I can save a bit of money, and they will have more diverse libraries.

    LewieP on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    We should keep on getting new consoles. Graphics are only one part of a game that a new console allows to be improved. Physics, sound, and AI still have a long way to go before they reach anything that may be considered their best.

    Couscous on
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Until I have the funds for a HDTV I have absolutely no need for anything more powerful than a Wii. Standard def is 640x480 and the Wii is more than powerful enough to put out amazing images at that quality. I don't really have any ambition to go to HDTV either - except maybe the June high def release of Coming to America - but I don't think the wife will agree that it justifies a new TV :)

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I agree with Titmouse—there are so many aspects of games that could be improved on with more horsepower and with dedicated computing units for things like physics and AI. Well, that's only true assuming that any game programmers outside of Epic bother to learn anything about programming AI as opposed to just making it more accurate and letting it cheat in racing and fighting games.

    What will really change future consoles is control. The success of the DS controls will force Sony to come up with something that can compete for its next handheld, the same goes for anyone new trying to get into the market. If the Wii eventually spawns mainstream games that use the control well, as opposed to the novelty game and ports with motion control tacked on that's out there now, the effect it has on the next generation of gaming will be profound. I'm pretty sure that this will happen; titles like Cooking Mama and Trauma Center show potential for entirely new styles of play, Madden 2006 showed that innovative approaches can be applied to existing games, and given that the Wii is still selling as fast as Nintendo can make it, game companies are going to bite.

    And in a decade or two we're going to see brain-scanning devices as affordable game controllers. Non-implanted units are already being custom-made for medical research, and given the countless applications of such technology, it's use will explode and prices will plummet as soon as it's ready for the mass market. Combine that with teledildonics, a technology that consoles looking for adult sales will be forced to accept if they want to compete with PCs for the inevitable combination of Second Life sex and teledildonics, and you have a new world of consoles that will blow our fucking minds.

    supabeast on
  • SirUltimosSirUltimos Don't talk, Rusty. Just paint. Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I think that console release should not stop, but slow down. I want a console that can last around 10 years or more before we get new ones. Let a ton of games be released and let developers really get to know the hardware. Look at how hard some teams could push the PS2; Now imagine if it got to that stage with EVERY console. We can focus on buying and playing more games if we don't need to buy new hardware every 5 years.

    SirUltimos on
  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The current generation is still in its infancy. Of course it seems like we "have enough" in consoles as we do right now. It won't be for a few more years until these systems are pushed to their limits; what aspects push them to their limits are difficult to tell right now. Hopefully there will be some kind of incredible new type of gameplay mechanics that make us think, "This is awesome. Imagine how better it could be if the 360/PS3/Wii was capable of _____"


    People like to talk about "fluid mechanics" being the next thing that physics engines in games need to be capable of. Personally, I don't see how advanced fluid physics could really help a game as a general feature. If a game were based somehow on fluids as a gameplay mechanic, I could see that; but then, I'm not so sure it's a requirement to have a full featured "fluid physics engine" rather than some specific code work for the feature of fluids they'd need; like in that Mercury game. Plus, fluids are a very difficult thing to model, virtually, because of how much they change depending on so many different variables; flow rate, friction, viscosity, temperature, pressure, etc.

    Just thinking about it makes basic mechanics in games, like the physics engines (Havok, PhysX) we have now look really basic and limited.

    slash000 on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    One of the things we're still limited on is game length. This includes storage space for unique environments/textures...of course we could have a really long game with nothing but the same walls all the time, but that's no fun. Our games seem to get shorter and shorter all the time as they also get prettier.

    Other limiters are things like voice acting and complex in-engine cinematics. There still hasn't been a long RPG where every single line of text was vocalized, has there?

    UncleSporky on
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  • bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Video games as a medium is still so young, it would be idiotic to stop advancing hardware. Like Titmouse said, there's a lot more to it than just prettier graphics. We're what, 30 years into video game making, and we've gone from

    asteroids1.jpg

    to

    gow_02.jpg

    Imagine what's going to happen in the next 10 or 30 or 100 years.

    bruin on
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    There is always room to improve.

    I don't think the game console market will stagnate until video games are indiscernible from reality in any way.

    Really... See that GoW screenshot above? I'm not about to confuse that with reality any time soon. Even if it did look true to life, I'd still be controlling it with a joystick and buttons.

    I wouldn't mind if the time between consoles was a bit longer than 5-6 years, but eh, what can you do? The second one of the big three hits the market, you know the other two won't be far behind.

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    The 360, for me, is hopefully the last new system I'll have to buy for at least 5 years. My defense against playing PC games is (was), "I don't want to have to upgrade every 2 years" but at this rate it's no different.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    I don't think the game console market will stagnate until video games are indiscernible from reality in any way.

    Well, perhaps for the ones trying to look realistic.



    I'm more interested in how this generation will provide interesting new artistic styles. Too bad most 360/PS3 games, so far, have been all about the 'zomg teh reaalistizic!1!'

    With some exceptions, like Viva Pinata and Blue Dragon and.. well Crackdown is meant to have a comicbookish look to it, but I don't much care for its visual style.

    slash000 on
  • Sgt.CortezMCSgt.CortezMC Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    as much as i love the ds, i would hate for that to be the last handheld. omfg in 20 years i hope that looks like a heaping pile of crap (i love you nintendo!) i want to see a handheld that detects your movements and a system that reads your mind! lol! and ps3 the last sony system? HA! that thing is a POS (i hate you sony) and 360 isnt exactly the greatest either. label me nintendo fanboy if you want. lawl

    Sgt.CortezMC on
    Let me show you my Pokeymans. My Pokeymans, let me show you them.
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  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    slash000 wrote: »
    I don't think the game console market will stagnate until video games are indiscernible from reality in any way.

    Well, perhaps for the ones trying to look realistic.



    I'm more interested in how this generation will provide interesting new artistic styles. Too bad most 360/PS3 games, so far, have been all about the 'zomg teh reaalistizic!1!'

    With some exceptions, like Viva Pinata and Blue Dragon and.. well Crackdown is meant to have a comicbookish look to it, but I don't much care for its visual style.
    Right. We all know what reality looks like, but we have so much further we could go in directions like Wind Waker and Okami.

    UncleSporky on
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