The mental barriers of reaching a "new generation".

#11aszsithPosted 1/26/2014 11:38:27 PM
I look at the overall process as iterative.

Let's use Microsoft as an example, since this after all, the XBOne board.

Xbox
Microsoft entered the console market during Gen 6. They produced the most advanced gaming machine to date in the Xbox. It was capable of playing games at near the same graphical quality that PC's could. It was, however, a financial failure. It cost Microsoft a metric crap-ton of money and then some. But they did gain fans and some market share.
~Focus - High-end console gaming
~Key Feature Added - Live service

Xbox360
Then came Gen 7 and Microsoft introduced their followup- the 360. Learning from past mistakes they put the focus on their popular online system and didn't worry about having superior hardware. This served them well and the division was able to become profitable. They gained popularity and became the console of choice for many gamers. Additionally, non-gaming features started getting polar during this cycle.
~Focus - Live service
~Key Feature Added - Entertainment Apps an Kinect

Xbox One
Now we are at Gen 8. Continuing to learn in the console process, Microsoft basically stuck with what worked on the 360 with the XBOne. Sure, they've screwed up the UI and omitted some strange features (battery meter? I'm still confused by that one), but they again went with a profitable system that isn't quite as powerful as they could have made it, but it will still do just fine for the expected lifespan. They put much more focus on non-gaming items as those became popular in the previous generation and they expanded on it.
~Focus - Kinect and Entertainment Apps
~Key Feature Added - ???

Essentially each system is an overall hardware upgrade of the previous one. During the process they have continued to add features and refine the process through iterative design. During the Xbox era they instituted Live. That service became the focus on 360 and they added the Arcade and other entertainment features, and eventually Kinect. With the XBOne, Kinect and those other entertainment features have become the focus. What will they add to the XBOne over time that could become the focus on the NeXtBox?

Sony and Nintendo have followed similar paths too. It makes sense as this is fairly standard practice in the manufacturing world. You don't spend years developing an idea to throw it away after the first iteration. You continue to build on it and rework it until the marketplace demands something different.
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ALL games should have a Single Player mode. I can always guarantee I want to play when I turn on my system. I can't guarantee others will at the same time.
#12SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 1/27/2014 2:08:50 AM
aszsith posted...
I look at the overall process as iterative.

Essentially each system is an overall hardware upgrade of the previous one. During the process they have continued to add features and refine the process through iterative design. During the Xbox era they instituted Live. That service became the focus on 360 and they added the Arcade and other entertainment features, and eventually Kinect. With the XBOne, Kinect and those other entertainment features have become the focus. What will they add to the XBOne over time that could become the focus on the NeXtBox?

Sony and Nintendo have followed similar paths too. It makes sense as this is fairly standard practice in the manufacturing world. You don't spend years developing an idea to throw it away after the first iteration. You continue to build on it and rework it until the marketplace demands something different.


And this is precisely what I'm getting at. In order for games consoles to be relevant AT ALL, they need to have a unique selling point beyond meagre graphical fidelity and power output; last generation consoles were only just on the cusp of the changeover in value whereby gaming PCs would be the more affordable long-term gaming investments- up until that point, consoles were the more affordable, simpler option for instant videogaming.

Now, consoles must establish themselves as relevant again by a more unique USP - and this is me speaking as the person who stated that this current generation may well be the last "traditional" console generation for this exact reason - focusing solely on pure power to make prettier games will only get you so far.

I explained it thusly - imagine there's two high-end sports cars, and the owners battle over which are superior. But the third neighbour is driving a supercar that cost him the same amount of money, and it's slowly getting the attention of all the other neighbours. Now, the first two guys are going to have a hard sell once the entire neighbourhood catches wind of this affordable giga-vehicle, to convince them that their sports cars are the better option - but what if said sports cars were just as powerful, but they had wings? Or they were hovecars? Or had a teppanyaki grill in the back? Suddenly it's no longer about which car is the most powerful for the same money - it's about what fits your personality best, about which cool feature changes the game enough to make it a unique purchase.

People slate Nintendo for the Wii Remote/3DS/WiiU tablet, or Microsoft for the Kinect 2.0, but these are the systems trying to remain relevant and change the game up, to remain relevant in a "new generation". And note that I call it a "new" generation and not a "next" generation - consoles can no longer be numerative iterations, they must become something completely brand new, and people must have the foresight of more than the next few years to understand that.
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#13jumbocatPosted 1/27/2014 2:37:56 AM
Populous isn't a noun.
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ED
AC
#14SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 1/27/2014 2:59:17 AM
jumbocat posted...
Populous isn't a noun.


Populace*.

Though populous is cool too.
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#15aszsithPosted 1/27/2014 8:41:38 AM
SigmaLongshot posted...

I explained it thusly - imagine there's two high-end sports cars, and the owners battle over which are superior. But the third neighbour is driving a supercar that cost him the same amount of money, and it's slowly getting the attention of all the other neighbours. Now, the first two guys are going to have a hard sell once the entire neighbourhood catches wind of this affordable giga-vehicle, to convince them that their sports cars are the better option - but what if said sports cars were just as powerful, but they had wings? Or they were hovecars? Or had a teppanyaki grill in the back? Suddenly it's no longer about which car is the most powerful for the same money - it's about what fits your personality best, about which cool feature changes the game enough to make it a unique purchase.

People slate Nintendo for the Wii Remote/3DS/WiiU tablet, or Microsoft for the Kinect 2.0, but these are the systems trying to remain relevant and change the game up, to remain relevant in a "new generation". And note that I call it a "new" generation and not a "next" generation - consoles can no longer be numerative iterations, they must become something completely brand new, and people must have the foresight of more than the next few years to understand that.


I'm not sure a flying car with a teppanyaki grill is the most practical idea, but I like it!

And while I agree with you, and apparently so do Nintendo and Microsoft as neither have made a numbered console "sequel"(well, there was the SNES), I have a feeling most gamers are going to disagree with you. If the posters on this site (and other sites, plus the major media) are any indication, the thing that matters most is impressive specs that can generate more photorealistic graphics.

I would argue that the ability to generate prettier games has nearly reached the apex of that curve anyway though. Games are already close to that uncanny valley mark and more powerful hardware isn't going to change that. More power can be used to generate more sophisticated systems in terms of AI, physics, geometry, etc. But graphically, I'm not sure how much further we can, or need, to go.
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ALL games should have a Single Player mode. I can always guarantee I want to play when I turn on my system. I can't guarantee others will at the same time.
#16SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 1/27/2014 8:53:45 AM
aszsith posted...
SigmaLongshot posted...

I explained it thusly .


I'm not sure a flying car with a teppanyaki grill is the most practical idea, but I like it!

And while I agree with you, and apparently so do Nintendo and Microsoft as neither have made a numbered console "sequel"(well, there was the SNES), I have a feeling most gamers are going to disagree with you. If the posters on this site (and other sites, plus the major media) are any indication, the thing that matters most is impressive specs that can generate more photorealistic graphics.

I would argue that the ability to generate prettier games has nearly reached the apex of that curve anyway though. Games are already close to that uncanny valley mark and more powerful hardware isn't going to change that. More power can be used to generate more sophisticated systems in terms of AI, physics, geometry, etc. But graphically, I'm not sure how much further we can, or need, to go.


I think that's why I cited the Dreamcast, but I think I could have equally referenced the Sega MegaDrive, SNES, even the original PlayStation; if someone said to you that these were the "next generation" of consoles, could you get past the downgrade in technical peacocking?

If someone was to show you the SNES for the first time today, and then say, "This is the new generation of consoles. You get a new Mario, F-Zero, Street Fighter, Chrono Trigger, Contra, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, a bunch of Final Fantasy games, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart and Zelda: A Link to the Past. You will likely have more fun with these games than you can quantify. Do you want to buy it?" - if the SNES had never existed up until this point, would you embrace the machine for the pockets of unbridled fun you might enjoy, or would you slam it to death for looking so dated?

Actually, a more realistic way to look at is is - imagine a new manufacturer entered the "console wars", with more vision than all three of the big players put together. They produced a machine that is controlled by thoughts and emotions, and gives you tactile feedback of joy or pain. But graphically, it is more akin to a PS2 than a PS4. Would you embrace THAT?

Because THAT would be a "new" generation of consoles - not merely a "next" generation.
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#17aszsithPosted 1/27/2014 9:30:59 AM
SigmaLongshot posted...


I think that's why I cited the Dreamcast, but I think I could have equally referenced the Sega MegaDrive, SNES, even the original PlayStation; if someone said to you that these were the "next generation" of consoles, could you get past the downgrade in technical peacocking?

If someone was to show you the SNES for the first time today, and then say, "This is the new generation of consoles. You get a new Mario, F-Zero, Street Fighter, Chrono Trigger, Contra, Earthbound, Secret of Mana, a bunch of Final Fantasy games, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart and Zelda: A Link to the Past. You will likely have more fun with these games than you can quantify. Do you want to buy it?" - if the SNES had never existed up until this point, would you embrace the machine for the pockets of unbridled fun you might enjoy, or would you slam it to death for looking so dated?

Actually, a more realistic way to look at is is - imagine a new manufacturer entered the "console wars", with more vision than all three of the big players put together. They produced a machine that is controlled by thoughts and emotions, and gives you tactile feedback of joy or pain. But graphically, it is more akin to a PS2 than a PS4. Would you embrace THAT?

Because THAT would be a "new" generation of consoles - not merely a "next" generation.


Interesting question. I would not accept the technical downgrade though. It goes against the iterative design process.

It's not that graphics are that important to me. I regularly use the argument that the original Frogger still has sufficient graphics as you can clearly identify every item in it as what they actually are.

However, I expect that each new iteration includes what worked in the previous iteration while adding something new. That is the point of iterative design. You want to continue moving forward. While there is no denying the fun that classic games (even new classics like Dreamcast and PS2 titles) can offer, receiving them after the HD era feels like a step backward on the technical side. For one thing, some of the older consoles aren't even playable on modern HDTV's due to latency issues in the digital processors. Additionally, those games lack quality audio and voice acting which are standard nowadays.

Now, if the SNES had never existed and it was released now with the same games as it had then made with modern production values, that would be a different story. Then the system would work with modern HDTV's, have high quality, detailed art, and include high fidelity audio with voice acting. That I could get behind and appreciate.
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ALL games should have a Single Player mode. I can always guarantee I want to play when I turn on my system. I can't guarantee others will at the same time.
#18violentdissmayPosted 1/27/2014 9:40:15 AM
SigmaLongshot posted...
Or am I entirely alone in my belief that a "new generation" of gaming should NOT be synonymous with technical enhancement?

ARTIST POST ALERT, of course, Because I am arty-farty.


Actually it should, wouldnt you rather use tech that is able to accurately display your artistic vision?
Yes you can work around it sometimes but would you rather have a ground that looks like a picture of grass, or a ground that looks like grass?
Well, thats my opinion as an artist. I would rather have my music being recorded and played in at least cd quality, not phone or midi quality.
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"Remember when consoles only played games? Pepperidge Farm remembers." - Broly4561
#19SigmaLongshot(Topic Creator)Posted 1/27/2014 9:45:20 AM
violentdissmay posted...
SigmaLongshot posted...
Or am I entirely alone in my belief that a "new generation" of gaming should NOT be synonymous with technical enhancement?

ARTIST POST ALERT, of course, Because I am arty-farty.


Actually it should, wouldnt you rather use tech that is able to accurately display your artistic vision?
Yes you can work around it sometimes but would you rather have a ground that looks like a picture of grass, or a ground that looks like grass?
Well, thats my opinion as an artist. I would rather have my music being recorded and played in at least cd quality, not phone or midi quality.


Now, I am not saying limitations make better experiences, but I am saying limitations make you a better artist and designer overall. Like a chef who is given four ingredients and told to "be creative" with them, a triumph in that situation is more impressive than a chef who succeeds when given every single ingredient available.

I did some of my best development work when working on Game Boy Advance many moons ago - it's very hard to be passionate about sitting for a week modelling singular pieces of level geometry and then a further full day sluggishly adding them to that game build.
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Double Jump Game Comics: http://doublejump.thecomicseries.com/
#20Dack_LancerPosted 1/27/2014 10:21:32 AM
lonlonmilklover posted...
I feel the technology in all 3 is quite "next gen" ........


PS4 - well, 3 total exclusives isn't much of a selling point.... yet! Just wait :) PS3 had zero games I was interested in for the first 2 years, but they eventually released 20+...


^ pretty much this me was almost 3 years didnt buyy a ps3 until tales of graces and gundam vs gundam was out

they dont release crap i want to play anymore or it doesnt even come over sees


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