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"'Next' Gen"

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Fri 29/09/06 at 13:19
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
What makes a console 'next' gen? What definines the changes from the current generation of consoles to the next?

If its graphics or processor speed, then was the Dreamcast the first of the last generation of consoles (alongside the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube)? I believe it was. But if graphics are the only answer, is a game that plays exactly the same as a last generation title, but has prettier graphics, still next gen?

However, this next generation of consoles os even harder to define. The PS3 and Xbox360 have updated graphics, sure (and I, for one, can't tell much difference between them as far as screenshots and videos are concerned) but then the Wii, although having better graphics capabilities than any of the last generation, is concentrating mostly on it's controller and internet features.

So here is what I think will be the defining differences for each console from the last generation:

PS3
Where the PS3 will shine, I believe, is with AI and particle/real world effects. This will make games prettier and allow more realistic environments. However, itís down to how well developers can actually make this work.

Perhaps the most underestimated support comes in the form of the massive storage space Blu-ray affords. If you think of the massive jump we had on PC when CD was made available, even on the same 386 platforms as with Floppy Drive, there is far more room available for extra content and that leads to finding new ways to make games.

Xbox360
I believe that the Online aspect of gaming is essential to the next generation aspect of a console. What Online gaming does is to completely change the way a game is played and this will affect a whole generation of games.

What Microsoft have done is to create a stable and easy to develop hardware platform for online gaming, including support for new content and code for smaller companies to provide games through their new Xbox Live development system. This is more than either of the other platforms have done for online support.

Both the PS3 and 360 have vastly improved graphics to help them produce games which look significantly better than their last generation counterparts too (should the developers utilise this).


Wii
The Wii will revolutionise gaming through the way you play, much more than the way games deveolpment is viewed graphically. The control system ensures all but the laziest of developers actually think about how a game is played, rather than releasing a new sequel to a last generation title that just has fancy graphics.



Are any of these enough? What should we be asking for in the next generation to come? 3D Hologram displays? Mind altering gameplay? Or should it just be the games developers job to come up with new ways to play despite any hardware enhancements?
Mon 02/10/06 at 15:57
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Sibs wrote:
> Zelda is fair, as it actually is a ported Cube game, but Super
> Paper Mario will probably be worked on significantly, and the
> 'proper' Mario game, Mario Galaxy or whatever it's called, is
> brand new.

Wasn't Zelda the other way around - it was slated for the Wii but then they decided to make the Gamecube version after all, so the Gamecube version is the actual port.

And if Ports are bad because they aren't original, then surely that goes to sequels as well?

The graphics in the New MGS game may be very nice (while not being that different to 360 games), but it would be nothing without a decent story or gameplay. (that isn't to say that it won't have these, MGS fans often say how good the games are). It's difficult for long term gamers to cope with a new console that doesn't have as good graphics as the other new consoles in the same generation, but the Wii isn't about that. As it's something entirely new, we'll all need to wait to see if it can live up to its promises.

However, that said, the Call of Duty 3 screens don't look that bad for a launch title.
Mon 02/10/06 at 15:28
Regular
"Peace Respect Punk"
Posts: 8,069
I don't think the 'port' issue makes any difference... And Metroid 3 isn't a ported title, I don't think there were ever any plans to make another Metroid Cube game (they were busy doing the DS version methinks).

I mean, look at Starfox Adventures / Dinosaur Planet... Originally slated as an N64 game, it later came out on GC and probably had the best graphics the Cube had seen at the time (shame about the gameplay though).

Zelda is fair, as it actually is a ported Cube game, but Super Paper Mario will probably be worked on significantly, and the 'proper' Mario game, Mario Galaxy or whatever it's called, is brand new.

I think franchise-wise Nintendo have to bring something new to the table... With GameCube Smash Bros became a big name, and they brought back Metroid. But they need more. Zelda is a big hitter, but it's out on release and as you say, it's a port of a Cube game (could well turn out to be the best Cube game around, but a Cube game all the same). Hopefully smaller developers will support it as they won't need to produce world-beating (and expensive) graphics, so we'll see some original, risky ideas.
Mon 02/10/06 at 15:12
Regular
"Fishing For Reddies"
Posts: 4,986
'Next Generation', technically, is just an indication of timing, surely.

If the PS3 is Next Gen, and the Wii is Next Gen then it's the only explanation. Neither have comparable graphics prowess, processing power, aural ability or even architecture. The only thing they have in common (apart from relation to the industry) is the fact that they're both being released within a year of each other.

Next Gen should be 'next generation', because no-one has, or can draw a line on what a console needs to be to be classed as next gen. You have an asian boy of 5 with an IQ of 86, mentally weak and not sporty; compared with a Chinese lad of 7, IQ of 142, plays football and builds computers with his dad. They're both the younger/same/next generation. No?

I'm quite looking forward to how immersive PS3 and 360 games will be, and particularly how good the sound will be. With up to 50GB of data on a Blu-Ray disc, surely we can expect MGS4 to have lossless music quality? No? Maybe not the sounds, but the music and dialogue should definitely be at a very high bitrate. Graphics, while not realistic to an incomparable degree, should definitely have that wow factor. Textures, bump-mapping, specular, all that stuff in Chaos Theory that wow'ed people should be common place. AI should be excellent. Especially with the money and software packages available.

Of course, the Wii is a different story. I'm not convinced that it'll be enough on its own. I appreciate that they're making a lot of games for it, but just have a look at what's new and what's been wiimade.

Zelda - Port
Metroid 3 - Half and half?
Super Paper Mario - Port

Three big titles. Three gamecube based games. I know they have Wii-specific features, but let's be real, they didn't start as Wii games, and if they did, they more likely than not have a GameCube foundation.

I'm not saying there's nothing new for the Wii. You only have to look at Elebits, Red Steel, Excite Truck, etc to see that there's potential, but realistically, how good with those games be? Elebits, for me, looks like a 5/10 game. That's being nice. Excite truck? 7/10, at a push. Red Steel might do a little better considering the push given by Nintendo/Ubi, but it's not a system seller.

Instead Nintendo are relying on a GameCube quality game, which doesn't take advantage of the graphics/processing power of the Wii, and adding Wii controls. Why?! They've known for ages that they're releasing a Wii, that Mario won't be ready and that Zelda will be there around Wii-time. So why not just add some better textures. A greater draw-distance. A better Link. Nicer effects.

Metroid is going to be decent, I feel, but very few people can have completed 1 and 2. And it's not exactly a soft-core game. Scans, Upgrades, Puzzles, Mazes.

Still, it's next generation. Because generations are seperated by time, not ability.

Need Amazon to make their Wii-Orders available. Everyone pester them!
Fri 29/09/06 at 21:12
Regular
Posts: 9,995
So you're convinced then?
Fri 29/09/06 at 13:44
Regular
"Brooklyn boy"
Posts: 14,935
pb wrote:
> Wii
> The Wii will revolutionise gaming through the way you play,


It'll revolutionise console gaming yes
Fri 29/09/06 at 13:19
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
What makes a console 'next' gen? What definines the changes from the current generation of consoles to the next?

If its graphics or processor speed, then was the Dreamcast the first of the last generation of consoles (alongside the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube)? I believe it was. But if graphics are the only answer, is a game that plays exactly the same as a last generation title, but has prettier graphics, still next gen?

However, this next generation of consoles os even harder to define. The PS3 and Xbox360 have updated graphics, sure (and I, for one, can't tell much difference between them as far as screenshots and videos are concerned) but then the Wii, although having better graphics capabilities than any of the last generation, is concentrating mostly on it's controller and internet features.

So here is what I think will be the defining differences for each console from the last generation:

PS3
Where the PS3 will shine, I believe, is with AI and particle/real world effects. This will make games prettier and allow more realistic environments. However, itís down to how well developers can actually make this work.

Perhaps the most underestimated support comes in the form of the massive storage space Blu-ray affords. If you think of the massive jump we had on PC when CD was made available, even on the same 386 platforms as with Floppy Drive, there is far more room available for extra content and that leads to finding new ways to make games.

Xbox360
I believe that the Online aspect of gaming is essential to the next generation aspect of a console. What Online gaming does is to completely change the way a game is played and this will affect a whole generation of games.

What Microsoft have done is to create a stable and easy to develop hardware platform for online gaming, including support for new content and code for smaller companies to provide games through their new Xbox Live development system. This is more than either of the other platforms have done for online support.

Both the PS3 and 360 have vastly improved graphics to help them produce games which look significantly better than their last generation counterparts too (should the developers utilise this).


Wii
The Wii will revolutionise gaming through the way you play, much more than the way games deveolpment is viewed graphically. The control system ensures all but the laziest of developers actually think about how a game is played, rather than releasing a new sequel to a last generation title that just has fancy graphics.



Are any of these enough? What should we be asking for in the next generation to come? 3D Hologram displays? Mind altering gameplay? Or should it just be the games developers job to come up with new ways to play despite any hardware enhancements?

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