Editorials, Featured

Are Graphics Alone Enough to Make a Video Game Title Truly “Next-Gen”?

by on March 5, 2014 2:26 PM 89

There’s been a lot and I mean A LOT of talk about what is “next-gen” in this current console cycle. Opinions are polarized and no one can seem to agree on what makes a game next-gen and what doesn’t. I know that this has been debated ad nauseum but I still feel compelled to give my explanation of what I think makes something next-gen.

It used to be that graphics alone were enough to tell if a game was next-gen or not. There was no way that you could argue that a 16-bit game wasn’t next-gen compared to an 8-bit one. These days things aren’t as clear cut since graphics haven’t made that much of a significant jump from the last generation to this one. Games look a bit nicer now for sure but the graphical leaps that we’ve seen in years past hasn’t happened with the current gen systems.

So while graphics are important, I think that they alone aren’t a good enough indicator of whether or not a game is next-gen. To determine what makes a game truly next-gen we have to go beyond the surface level of graphics and instead focus on what’s going on under the hood.

metal gear solid v gz snake sneak

My stance is pretty simple: A game is next-gen when it cannot be replicated on a last-gen console. If a game plays exactly the same on the Xbox 360 as it does on the Xbox One then I can’t honestly say that it is a true next-gen game. Yeah, it may LOOK nicer on the Xbox One but if the gameplay is exactly the same then it’s not next-gen. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a good example of this. The game plays the same across every platform it’s being released on. From a gameplay standpoint, it isn’t next gen at all.

This gen has just started but we’re getting an example of how gameplay can be radically different between generations with the upcoming Middle Earth game, Shadow of Mordor. Its “Nemesis” system had to be significantly scaled back on last-gen consoles due to the hardware limitations of those systems. This is just one feature but it is the feature that the developers are touting the most. The next-gen version of the game differs drastically from the last-gen versions in terms of gameplay and therefore makes the title truly next-gen.

Battlefield 4 is the other game that comes to mind when thinking about how a game plays differently between current and last gen consoles. Current gen consoles can have matches of up to 64 players whereas the last gen consoles only support 24 players. Because of the increased player count, maps on the current gen version of the game are far larger and feature more objectives and even more vehicles. Playing Battlefield 4 on last-gen consoles is a completely different experience to playing it on the current gen systems.

batman_arkham_knight

The above examples are just the beginning and I believe that as this generation progresses that we’ll start to see fewer last gen versions of games due to hardware limitations. Look at the just announced Batman: Arkham Knight. In the press release for the game, the developers said that thanks to the power of current gen consoles they can now have a bigger city that you can drive around in. They always wanted to have a controllable Batmobile in the series but couldn’t implement it into the games due to hardware limitations. This is a big AAA franchise which will NOT be on last gen due to hardware issues. This gameplay feature alone will make this title radically different from the others in the series.

I can only hope that the new Batman game will have glimpses of what I really want to see in next-gen games. I want many subtle things that add up to create living worlds: A.I that is actually intelligent, characters reacting to dynamic weather, debris that doesn’t automatically disappear, more seamless HUDs, more believable performances, precise environmental destruction… the list can go on. I want these things to affect the actual gameplay to give me an experience that I’ve never had.

With consoles being as powerful as they are these days I want developers to push the limits of gameplay. Graphics play a part in this too and they must be interwoven with unique gameplay experiences to create titles that can be considered truly “next-gen”. A marriage of cutting edge graphics and innovative gameplay that can’t be replicated on previous gen consoles is what makes something “next gen”.

Join the Discussion

  • mikeslemonadeFromN4G

    Y’all remember the impact Gears 1 made? That was graphics over gameplay, and it almost made the PS3 irrelevant in its first year.

    • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

      True true the Gears trilogy was the reason I bought an XBOX360 Slim, aside from the games I enjoyed on my PS3 that I still have Today. My Microsoft console experience was short lived due to issues that made me dislikes that exp which involved, annoying minor controller requirements/button layout, disc tray damages/scratch’s while game disc were playable in the console no matter if it’s either in a vertical or horizontal placement & unfavorable pay-wall features.

      • mikeslemonadeFromN4G

        You had to have played it when it came out in 2006. It was same vein as MGS2, FF7, Mario 64 etc.

        • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

          Oh man those were good time’s, I enjoyed my gaming session’s with my past consoles such as PS1, PS2, Xbox original and DreamCast around ’06. Pretty much the only forgiven issue was the disc tray damages/scratch at the time for those past consoles.
          Reason’s why I couldn’t accept this issue on my 360 slim with the Gears Trilogy (GOW 1 & 2 got scratched to hell on my 360) in 2012 because it was a past console issue and I was expecting better on the 360 post rrod. Those issues are still to this day nonexistent on my PS3.

          • mikeslemonadeFromN4G

            My launch PS3 still works. I had the falcon 360 which never broke on me even during my long gaming sessions on NBA 2k. My PS2 was like on life support with the DREs. I had to keep the system open and i would I adjust the laser height and swab the laser lense. And sometimes I would stick my foot on the disc to slow the down the disc spinning so the laser can read it lol. That was when I was playing burnt games though.

          • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

            Dang, that’s most definitely a harsh experience optimizing your console hardware to your liking. wow lol those laser lens yup how could I forget, I dealt with that with my first PlayStation(PS1) because it was somewhat region locked so I ended up customizing the lens to play Japan released games such as DragonBall: Final Bout and some other unreleased DreamCast games that where ported over to PS1, but never released in NA.

          • mikeslemonadeFromN4G

            I was a little kid back then so I could only afford a used ps1 which never worked from that old store called Funcoland. It was dead on arrival with those used ps1 systems.

          • Harerazer

            I never bought a used system (simply because you don’t know what someone did to it) but Funcoland was the shit tho. If they were still around Gamestop wouldn’t be raping us for used games. I miss them and Electronics Boutique (and Software, etc) here in the U.S.

  • Anders

    My definition of a true next gen game is a game that’s only coming to next gen consoles.

    • Steph

      In the most basic sense that’s true but u no doubt understand what the article is trying to say.

      • Anders

        I was only commenting on the headline so it’s not about how much I understand the article.

  • heavenshitman1

    Well the “non next-gen” system WiiU has Wii Fit U, with included pedometer equivalent device for outdoor tracking, that offers physical gameplay, and Wii U Sports Club currently with updated Bowling, Tennis and Golf (which even offers visually whacking the virtual ball off your own living room floor into the tv screen). The CoD ports on WiiU have point aim controls vs old fashioned dual analogue. WiiU can backward compat with the Metroid Prime games which make an even better use of Wii mote point aim controls. Which out the box, PS4 and to a lesser degree , XB1 (until they start using Kinect 2.0 properly) can’t achieve.
    So why is the next gen PS4′s and XB1′s so incapable of performing so many functions of the “non next-gen WiiU”?

    • Bankai

      They can achieve all those things, they just weren’t built with those ultimately useless, and non next-gen features.

      • Gannicus

        it can but its not its primary focus so the implementation will never be as good also the move was pretty weak compared to the wii

    • NeoTechni

      Those add one aren’t part of wii u and can be easily added to ps4. Wii aiming has been done on ps3 with move, and done superior with the move sharpshooter. Wii u isn’t next gen because of its lack of processing power as multiple game developers have said so. You’re grasping at straws.

      • PCS4-Box U

        PS4 supports Move as well…. There just aren’t currently any games out that yet that support it. They are coming though, Media Molecule is working on a really neat looking Move game actually…

    • PCS4-Box U

      They can, it isn’t a system limitation that prevents that crap from being on PS4/XBO – its because nobody wants that crap in their video games console. You want to exercise and play sports? Go outside, it’s a hellava lot cheaper than a Wii U. I’ll use my game console to play ya know, GAMES.

      • heavenshitman1

        I am a fitness guru that also uses Wii Fit U. Which by the way, does include outdoor exercise via it’s fit-meter (pedometer equivalent device). To scorn that is to scorn every manufacturer of exercise peripherals. Also I can play the CoD games with point aim controls, vs your generations old dual analogue. Set up right, it works better. And as the absolute clear cut victor in the last gen, you’re obviously wrong about ppl not wanting these kinds of devices. But WiiU is suffering a different scenario altogether.
        Point is though, PS4 can actually achieve very very little at all compared to even PS1, very basic gaming. Straying away from Nintendo, using XB1 for example, it can do what PS4 can, and (if they actually put it to use) a hell of a lot more via Kinect. Very little about PS4 is next gen, and considering the abysmal reviews its games (except resogun) have gotten despite their graphics, ppl are buying the system out of pure hype. It’s Sony’s best strength, advertise the hell out of everything.

        • Gannicus

          Well said, that’s why ive always said X1 is more a next gen system that is trying to do more than just game. PS4 is only next gen in terms of hardware inside but it doesn’t do much else. Newer game engines can only be designed now because of the hardware in there and couldn’t be done on PC before cus whats the point in adding stuff when it cant be displayed on the last gen consoles so its not next gen its just catching up with the rest of the world. Where as X1 is trying to push that interactivity envelope to new levels but with MS they play the long game and will get better. Anyone who dismisses the Kinect and speech integration (even though it doesn’t work all the time now) obviously doesn’t want a more hands free future and will be fine with turning a light off with ya finger in 600 years time.
          All new tech starts off slow and needs improvements and adaptations over the years to get better and better

          • heavenshitman1

            Developers seriously just aren’t trying hard enough. It’s a business that for the consumers benefit, they play all too safe. Kinect 2.0 is an awesome piece of technology technically speaking. And I’m sure if they put their mind to it aside hand gestures it could broaden the gaming genre range, like the way Nintendo has by virtually inventing the fitness gaming genre and the motion based interactive sports.
            Look at what they’re achieving with smartphones. Students are turning them into genuine (and even to some degree) precision medical devices cause the mic in ‘em can hear your heart rhythms for example.
            I’ve never owned an XBOX, but its tech Microsoft I think have intelligently backed, and when ppl start to ACTUALLY use it, it’ll leave PS4 for example a step behind it can’t catch up on cause its own audience won’t have the camera tech by default.
            And it’s also not just about the current gen either, if Kinect does become prominent for XB1, maybe Microsofts next system will also be compatible with the device, meaning the “XBOX One #2″ will have an automatic library of motion interactive games to be BC with and the next system will be cheaper because Microsoft has already spent the dollars on all the hardware and software development for the Kinect technology

          • Gannicus

            well what game devs do with Kinect is rubbish but with the SDK’s even when they hacked the software. what it has bin used for is pretty amazing, its bin used for all types of medical applications. With the Kinect 2 being more sensitive I think its actually a waste on the xbox and games in general as its a low cost alternative to what some equipment can cost thousands to buy

        • PCS4-Box U

          Like I said earlier, the PS4 is fully capable of doing all that stuff… So was the PS3/PS Move but nobody wanted it so Sony moved on to give gamers what gamers want and it seems to be working out for them. Like I said, it isnt the hardware thats preventing it – its the fact that casual gaming isnt Sony’s target market.
          You sit in a different minority of gamers that enjoy the motion controls and “interactive sports”, I don’t have a problem with that. In fact, i own a Wii U but it’s mostly because I’m a sucker for a Mario game and I hate myself for it. I also own a Move and we can absolutely agree that motion control can be better than dial stick for FPS – Move made me a GOD in KZ3, it wasnt even a competition. In my experience, it works with some genres but not others and it really depends on the dev’s commitment to motion controls which is sorely laking 90% of the time!
          I’m a PC gamer too and I have to admit, the Move gave kb/m a run for its money!
          Anyway, my point is, your in a minority group, like it or not. Me personally? I love playing games regardless of platform, I buy them all out of compulsions i can’t control – except for the XBO – I’ll be staying way the hell away until they drop the Kinect and Microsoft figures out what the hell they are doing with their system and who its targeted to. I have yet to see anything Kinect can do that cant be done better by other means. Voice controls dont count either, that can be done with that same mic you use for chat without adding 100.00 to the cost of the system (See: Socom 2 on Ps2), so whats left? Waiving your hand at the screen and hoping it registers you? No thank you.

          • heavenshitman1

            I don’t advocate XB1′s voice commands. In fact I advocate very little about what say Kinect for the most part has ever achieved. But it’s because no dev is attempting to use it. But the fact Kinect 2.0 is out the box means a lot. Guaranteed customer base is everything, and if devs really use their heads and put the tech to use, it would leave PS4 behind. Despite PS4 being technically capable of the same thing. Devs can’t produce software for hardware customers don’t have.
            Consumers would happily take something more than dual analogue gaming I’m positive. To demonstrate that fact, even PS3 is technically capable of say a keyboard and mouse setup for it’s FPS’s. Which would be a way better option. Every PC gamer demands nothing less. But you never see it, just because it’s not out-the-box mainstream. It’s more money for Sony goers to buy the hardware, and most Playstation software doesn’t support Keyboard/Mouse again because it’s not mainstream.
            I have a WiiU and I promote their 2nd screen factor via the gamepad. Its not that no one wants it, it’s that very few devs have attempted to use it. But for example WiiU has a drawing game, a simple game. An art game. A game that the “next Gen” PS4 probably will never have, a whole genre PS4 will probably never touch because it doesn’t have a mainstream touch-screen (capable of visual art). WiiU is now about to port their uber popular DS titles to WiiU. This could mean that brain training will hit WiiU. Another entire genre you’ll likely never see on PS4, educational puzzle games etc..( Adult level orientated ones at that even). Hopefully some dev builds a ground up brain training game for WiiU.
            I even support the Move technology, but again because it doesn’t come out the box, I’m almost certain you’ll never see games built around it or very much for it at all, and never see it’s potential used. PS4 for the entire gen, will probably be more derivative NFS games that has been wrenched for all it’s worth, More run around Assasins Creeds we already know as thoroughly as can be. Every PS4 owner will probably play all FPS’s in a clunky and novice dual analogue fashion as they always have been. Just because Sony didn’t take a risk to support anything beyond the dual shock controller you knew since PS1. It’s worked out well for them now. Will see about the long term.
            I know they are pushing the new VR wave coming, but I think that will be niche and doubt that will ever become a mainstream gaming feature for a long time to come at least

          • PCS4-Box U

            Sony has a similar drawing game alread, its on Vita and its a free app called Paint (and its awesome btw!). The PS4 remote play offset everything the Wii U can do, you have no idea how impressive it is until you’ve tried it! If I had to name my #1 next gen feature, Remote Play hands down.
            Regarding the dual stick controller, coming from a PC gamer, I often like the simplicity of a controller. it’s just so much easier sometimes. I don’t always want to be hunched over my kb or have to strain my arm to keep my pointer straight (wiimote/move). I’m just going to put this out there too, The DS4 is by far the BEST controller I have ever used. While we are on the topic, the Wii U gamepad is by far the WORST in controller I have experienced as far as the dual stick/standard buttons go… that said, the touchscreen looks impressively good for not being HD but even thats held back by using cheap resistive screens instead of the vastly superior capacitive.

          • heavenshitman1

            Yeah PS4/Vita have quite a few technical features, but most don’t convince me, partly cause I’m from Australia and our online networks here suck. Just navigating the net could almost send one to tears on a broadband connection in a metro zone. Hence I don’t feel like any remote style play will work well here, or PS4′s off screen gaming via Vita. As for the drawing game on Vita, that sounds cool, though fairly small ish screen for the app I guess. Mind you I was ranting about PS4, not Vita. But perhaps unless they make an art game to run on the big screen via the Vita as the drawing tool.
            As for the DS4, well, I haven’t handled that or the XB1 version, did read some articles about it wearing its rubber sticks fast etc.. And I know the Wii motes take wrist stamina to hold and gamepad has some real weight to it. I just happily get used to it. Bit of mild strength building while gaming.
            All of this aside, and back to the article title as to whether Graphics are enough to define the Next Gen. Well, I’d still play Perfect Dark N64 over a lot of what’s out today, and maybe even Turok 1 and 2. Games running on hardware at less than 1 percent of todays performance. And I think it’s more than just nostalgia. Those games were awesomely done. And I bet you can think of games of years past that you’d still love to play over a lot of what’s releasing today.
            All great games require only design and creativity. 4K resolutions and photographic textures don’t make any game necessarily great or successful

          • heavenshitman1

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jN_C9V8csU

            http://www.gametrailers.com/reviews/h98k7e/metroid-prime-3–corruption-review

            Think both of these reviews help to demonstrate how vastly better a game can end up using say a Wii-remote as one peripheral example and how some great games can be on Nintendo’s system, if only ppl noticed Nintendo’s library better instead of assuming Wii Sports is their definitive games.
            Graphics engines don’t make a game, and relegating controls down to dual-analogue I believe is a primary cause of games stagnating.

          • PCS4-Box U

            They didn’t notice the library because of the massive piles of shovelware that plagued the system. The Wii has an average game rating of 62% (via metacritic) with only TWO games rated over 90%. The system marketed to the “caual crowd” and a “casual gamers” doesnt research before the buy games, they just buy whatever has the coolest box art. Unfortunately, when they buy a below average game, which most of them are, they are soured on gaming altogether. i could make the argument that Nintendo single handedly scared away the casual market by not being able to creat a constant flow of good titles. Therfore, when the Wii U launched, the “casual gamer” is going to look much more critcally the 2nd time around… especially when it launches at a higher price than the original and yet again launched with very little compelling software.
            Also, again regarding dual analog sticks… Even Nintendo realized that motion control had outstayed its welcome, hence the dual analogs on the primary input device (gamepad). motion control only works for a limited number of genres and shouldn’t be forced where it doesnt belong. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are ALL learning that lesson right now. Wheres the “quality” kinect games that Kinect 2.0 has to offer? Wheres the Ps Move/PS4 games when they already announced it was compatible? And again, Nintendo is straying away from motion controls due to its limitations.

          • heavenshitman1

            Yeah, I know all of the problems Nintendo had and are having. Most of them fairly separate arguments. And a lot of it different issues altogether. But as for controls, yes, certain control types only work best in finite genres, and though it’s not intuitive for the average consumer, WiiU does still facilitate the Wii-mote controls quite much so in it’s software, like Pikmin 3 for example (I refuse to play the game without the pointer, dual analogue is an option).
            And because they were aiming for a second screen, there wasn’t much way to make a Wii-mote a primary controller, they wanted to promote the 2nd screen experience which dual-analogue controls can much more easily fit onto physically speaking. Nintendo put themselves in a slight bind with the convoluding mash of controllers they have on offer. Alas, again, if they use the hardware, the 2nd screen (properly) and the Wii-motes and balance board (WiiU is nigh-on fully BC with all Wii hardware and software), WiiU is capable of better gaming than say a PS4 even despite the roughly 4x processing power of the system.
            PS4 and it’s DS4 is succeeding off sheer hype and mainstream gaming. I’m still doubting (even against XB1) that PS4 will deliver us anything of much innovation of improvement over the best titles you played the last gen or even the gen before that.

      • heavenshitman1

        And by the way, since when was Golf, Tennis, Bowling, Skateboarding, Sword fighting, Dancing, Puzzles not considered games??
        All of these the WiiU is doing just with more involvement

  • Billy The Kid

    My definition is a little like the articles, it is something that cannot be done on the past generation, something that is bigger, better and more complex.
    For me, the biggest step up so far between 360 and X1 is Battlefield 4 and its ability to have 64 player games. Ok, so its nothing a PC can’t do already but we are not talking PC’s, we are talking old generation console with a new one and that is a big and noticeable step up.
    For me it should be the ability to have larger game environments, more real world physics such as destruction of environment or even bigger crowds of people all doing unique things. It shouldn’t JUST be about graphics and pixels. It helps to have a nicer, more realistic edge to gameplay for sure, but what is the point of a photo-realistic game that can only handle 10 players or a game size the size of a regular COD map, when you can go with current generation graphics, add a bit of spit and polish to them and have huge environments with hundreds of players.
    We should be having Grand Theft Auto 6 on a map 5 times bigger than GTA5 had (which was massive compared to older games) with the power to do far more in the game than was able. It would be good to see if they can push Battlefield 5 to 100 player games, or even deeper simulation type games that we usually only see on PC.
    For next-generation we want bigger and better, and it doesn’t always have to be graphical, there is plenty of scope for bigger and better from bigger environments, more players, more uniqueness, more options and more content. I want to be in wars with 99 other guys watching my back, I want to be driving in 50 car demolition derby races, I want to be walking amongst a thousand zombies with a party of 7 other survivors all helping to survive, I want to drive at 80mph across a map that takes me 4 hours to reach one end to the other, I want to fight EVERY boxer to have ever to entered a ring, to have NPC characters walkabout the streets so unique to each other that it takes hours and hours of gameplay to finally find 2 the same, to be able to kill an alien with my party of 20 friends and pick up the randomly dropped weapon that “Borderlands on steroids” 1 of a possible 500 billion combinations. THAT is true next-gen and worth far more to me than if a screen is 1080p or 920 or whatever.
    I just hope this mythically amazing Cloud MS have been marketing can deliver some of what I want!

    • Gannicus

      There are some proper next gen games coming out, one is star citizen which everything is physics based from the rendering of the ships to the calculations on the smallest bullet. Everything has a function, the single player has 50 missions which can directly effect your standings in the persistent universe, everything is so incredibly detailed its insane, they have 212 ppl at least working on this, the player can affect the economy of stuff in the game, the community is amazing the feedback and updates are unparalleled from any company. Theres a competition going on at the moe where teams are competing to design and have there own gunship in the game and the panel of judges is Chris Roberts and the Lead designers on the game are judging it so theres no escape from shoddy work. Its amazing. Game of the decade definitely, theres people like omg its pay to win its pay to win but its really not people don’t understand the concept behind the game and are only shooting it down cus of past experiences, if any game that is pay to win will be Deep Down on PS4, no company ever gives anything away for free!!
      Other is No Mans Sky, that’s completely procedurally generated and no 2 worlds are the same apparently and that’s being done by 4 people in England. The graphics may not be the best in the world but technically speaking by the technology going into the game is really good
      GTA5 as I understand the map maybe be bigger but there isn’t really anything filling in 75% of it its just long roads with nothing there

  • Steph

    Hell no graphics aren’t enough and that’s the problem. Most of these next gen games improve visually and that’s it, what’s worse is that the fans cheer about it, blinded by visuals, and ignore that the gameplay is just recycled. This is only going to result in games looking pretty but lacking in new gameplay/innovation.

    • Nicholas Perry

      I’ve always have and will continue to care about graphics. That’s just me, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about gameplay though.

      If gameplay is what truly mattered to people, then people would’ve bought the Wii U at launch like hot cakes. Nintendo is ALL about gameplay, the problem is no one buys into just gameplay. They think all that jazz with the gamepad and everything is just a gimmick. And then no one buys it, and then developers stop trying to deliver unique GAMEPLAY experiences that are not gimmicky and have depth to them. (The best example I personally think, is the Zelda sword and archery game in Nintendo Land, aiming with the gamepad is very precise and requires quite a bit of skill, there is no latency and it feels and plays amazing)

      • heavenshitman1

        I’d disagree. I always considered graphics as the icing on the cake. No one wants to eat a cake of pure icing. Of course better graphics, all other things equal, means a better game, but it really is the least important factor.
        I’d happily go back to a game like Perfect Dark N64 and hammer away that that, that game outshines most of what releases today. Running on not even a single percent of the hardware performance.
        Inversely take a game that was touted for its sheer technical prowess at the time, and generations ahead of my beloved Perfect Dark, e.g. Doom 3 and it was forgotten instantly. Just lame. Shiniest textures in the world, but everything was non-interactive, everything was indestructible, rocket launchers wouldn’t hurt glass, couldn’t damage walls circuits or lights.
        Design and interactivity, is nigh on everything in a game. And it’s why so many indie titles and ‘low-end RPGs’ still reign in popularity despite running on ancient graphical technology.
        I remember a couple years ago what was supposed to be the most popular Online RPG. “Runescape” watched a friend of mine play it for hours. Don’t understand why but alas, that game at least then looked like it was from the early 90′s. Just the most basic 3D graphics of all

    • Gannicus

      SC is where its at, its going to own

  • Dirkster_Dude

    Are Graphics Alone Enough to Make a Video Game Title Truly “Next-Gen”? – I don’t even need to read the rest of the article because the answer is “No!”. You can have the prettiest game in the world, but if it plays like crap or has a crap story who is going to want to play it? CoD: Ghosts is a perfect example – Single Player = crap, Multiplayer = crap, Graphics = Superior to 360 or PS3, but not really evolutionary in terms of immersion.

    • NeoTechni

      I bought cod ghosts only for the collector’s edition. I still enjoyed both single and multiplayer. Especially multiplayer, its far better than anything Nintendo has put out

      • PCS4-Box U

        Graphics on Ghost sucked ass by the way.

  • Gannicus

    You want see a truly next gen game… Star Citizen, that is truely next gen from the gfx down to gameplay, everything has a function everything can be controlled… if something doesnt do anything its either given something to do or removed from the game. The whole thing is physics driven from Physical Based Rendering, to piloting the ships, even every single shot fired has physics calculated for it. Remember star ship troopers 1 when that women was flying through the station around the moon, if its built like that in star citizen you can fly through it and if you hit the sides you dont just bounce off you crash and damage is done to the ship, if you leave it itll degrade, rust etc over time its going to be awesome

  • Fear Monkey

    Graphics are a big deal for next gen, but only when they break free of the older consoles and start making games for the new systems that really take advantage of that extra hardware power. These old console games that are improved for the new consoles arent really next gen, and the games that come out in the first year don’t really take advantage of the systems yet. Comparing the first year games on Xbox 360 to something like Halo 4 for instance.

    The other part that will make it next gen is all that memory, so we can have bigger worlds/levels with more objects, better animations, and better AI. AI is where I’d love to see major improvements made. Physics are going to much better with the new hardware as well, and the particle effects will be much improved,

    I don’t really feel that kinect or the PS eye with lower latency is next gen to me, even though games can do some neat things like scan you into a game.

  • Dennis Crosby

    Alot factors into a game to make it a next gen game but you also have to remember just because it is on a last gen console doesn’t mean its not a next gen game either. Take a look at titanfall what makes the game next gen is it game play and the new xbl experience together makes it a next gen game. Well then you’ll say but its on Xb360 yes and its also bringing those game play elements and new xbl experience with it and it will be the only game on xb360 to take advantage of the xbl dedicated servers and cloud computing (yes its a real thing its what power the A.I in the game) so its still can be considered next gen at the end of the day as along as we get new game play, mechanic graphic will never matter. You can paint a crappy cars an amazing color it still will be a crappy call

    • Goodgrief

      No matter how hard you try to justify it or spin it, the fact is that titanfall cannot be considered a nextgen game. No game that plays the exact way on both current gen and last gen systems can ever be considered next gen. Your comment and justification made absolutely no sense whatsoever and it’s blatantly obvious you are just trying to hype it. Does that mean that it’s not a good game? No, but calling it nextgen is asinine. Everything that is being done on the xbone is being done on the 360. How the hell can you consider that nextgen? Take off your bloody fanboy glasses for once.

    • Harerazer

      Titanfall is a bad example because, honestly, there is nothing next gen about the game. That’s not to say it’s not fun and shiny and creative and blah blah but it has absolutely nothing that couldn’t be done on older hardware as is evident by the fact that it runs 100% (and not gimped) on older hardware. If there are no features stripped/limited then it need not use the advanced features so it’s simply not Next Gen.
      Now this depends on the definition of Next gen and if we’re tying the phrase to hardware or gameplay features. If a game is Next gen because it’s on a newer system then THAT is the definition. Referencing the editorial if your game doesn’t do something that cannot be done on older hardware then that removes Titanfall from the conversation.

      • Dennis Crosby

        I guess you guys didn’t catch the “new XBL experience” is what makes it next gen and that alone push it over the old gen category how about this we call it pre-nextgen since you get a glimpse into the next gen xbl experience Microsoft is pushing

        • Harerazer

          So the game is “next gen” because the system is? So if they port the GB version of Tetris over to the XB1/PS4 does that make Tetris “next gen” also? Remember, the topic here is if a VIDEO GAME is next gen due to it’s features (the graphics). What does that have to do with a hardware feature? Titanfall is simply a new game… nothing more, nothing less. Arkham Knights, for example, will be next gen because it will do things that simply couldn’t be done previously on the existing hardware. If Titanfall can run 100% faithfully on both the 360 and XB1 then it has absolutely zero Next Gen capability. Titanfall’s big bulletpoint is the Cloud ability. Obviously the software could have been made 5 years ago as long as the programmers had the ability and the servers existed for the 360 back then. I’m 1000% sure that had Bungie, Infinity Ward, or anyone else really good with the 360 hardware thought of doing Titanfall 5 years ago it would have been no problem.

  • Nintengoth

    Have you noticed that nobody really talks about the Wii U? lol the Wii U is truly a next gen console, the other two while great looking powerhouses, are just little upgrades from their predecessors.
    graphics not make a game although sooo many people think it does lol

    • NeoTechni

      Because the wii u truly is not next gen. Its not even as next gen as the 360 was.
      Calling ps4/x1 just little upgrades is a fanboys joke. Devs have said they’re over 10 times as powerful. Wii u? Its CPU is one sixth as powerful as 360s.

      • Nicholas Perry

        Sure, keep saying that. Meanwhile, there have been plenty of Wii U games that run at 60FPS AND look better than almost every PS3/360 game out there. Developers don’t want to abandon their crutches of CPU dependency because of the lack of GPU power in the PS3 and 360.

        Go play Super Mario 3D Land and tell me of a SINGLE (let alone first party) PS3/360 game that runs at 1280×720 native, looks THAT good and NEVER Drops a frame.

        Yeah because there ISN’T one.

        • NeoTechni

          “Sure, keep saying that”

          You keep telling yourself they aren’t. I’ll take the developer’s words over idiotic fanboys defending their weak, last-gen system.

          ” there have been plenty of Wii U games that run at 60FPS AND look better than almost every PS3/360 game out there.”

          You’re right about the 60 fps, but you’re not right about looking better

          “and NEVER Drops a frame. Yeah because there ISN’T one.”

          Now you’re obligated to prove Mario 3d land never drops a frame. But mathematically speaking you can’t prove that. You emphasized NEVER. To prove that you’d need to record the game running for infinite/till it drops a frame. I assure you, dropping a frame comes before infinite.

          Also, PS3 has 1080p native games. Super Stardust runs at 120 fps at 720p. MANY games look better than mario 3d, that’s a low bar. That’s how it hits 60 fps so easily.

      • Gannicus

        PS4 and X1 are little upgrades. 10 times as powerful doesn’t mean much…. if theyd put a 780 or a 290 GPU in the boxes theyd be 25-50 times more powerful than the previous gen so 10 times is a bit rubbish. But then theyd also cost about £600-700 for the box, but instead of having like 5 Teraflops of power with console optimization youd be looking at 10 Teraflops of power and the games would be insanely good, Them boxes could run real 4K games but next gen itll just be 10x as powerful again and theyd be about the same technical wise as the gfx cards on the market on the low end again

    • PCS4-Box U

      Too bad the Wii U doesnt have games OR graphicsm and they games it does have are essentially the same games we’ve been playing for the last 20 years. Adding a gimmicky dual-screen to Super Mario Bro and cat suits are hardly what i consider to be next gen.

      • Nicholas Perry

        No one develops for it and no one buys it because it doesn’t have graphics. That’s the problem, people act like they don’t care, but come next gen console time. People do and then stuff that actually has a ton of pure gameplay merit. They deride it as gimmicky even though it’s not and because it doesn’t have ultra mega real new graphux that it’s not next gen

  • jacksjus

    I saw the podcast when they brought this up and I agree wtih Tony. If it’s cross gen then it isn’t truly next gen.
    As subtle as it may be I have heard the Sony developers saying that the particle effects in a game like Knack would have been impossible on the PS3. The particle effects according to the developers is very taxing on the hardware in the PS4.

  • NeoTechni

    Its never just graphics though. Its things like physics, ai, multiplayer.

  • albatrosMyster

    That’s like saying is gameplay alone or frame rate alone or story alone or physics/particles alone?

    The whole “next gen” idea is an hardware upgrade, like getting a new gaming PC, what makes a game “next gen” is that it runs on a better machine… the games that push it in ways we would never have though of before in any technical way will make people more amazed at their new machine… like Tomb Raider (60fps 1080p, better textures, more particles… it’s just more enjoyable), Titanfall or the new Metal Gear game (again, more resolution, better frame rate and more details)… on and on and on, they’re all available on older machines, yet they’re good examples of “next gen” on the new machines as well (Titanfall is showed as an xb1 showpiece, tho I question its merits on a purely technical level, no matter how fun it may be).

    I can’t wait to see Infamous:SS or The order, however I like the cross gen titles because they’re all 60fps on the PS4 so far, which makes the upgrade worth it!

    • Gannicus

      How can you consider Tomb Raider a next gen game? of course they upped some of the stuff so that they can get suckers to buy the same game again. Its not next gen in the slightest. Btw PS4 does not do 60 fps on almost every game, its just the average framerate is closer to 60 than it is 30 so they label it as 60 fps.

      • albatrosMyster

        Would it be titles like Killzone:SF, Forza 5, Knack, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse that are “next-gen” then? or will it start when Infamous:SS, The Order 1886 and Quantum Break are released? (next gen only titles that will probably get good ratings)

        As for the 60fps, well, yes there are drops below it, it’s much better than having problems to maintain 30fps on most games… most PS4 games can claim they are fluid, if they don’t hit a solid 60fps and they do this while keeping good image quality.

        • Gannicus

          you cant hit a solid 60 fps without reducing image quality or texture detailing to maintain it, it needs to doing about 80 fps to get a more or less solid 60. seeing as PS4′s image quality is being upped to breaking point its pointless having image quality lowered to hit 80 fps to keep a solid 60. Id say ryse is next gen cus its using cryengine 4 with unparalleled level of realism which is good for a launch game. KZ prolly is, I wouldn’t say forza 5 was, knack isn’t really cus PC games beat that. The Order 1886 is definately next gen cus of the technology gone into it, PC could do that but game engines bin held back so that they can be played on 360/ps3 so the next gen game engines are coming out to push the hardware more which a PC sorely needs cus its like having Bugatti Veyron but limited to 30 mph at all times. Now we can start getting on the autobahn with an advised speed limit but generally not enforced. Havnt looked at quantum break, Star Citizen is gong to blow every game out of the water on PC, its possible it might come to PS4 to but wont look as good as a PC on maximum details. Infamous hmm I wouldn’t call it a next gen game cus the technology in it doesn’t look that impressive tbh. Its nothing that hasn’t bin done before really, its just maximising the use of dx11 and the new hardware.

          • albatrosMyster

            Man you talk about solid 60, then you talk about Ryse being “next gen” I would say that Ryse is a blow back if anything, it looks great in screenshots, but the frame rate is just unbearable.. and there is barely any game play involved when “playing” it.

            In therms of impressive tech, Killzone:SF is where it’s at, full 1080p (in SP at least) great amount of details, raytraced reflections/refractions, natural lighting, amazing image quality, pretty big levels with many enemies that you actually interact with, sound reflections that not only take into account the shape of the environment but also the materials of the rooms… and it runs at a decent frame rate.

            I have not played infamous yet (few people have) but in therms of interactivity and details it certainly beat out Ryse (no matter how you prefer the general setting, Ryse is pretty much empty).

            What’s impressive in Ryse is the performance capture, which you can get in games that are actually good on the PS3 like The Last of Us, or since you like more cinematic and less play Heavy Rain or Beyond Two souls…

            This is a perfect example why I find this whole expression of “truly next-gen” games is infantile, xbox fans come in and say that somehow Infamous looks worse than Ryse, which makes no sense at all… I would also say that the frame rate and better textures + effects makes Tomb Raider more interesting than Ryse to look at in motion and much more interesting to play, because there is actual gameplay and exploration involved (outside the intermissions anyway, because the acting in Tomb Raider is far from great)… games running smoothly is the best thing!

            in all honestly, 99% of what will come from the extra memory and processing will be refined AI, better graphics/effects and bigger environments… many behind the scene benefits will let devs cache a lot of data, reducing the dependency on constant streaming of data from storage to ram, which greatly help interaction in open world games.

          • Gannicus

            raytracing… and the console guys hold up the PC again. Don’t think consoles hold us up?, weve had cards capable of doing it for a while now (fair play not all PC’s are upto the job) and nothing uses it cus the stupid consoles couldn’t, you say the tech in KZ is amazing… its not PC can do it ages ago its only now you’ve got the new iteration of a console that can do it we’ll start seeing games that do use it but its only a certain amount of time before they start holding us up again. That’s why everyone is pumped about Star Citizen, achieving the stuff the consoles cant even do now, along with a lot of PC’s to lol
            Ryse in terms of technicality on the model is pretty amazing, apparently the rest of the game doesn’t look so good like crowds cheering or whatever. You talk about amazing sound Thief uses convolusive reverb (I think) which is extremely power consuming but if the sound processor in PS4 is based on TrueAudio chip from AMD its why its better. Add in the wise or theres another plugin for sound and itll be really good, that’s more AMD and a 3rd party plugin creating realistic 3D sound and reflections rather than KZ developers doing a lot of the leg work. Tomb Raider prolly is better than ryse in gameplay not got either console so dunno what Ryse plays like. prolly like thief, not that good.
            Yeah of course the more ram etc everything gets better but like ive said before consoles hold the PC back cus on multiplatform systems you have to operate for the lowest common demoniator which will be the consoles, and that will come sooner rather than later this gen. Well be having high end gfx cards coming standard with 4-8GB ram (well its already here with the 290′s and 880′s should come with at least 4GB ram to), having 16GB system ram isn’t a bank breaker anymore, can a PC use a lot that power in the future…. nope well it will if we jack the resolution upto 1440p-4K or a proper 4K game but in terms of a multiplatform game properly utilising it, no chance so ya consoles and games are really current gen cus its already here. PC is moving towards a next gen of resolution gaming already, cheap well cheapish 4K monitors are here £700 1ms 4K Asus decent colours. So yeah I guess everyones opinion of next gen is different really, ppl playing on 360 to X1 or PS4 will be wowed by everything cus its a big upgrade for them but to us PC gamers its just pffft, finally caught up… can get a game that doesn’t run at 90fps like BF4 1080p ultra setting on mid-high end gfx card

          • albatrosMyster

            I never involved PCs in this because they are just evolving gradually, as they always did… there is no such thing as a generational leap for them, there will never be.

            As for Killzone sound, I will just say one thing: EDUCATE YOURSELF.

            For Killzone reflections: EDUCATE YOURSELF

            When you say direct X is great: EDUCATE YOURSELF, it’s quite heavy and makes your PC slower, like all MS software, it’s bloated.

          • Gannicus

            when did I say DX was great… its a pile of crap… opengl is much better, mantle will be much better. even DX 12 with low level support will take a while to mature and itll still be bloated and slower I reckon. there only doing it because they probably think mantle will take there gaming thunder, but mantle implementation into a game atm is an arduous tasks and so far the devs that are doing have to take about 2 months to implement mantle so its hardly quick. it will be good though definitely for multi GPU setups. but DX will still be king for casual development
            With the KZ raytraced reflections I wasn’t saying PC have bin doing it for years I said its bin more than capable of doing it for years. Hopefully now we’ll be seeing more raytraced stuff in games seeing as PS4 can do it.
            Yeah that is why PC is never coined as next gen cus its just a little leap, holographic games will be next gen. Oculus rift im not sure cus yeah its good but how do ya see what your doing controller wise, its definitely a step in the right direction for the future though

          • albatrosMyster

            For the sound, see this demo (with explanation of GPU accelerated sound):

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuWWdiLlhyg

            and this explanation for the kind of graphics tech used in Killzone:SF

            http://fr.slideshare.net/guerrillagames/killzone-shadow-fall-demo-postmortem

            Obviously the top end PCs can do more, but I am sure that the PS4 punches above it’s percieved weight because of leaner Graphics libraries, GDDR5 and the hUMA architecture… Mantle may help windows with that.

            As for Oculus, I tried it, it’s pretty impressive, but I don’t see myself playing with this for hours and hours at a time… maybe 30min to 1 hour max…

          • Gannicus

            that’s what convolusive reverb does I think and the TrueAudio chip monitors where you are in the game and distance between other 3D objects and all that and processes the 3D sound data it before it leaves the gfx card so saves time and is really accurate so the MADDER thing is prolly built upon that sort of thing. Looks good raytracing is awesome, renders the raytrace at quarter resolution. Still quite demanding as it does say they wished for something fancier but when ya got all that going on its a plus I guess.
            Mantle helps a lot with lower powered CPU’s and multi GPU setups the most but ti think the way mantle works is that same how consoles work the game for example can specifically tell the card where to put stuff how to queue it etc, on multi GPU which GPU processes which thing rather than the driver trying to figure out the best way, the game tells it exactly how it wants it which I think is why you get the speed improvements along with stopping the CPU bottlenecking stuff. Kaveri’s hUMA with DDR3 and mantle is pretty quick, soon as it gets onto DDR4 bandwidth will jump to about 100GB/s so performance will explode
            Yeah Oculus isn’t something long term, even cinema 3D glasses get on your nerves after a bit, so having that on your face for an epic gaming session isn’t ideal

  • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

    making that batman image my new wallpaper.

    • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

      Next Generation Gaming to me consist of the following requirements which is brand new “never before seen” gameplay experiences in spawn of a new gaming genre, provided the active gaming software that can only be used on it’s respective hardware manufacture as it should be and new apps or options of choice that would be provided as an in-game interactive and share content distributive. Honestly could care less about maximized pixel count resolutions, although it goes hand in hand improving gameplay visuals …but also would be a buzz kill due to frame rate issues, as I’m Not biggest fan of lag and screen tear slowdown. yeah …I enjoy my fighting games and I’m highly anticipating GGXrd as my #1 aside from other titles, Infamous SS, MGSV, dEEPdown, DriveClub, KH3 Order 1886 & FF14RR/15?Versus.

      • DEO エリヤデボンオットリ

        As long as it’s a game that is represented fairly and works correctly on a new console that I can play as well as enjoy, that what matter’s most.
        Although I’m guessing my statement won’t matter anyway’s to the not so open-minded gamer, based on the current focus of certain gaming media and console fanboy superiority piss contest & it’s trolls. Don’t forget to feed them trolls lol.

  • PCS4-Box U

    So, you would agree when we say that XBO big exclusive system-seller, Titanfall, is in fact a last gen game then?

    • Tony Polanco

      That’s exactly what I said on the Shockcast last week. I don’t consider Titanfall to be a next gen game because it also runs on the Xbox 360. I’m not knocking its quality, just saying that I don’t see it as a true next gen game. It can’t be if it’s running on a last gen console.

      • shinitaru

        Careful man, them’s fightin’ words :P

        • PCS4-Box U

          3….2….1…..

          • Francis Jairam

            You guys love Fanboy wars don’t you?

          • PCS4-Box U

            Nah, that war was over after E3….

        • Tony Polanco

          I’m ready.

  • DougLord

    The article makes a great point. In fact I’d argue those other aspects of a game matter more than graphics. And this is where the power of the cloud will be most interesting. Not in making the Xbone look better than PS4, but in letting you do things you otherwise couldn’t like Forzas AI. It really feels like I’m playing other people that are trying to run me off the road.

  • DemonFenton

    To me next Gen is pushing the boundaries from the other generation. Another ones can one console system smarten the AI to starting at 1080p in graphics. If one system’s games average say 1080p and bringing something new to the table for instance a share button than that’s next gen. If an system is averaging 720p with it’s games almost looking similar to it’s counterpart and having an gimmick camera than it’s not next gen, it’s just version .5. Guess which one I’m giving hints on to what’s next gen and who’s following the Doritos Pope version of next gen.

  • Nicholas Perry

    That’s typically been the case yes. Would people have considered PS2 next gen if graphics still looked like PS1 games (Including sans z-buffer) but with PS2 gameplay? I don’t think so.

    Just look at Evergrace.

    People just dont’ like to admit graphics matter until “Next Gen” comes. Just look at the Wii U, because it didn’t have better “Graphux” people dismissed it because it looked comparable to the PS3 and 360. (Even though many Wii U games like TWWHD,SM3DW,NL, and others look far better than most PS3/360 games IMO)

  • Adam Frisk

    Batmobile was in Batman on PSone.

    • albatrosMyster

      It was on the Sega CD too, amazing car, with missiles and all! amazing!

  • Jecht_Sin

    The graphics output is just one of the many benchmarks. Since graphics takes a lot of GPU load, if a console can’t deliver in graphics it won’t be able to deliver in other real time effects.

    That’s the reason of the 720p vs 1080p fight. If an HW always delivers 1080p it sure has still some juice left to do other things. If another HW struggles to go above 720p that HW can be doomed. Because once a game demands more power for a real “next gen” experience it may simple not have it. Unless of dumbing it down in a place or another, sure.

  • MasterofMidnight

    I didn’t think there had to be any technical difference between generations. When you look at generations of living creatures, they aren’t improvements over past family members, they’re just the next in line after the previous ones have taken their course in life.

    Another use of ‘generation’ is that of time period, i.e. the 70′s, 80′s, and so forther.

    The same can be said for games console. They’re ultimately just the successors of previous consoles, all released under a certain time bracket. There doesn’t have to be any difference as such. Ultimately, they’re only different in that the games are naturally reflect whatever Zeitgeist is present at the time.

  • Gamez Rule

    Next gen IMO = new ideas, new graphical standards, new experiences, innovative game-play, all supported under a single idea for gamers.

    It’s a chance to show what developers can do for gamers while keeping the heart of gaming alive.

    http://static.gamespot.com/uploads/original/1534/15349500/2371786-5623964504-dark_.gif

    http://i.minus.com/ibg1yNO4JQYheQ.gif

    • Gannicus

      that video is really funny, that maybe the in game engine but not actual gameplay, same as hornet F7C commercial on star citizen uses in game engine but is rendered at 4K although by the time there done that will be what the ships look like

  • Gamist

    Yes, because graphics is what makes people stop and stare. Graphics will make some of us say, “Wow, times have changed.” or “What movie are you watching? Oh, it’s a video game?”

    • heavenshitman1

      Graphics have never been important from the get go. Interactivity is what’s important. Remember say Doom 3. At the time, it was the glossiest uber high resolution horror game. But you know, Rocket launchers wouldn’t break glass, couldn’t damage miscellaneous items sitting around benches/tables, electronics around walls and switches were indestructible. Doors were indestructible. Everything was indestructible. Boring.
      I’d still go back to a game like N64s Perfect Dark and hammer away at that if I still had it (sadly I don’t) than play for example, Killzones or Cods. We’re talking a game running on hardware not even 100th as powerful. Not even a single percent of the processing performance of the latest gen, and it has software that outshines it. And I’m sure lots of ppl would agree with my comparison, if only they’d actually attempt to have ever played the ‘Perfect Dark’ game. I bet you would have some titles in mind from many years ago that takes your interest better than the sequals being dished out today.
      Design is everything!, Devs today are lazy thinkers. And that’s why games get mundane. It’s nothing to do with performance of today, and it’s an excuse they’ve always used.

      • Gamist

        If we’re talking about what makes a game great then I agree with you 100%. But the question here is, are graphics alone make a game next-gen? i think so because they remind us what generation we’re in.
        When I break out an old school game, ie. Resident evil 2, I would get reactions like, “damn, the graphics are hurting my eyes” even though we all know that back then the game looked great on our 480p TV, lol.

        I’ve never played Minecraft, but I know for sure that if I played Minecraft on current gen consoles in-front of former or non-gamers (heck even gamers), they’ll definitely say something about the graphics.
        I think graphics are what we instinctively turn to to identify the generation of video games, imho.

        • someguy

          true

  • Joshua Griffiths

    I am a enjoy graphics as much or more than anything in a game. But I also enjoy games like Guacamelee, FFIX (best one hands down), games really have to be fun first and look good in the process.

  • chris

    “next gen” has always been defined by graphics

dualshockers300x250

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