E3 2014, Editorials, Featured

E3 Starts Tomorrow: it’s Time to Stop Crying About “Downgrades”

by on June 8, 2014 5:57 PM 152

The 2014 edition of the Electronic Entertainment Expo starts tomorrow, with a whole array of press conferences that will also deliver most of the upcoming trailers. Those will most probably come with the usual tail of “downgrade” complaints, which have become quite “en vogue” lately.

In the last few months every time a trailer of a hotly anticipated title got released, people scrambled to find indications of a visual downgrade, unleashing internet hell on developers (allegedly) found guilty. It’s a modern video gaming equivalent of torches and pitchforks. What’s worse is that quite a few media outlets are encouraging that nasty attitude quite actively. A screenshot comparison focusing on “downgraded” elements always brings in a lot of traffic, especially if posted in certain volatile environments. It’s the perfect detonator for very profitable flamebait.

The problem with this practice is that it’s very difficult if not almost impossible to truly distinguish an actual downgrade from a simple shift in resource allocation.

Game development is an extremely fluid process. Hardware resources aren’t infinite and any developer will tell you that during the creative process for a game things change often. Often those changes aren’t small, as studios struggle to find the best balance between all the aspects of a game.

TheOrder (5)

If you look closely at most comparisons which aim to demonstrate a downgrade, they always focus on very specific elements: this sleeve here has less polygons, that texture over there is less crisp, the lighting here is less intense, the shadows there aren’t as visible, and so forth.

None of them actually look at the big picture, simply because it’s not possible for a journalist, regardless of his experience and keen eye, to identify every single effect in a game, and things get even harder to track when combined with all the elements that build the visual fidelity of a title on our screen: resolution, anti-aliasing, polygon count, LOD, lighting, shaders, reflections, normal mapping, tassellation… I could literally write several paragraphs just to list them all, and you know what? I’d probably miss plenty, because there are many the existence of which I don’t even know about.

When you see (or are shown) one or more downgraded elements, it’s extremely likely that the resources saved on that particular part of the game have been used elsewhere, maybe on something that isn’t as easy to identify with a screenshot, but that makes the overall picture more palatable, or that better fits the artistic vision of the developer. Of course those that are trying to sell you the idea that a game has been downgraded won’t tell you that, and it’s most probable that they don’t even know themselves.

But that’s not all.

Resource shifting isn’t even limited to graphics. Current generation consoles have shared memory between system and GPU, and their graphics chip are capable of performing computing tasks. This means that developers can and often will take resources away from the visuals, maybe removing or downgrading a few effects, and re-purpose them into gameplay-improving elements: AI, advanced physics, more complex interactions, bigger worlds… Even here the list could go ahead for a while. Those elements all use resources, and many developers will prefer them to top-notch graphical glitz. Normally their primary goal is to create entertaining games, and not just jaw-dropping interactive movies.

infamous_tod_09

Finally, there’s also the case in which what some would identify a downgrade is simply the result of an artistic choice. inFAMOUS: Second Son is a clear example. The lighting of a scene of the prologue was changed from earlier trailers to better fit the mood of the narration. Many denounced a downgrade, only to look like fools when the game indeed demonstrated that it was just a design choice, and that the same lighting conditions of the trailer (actually improved) still existed elsewhere in the game.

This isn’t to say that downgrades don’t exist. They definitely do, but we simply don’t have the tools to fairly judge them. We can definitely decide that we like the visual of a game more or less than what we saw before, but that’s entirely subjective, and it may be entirely justified.

In the early stages of a development project, studios do their best to plan resource allocation according to what they think a game will become two or more years later. When early trailers are shown most games barely have a fraction of their features and content implemented, and a small portion of their world. Often they can’t even run on the machines they will finally land on, as those still don’t exist in their final form.

While developers can and will try to get as close as possible to estimate what kind of visuals they’ll be able to implement when all the features will be in place across the whole world of the game, with full physics and AI simulation running, nailing them perfectly is nigh impossible, so adjustments will inevitably happen.

photo0065_1400748495

At times they’ll overshoot, and will have to dial back on the visuals to implement all the gameplay features that are more important to the entertainment value of the title then graphics. In other cases they’ll aim short, and will find themselves with excess horsepower that will be then used for even more features or better graphics. For every game that is visually downgraded since its debut, there’s one that ends up looking better when it finally goes gold.

It’s simply the nature of game development, which is a fluid and ever-changing process lasting multiple years. While planning helps (and it’s normally done to the best of a studio’s possibilities), crystal ball scrying isn’t part of a game developer’s job description, and a degree of approximation in either direction from early showings to the end result can be chalked as endemic of this industry.

Despite the fact that armchair developers across the internet are getting more and more eager to pull out the torches and pitchforks and turn into a virtual lynchmob, and certain journalists are ever eager to encourage them, developers don’t downgrade a game’s visuals because it’s fun or because they like to be dishonest.

They do it because they try hardest to ship the best game they can, a process which often includes shifting the delicate balance of graphics and gameplay. We might as well try to come to term with this concept and have fun with the actual games, instead of spoiling it by counting pixels.

Join the Discussion

  • Alexander

    I don’t care about downgrades I care about games like Infamous:SS and KZ:SF sacrificing gameplay for graphics

    • Rower

      Agreed

    • MTM2

      Infamous sacrificed gameplay for graphics?

      What?

      • Sexy Mcgee

        News to me. Killzone was the best MP shooter I’ve played in five years and Infamous was the best superhero game since Crackdown.

    • Delsin Rowe

      lol
      inFAMOUS sacrifice gameplay over graphics?
      just lol.

    • Jordan

      The graphics and gameplay were there… The developers should’ve worked on the story a little more.

    • Porcu Peth

      except they didn’t

    • They Call Me Senpai

      Killzone always has good gameplay and Infamous had excellent gameplay.

  • GodGamerDerp

    Despite this, I guarantee people will continue calling “downgrade” based on poorly compressed, low resolution stream or youtube footage. Or calling downgrade based on a lighting or time of day change.

    Infamous and The Order weren’t downgraded from their earlier footage. Hopefully we get more high quality footage of The Order soon. Streaming a trailer on twitch was a bad idea.

    • Jeff Maxwell

      and youll be the right there with your copy and pastes ready to go

      • GodGamerDerp

        Damn straight.

        • Jeff Maxwell

          hahah even when its completely uncalled for

        • Gershom_Goldberg

          Good shill. You are doing YHWH’s work. You might get a bonus if you keep up.

          • Guest

            4chan trash

    • You_Still_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

      And I will be here to laugh at you and drop truth bombs, as always.

      You can never escape, Derp.

  • Delsin Rowe

    Ah That Headline ! what matters is that what we get at the end, is the best thing that is possible ! i don’t care about downgrade at all.

  • MTM2

    People have become preoccupied with analysing visuals from a technical standpoint (resolution, textures, poly counts etc) but to me I find well stylised visuals much more important and attractive and something we should be focusing on.

    That’s the reason Wind Waker on the Gamecube in all this SD glory is a more visually interesting and pleasing title than Watch_Dog’s HD, ‘next gen’ Chicago – IMO anyway…

    • Sexy Mcgee

      Nevermind the Wind Waker comparison. You could make a more direct comparison with GTA V. GTA V is actually more visually appealing than Watch Dogs because R* aren’t only better at the tech side but also have better artists.

      • They Call Me Senpai

        Watch Dogs is far more visually appealing than GTA V, because Ubisoft have more talented artists.

        • Delsin Rowe

          agreed !

        • Sexy Mcgee

          Hey, who am I to tell a coprofiliac to stop enjoying what he does.

          • Clifton Walton

            Lame. Go cry some more.

          • Sexy Mcgee

            I will, thank you for the advice.

      • Nihelus Aurenis

        Anyone who says GTA V looks better than Watch Dogs has not actually played Watch Dogs on a current gen system. Half of them are probably trolled idiots who watched a twitch stream of a 360 version claiming to be XBO. That was quite popular for a while.

        • MTM2

          As in my original point, Watch_Dogs may technically be a better ‘looking’ game, for me I found the GTA 5 game world much more visually interesting and believable.

          Watch Dogs was very impressive no doubt, but the world felt very clinical (for lack of a better term) … too clean. Rockstar do a very good job of giving their game worlds some dirtiness to make the world looked ‘lived in’ versus just existing.

          And maybe it’s a sub-concious thing, but because the entirety of the WD map and POI’s are mapped out from the start, you don’t feel like you’re ever truly exploring the map and uncovering details for yourself – unlike Bethesda or Rockstar game worlds where the map is empty at the start and as you take initiative to explore the map fills up with your discoveries (locations etc). It feels like a world you’re partaking in, versus a world which is solely servicing the player.

      • xRaizen

        Yeah, I liked GTA V’s visual style better than WD’s. AC4 however looked beautiful, the visual designers for that game did an amazing job, felt like I was in a painting sometimes.

        • Sexy Mcgee

          Sorry to say I can’t agree with that. To me AC4 looked like it was made in a map editor with asset brushes or a randomly generated tile set instead of each setting being given the detail and care of a painting.

          • xRaizen

            I meant compared to past AC games, I didn’t like 3 at all lol.

          • Sexy Mcgee

            I’m really interested in how AC Unity lives up to the teaser. Some shots are clearly in game since you can see the engine render objects with things like LOD or textures popping-in but some shots are difficult to believe.

  • Cassive

    I’m not bothered with little downgrades but Watch_Dogs was unacceptable, if The Order: 1886 is downgraded, that’s it, I’ve lost hope in this generation.

    Anti aliasing is essential though, I can’t stand f**king jaggies!

    • Jeff Maxwell

      well the consoles would never of hit those visuals anyway tbh so would of bin “downgraded” anyway i.e. settings lowered alot

      • Cassive

        I’m not even bothered about multi plats being downgraded, it’s not like they’re tailored to any specific hardware, it’s the console exclusives, it’s just embarrassing, isn’t this supposed to be “next gen” why they gotta compramise?

        • Jeff Maxwell

          prolly cus they’ve cheaped out on the hardware and either downgrade it or have to make new ways of achieving something that’s more efficient so you can do it with less power

      • Jecht_Sin

        Yeah, that’s why it is downgraded on PC as well, isn’t it?

        • Jeff Maxwell

          yeah but a PC has a lot more chance of getting those visuals on watch dogs than the consoles have so either way the consoles would not of looked like that. I don’t know what they’ve done to watchdogs tbh cus they must be wasting ALOT of power from 780/780ti/290/290x cus my 280x nearly maxes it out at 30fps min so maybe they’ve done it on purpose

          • Jecht_Sin

            We can say that we don’t know what they have done on PS3 or X360 either since GTAV in the old consoles looks and especially runs much better.

            But actually we know, since we discussed about this already. To develop a new IP for 5 consoles and also the PC isn’t exactly the best idea. Well, not in terms of optimization, since it terms of sales it has been working quite well for Ubisoft.

          • Jeff Maxwell

            i think the game engine needs more work tbh, could be a factor why they couldn’t do it so ho hum, see what watch dogs 2 looks like

          • Jecht_Sin

            Honestly I’d rather wait and see how RDR or GTA VI will look like. Hopefully we’ll have a taste in few hours!

          • Jeff Maxwell

            GTA6? doubt well have a GTA6 itll just be GTA5 remastered for PC x1 and ps4 less than a year later… that’s it considering it takes like 4-5 years between GTA games cant expect a new one anytime soon

          • Jecht_Sin

            No, I didn’t mean a taste of GTA VI. That for sure won’t be at E3. Maybe at E3 2017! A taste of whatever R* is prepping, which I hope it will be RDR. The time is ready.

          • Jeff Maxwell

            ah right, I dunno what other games they’ve done tbh so who knows

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      “unacceptable?” how comes?

      Watch Dogs was released as a much bigger, much more complex game than what was initially intended. Those resources had to be taken somewhere, and it made the game arguably better.

      That’s plenty acceptable to me.

    • Boerewors

      Nice article, and to comment on the “unacceptable” part I’d like to add the following: the footage of 2012 was a target render, which like Is stated above is bound to change within 2 years worth of development. but more importantly… It wasn’t the only footage out there! Were you hiding under a rock since e3 2012 for WD to come out?? There have been multiple trailers with in- game footage ever since, including one that started the entire “downgrade” discussion. So if there indeed was some downgrading, in no way did Ubisoft deceive the customer! You can’t claim these perceived downgraded visuals are unacceptable, without factoring in all the footage Ubisoft put out to give an honest idea of how the game would shape up to be.

    • twinspectre

      what? you judge a game just for the graphic?????

      HandHolding , Regen Health , WayPoints , Checkpoints ever 2 secs , scripted sequences , too linear , too damn easy even in hard difficulty , no challenge. thise is the main reason why gaming nowadays is dumbed down and it sucks

      • They Call Me Senpai

        There are numerous games that are difficult even with the things you listed. It’s not our fault you play games that are too easy.

        • twinspectre

          and it is not my fault if you sucks with Videogames (if you know what i mean)

    • Sexy Mcgee

      Agreed. This generation is turning out to be a disappointment. I hope that it doesn’t last more than five years but I’d even be up for them finally selling mid generation hardware upgrades and having the game scale based on which version of the console you have.

  • MedBottle

    You’re a great gaming journalist Giuseppe. Keep up the good work.

  • twinspectre

    people complain about downgrade graphic , but i’ve never seen a single gamer complaining about the damn dumbeddown gameplay…

    • British_Otaku

      Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF0EaH73ee4
      HyperBitHero looks at The Last of Us (while touching for a second on other titles) and how mechanics and such have dropped from promotional material to the release version.

      • twinspectre

        this is one of the many reasons why gaming nowadays is fu*kedup
        now we have HandHolding , Regen Health , WayPoints , Checkpoints ever 2 secs , scripted sequences , too linear , too damn easy even in hard difficulty , no challenge. these are the other reason why gaming nowadays is dumbed down

        man, screw the graphic we should complain about the reasons i’ve listed in order to have an awesome gaming experience

        • They Call Me Senpai

          You’re the only one who seems to think that those are issues.

          • twinspectre

            it is a issue pal , it is not my fault if you need being handholded

            this is the reason why devs are treating us like Idiots https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4yIxUOWrtw

          • Alter

            no, that’s clearly a tutorial mission. without basic understanding of the game there’s no telling what we can and can’t do in game.

          • twinspectre

            moderngames are full of handholding BS and the videos is not a Tutorial it is showing the current state of gaming

        • British_Otaku

          While I don’t really like games with put a lot of focus on those concepts, I don’t think your comment has much to do with the video I posted up.

          Usually games with great mechanics, levels and challenge still have a good visual aesthetic, some even rank among the top of their generation.

      • They Call Me Senpai

        That’s his opinion, which is in no way factual.

        • British_Otaku

          Yes, it is his opinion.
          There are plenty of parts in the video where he uses direct quotes or footage to show his points, making those parts factual. Missing mechanics, less effective AI, missing animations…

          If you have any disagreement, I would rather you said what you think is wrong (perhaps with a source or example, then I would be likely to think about your claim a little more) or reply to this video.

  • wrestlefan01

    i have no problem with down grades as long as the game is fun and the controls are nice..however i do wish they would be honest about it during the presentation..and tell us that the game is being played on something else instead of using an illusion to wow the crowd when they know it isnt being played on the console they claim it is

  • http://www.facebook.com/PlagaX Donte Dillon

    Okay, while I agree with some points I still think it’s ridiculous to show a game off looking amazing a few weeks before (Dark Souls 2) and then quietly start showing a substantially worse looking game… Dark Souls 2 had this amazing looking atmosphere in earlier footage and then we get something entirely different which ruined a lot of the immersion.

    • wrestlefan01

      yup as i said..i can accept a downgrade..just be honest with us

      • Sexy Mcgee

        Remember when Jonathan Moron (Watch Dogshit community manager) outright bullshitted people when called out on the graphics?

        It was hilarious how he would reply to nearly every post even challenging people to see for themselves and make the comparison when the game release. As soon as the game launched he disappeared. LOL

    • Jecht_Sin

      The crazy thing about Dark Souls 2 is that the beta on players consoles (thus the real deal) was better. So at least they say.

  • Sumyung

    He’s using logic and reason!!! Quick!! Get him!!!

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      I’m a pretty fast runner :D

      • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

        Guns? They seem popular nowadays.

      • xRaizen

        Yeah, lets always let publishers walk over consumers!

      • Homer Ruglia Beoulve

        Let’s see if you can outrun Kenshiro from Hokuto no Ken!

  • TeronGalentte

    Hey people if you want to watch the E3 conference tomorrow here is the streaming link.
    http://blog.eu.playstation.com/e3/

    • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

      “The” you mean Sony’s. There are three others. Sheesh.

      • TeronGalentte

        Lol thanks edited it..

        • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

          Better. Thank you.

  • Sexy Mcgee

    Stupidly provocative title that made me skip the article. Legitimate consumer concerns regarding a willingly deceptive advertisement campaign isn’t “crying”.

    However, it’s not surprising this is coming from the same guy who vehemently defended Watch Dogs. When everyone could see with their own eyes that the game looked a lot worse and even journalists in the media reported the game not only looked worse but at times looked bad. Then tried to make his case with screenshots (that were bullshots in themselves) that still clearly showed a downgrade.

    • They Call Me Senpai

      A downgrade that you imagined.

      • Sexy Mcgee
        • xRaizen

          BURN!

      • wrestlefan01

        imagined?? as a fan of the game..anyone with goof vision could see the big difference from the e3 demo and the actual game in action.

      • NoNeedToArgue

        watch is clearly downgraded. the PC version does not match the e32012 version, and the ps4 version is not even close to the e32013 version. the only one we can say didnt suffer a downgrade was the xb1 version and that’s because we never saw it

      • Clifton Walton

        The downgrade is fairly minor. The final game looks very good and not too far off from that old demo.

        In any case, every demo since then has shown graphics very similar to what we find in the final game. In fact, on my PC the game looks noticeably better than any of those PS4 demos.

  • LordArklon

    Apologist nonsense. So essentially, we can’t have an opinion if we’re not sycophants who accept whatever is thrown our way. Got it. Sorry, but it goes both ways. The intricacies of the development process go without saying, but don’t act like there isn’t something to be said about falling short of initially intended goals. As consumers who pay their admission price the same as everyone else, it’s our right to demand and expect a level of quality that meets what we were initially told to expect. After all, it’s not as though we’re dealing with amateurs; these are seasoned professionals working with comparatively astronomical budgets and resources in some cases, so I don’t think it’s asking too much for them to exercise a bit of discretion when they reveal their wares to the public. What you’re insinuating is that we should learn to deal with eroding quality and lower our standards. Sorry, not gonna happen. The day gamers relinquish all accountability from the developers and publishers of these games is the same day that this industry and hobby will be in the cesspool. Again, it works both ways.

    There is a degree of hyperbole and disinformation that gets tossed about, especially on the internet, but you seem to only consider one side of the argument, tossing a halo over the heads of devs and pubs as if the target audience is the only group that’s in the wrong. You can settle for being a shill if you want to (not surprising when one considers the state of gaming journalism today), but don’t expect the rest of us to follow suit because you say so.

    • xRaizen

      It seems like many people don’t know about consumer rights. We can complain, and in cases like downgrades, we should.

      • Clifton Walton

        “Consumer rights” is mostly bullshit. It’s a concept created by people who don’t understand what true rights are and lack any understanding of how free market economies actually function.

        Nobody is holding a gun to your head. People produce goods and you are free to buy them or not. So long as they don’t lie about what the product offers they have committed no crime or wrongdoing.

        Some of you act like we were misled about certain games, but such claims are absurdly and demonstrably false in most cases.

  • Jordan Santacruz

    Oh gee wiz, how dare we be disappointed when game publishers only ever bring their marked-up trailers to big trade shows, and then only ever show the downgrade, and that’s exactly what it is, a week or two before release.

    Listen, there’s the smart way to beat this trend and the anti-consumer way. Telling customers to be pulled in by the trailers full of bullshots, but not expect that same level of quality at release due to artistic vision changes or shifts in processing focus or whatever, reeks of shallow, anti-consumer business practices. Meanwhile, a simple shift to artstyle focus over graphical fidelity until some genius figures out how to render textures, shadows, and light more efficiently across all platforms (or the technology catches up with the apparent NEED for true-to-life graphics), would sidestep this problem entirely and cause more visually memorable games with tons more personality.

    Either way, this is a bad article that defends shitty business practices and cites no games where sacrificing graphical fidelity for AI, physics, or gameplay has actually happened. Spoiler: Because it never has.

    • xRaizen

      I agree with everything you said. These articles only enable publishers to do it even more. We should be stopping this, not supporting it. Why show us one thing, when we’re really getting something else. Similar, sure, but its not the product that was advertised. We don’t want to see tech demos, we want to see how the game would actually look like when we PLAY IT OURSELVES. We shouldn’t be complaining about downgrades because it shouldn’t even happen in the first place! For all the hsit that CoD gets, at least we’re shown what the game will look like. Hell even MGS Ground Zeroes looks like the reveal (and at 60fps on PS4/One too!). I would be okay if they show the ultra high PC graphics settings, as long as the game is coming out on PC too. But when publishers reveal something (for example, Watch_Dogs) that looks REALLY good, I expect to be able to play it as its shown. I have a beast of a computer, and WD does not look like the 2012 reveal. The effects were downgraded, textures, lighting, even gameplay mechanics that were prominent in subsequent trailers.

      We need to speak up about it and change it! Tell them its NOT OKAY to do things like this.

      • desponent

        Tech demo is fine if they include fine print and not label it as real gameplay on their promotions for months or even year, actually I’m not sure if that’s even legal.

    • Sexy Mcgee
    • DLConspiracy//

      So let me ask you this then. How do you feel about definitive editions then? Where they resell the original that looks a bit better?

      • NoNeedToArgue

        what does that have to do with anything? they are reselling the original that looks better because there is newer more powerful hardware. Not on the same console.

        • DLConspiracy//

          I was asking him.

      • Vious

        you’re moving the goal post.

        • DLConspiracy//

          I was just curious.. Oh well.

          • Sucka Free

            Everybody’s on edge for E3

          • DLConspiracy//

            I am a little restless myself. Glad the first conference is in the morning but wouldn’t mind sleeping in a bit. haha.

    • Clifton Walton

      You’re an idiot. Which game has shown non-representative footage all the way up until release? Or anywhere close to release?

      Watch Dogs is the recent game that people like you got all up in arms over, but we have known exactly what that game would look like for over a year and a half. Nobody can sensibly claim that they were misled.

      If you aren’t smart enough to understand that games in development are subject to change (and why that is) then you really don’t deserve anything.

      I’m so sick of you whiny entitled ignorant gamers.

    • Gershom_Goldberg

      THE GOYIM KNOW

      SHUT IT DOWN. SHUT IT DOWN NOW.

  • They Call Me Senpai

    Great article, sir! A majority of today’s gamers are entitled whiners who will find any reason to complain, even if they have to imagine it.

    • wrestlefan01

      as a consumer i have a right to be mad that something i pay for isn’t as good as originally advertised..showing those game play demonstrations with graphics they know good and well they can not attain on the consoles they claim to be playing the game on is false advertising..i wouldnt care if they down graded a game and were honest about it..but when you downgrade a game then take to twitter and swear it hasnt been downgraded it reeks of shadiness.

    • Josh Melton

      That’s Cute, calling today gamers entitled babies..

  • Ngolem

    Every time a site like this comments on “gamer” outcry, it only further reaffirms the fact that there’s something wrong. Journalism in this industry is like the parasitic stomach twin in Total Recall

  • wrestlefan01

    so if i were to buy some salt free crackers but when i get them only to realize they are full of salt..then i shouldnt whine about it?

    • LordArklon

      Apparently not. This philosophy of teaching the consumers to hate themselves is disturbing at best, and at its very worst, extremely dangerous for all parties involved. There’s a certain degree of accountability that needs to be accepted from both sides, but the brunt of it rests with the people who create and sell us these games, first and foremost. When the customer is always wrong, and we’re expected to continuously lower our standards and accept mediocrity, then the market fails to work as intended.

      • wrestlefan01

        yup..it rather ticks me off when someone pretty much tells me..that if a company markets a product to me then when i receive said product only for it to be vastly different from what they marketed at me..i should just say o well and have no problem with it..the fact that is lost in this is these games cost 60 bucks a pop..thats a good bit of coin to spend on a game only to get very watered down version of what was originally advertised.

        • LordArklon

          Exactly. Only a shill would defend shoddy business practices like this otherwise. There are some fans who do take things to far, and I do think that we can reasonably expect some changes to happen along the way, both good and bad. Anyone who has ever created something, be it art or otherwise, can probably sympathize, but the thing is, it shouldn’t be so drastic as to be a patently different experience than what was originally intended. Furthermore, the devs and publishers in question should always have their feet held to the fire in cases like this, otherwise how else will they learn?

          • wrestlefan01

            im not going to lie…even though the huge graphical difference i enjoyed watch dogs..but i was disappoint that graphically it wasnt even close to the e3 reveal…then to learn they were actually playing it on a pc was even worse..i think they should at least have to acknowledge what they are playing it on.

          • LordArklon

            Right, and that’s totally reasonable. You may still enjoy a game, but it’s only human to have a lingering feeling of what it could have been, or worse. Devs should do their best to nip that in the bud before their games hit store shelves.

          • wrestlefan01

            well i know they have laws in place now about actual commercials were they have to have *actual game play footage* if it is actually from the game they can no longer show cgi footage and pass it off..i think their should be things like that in place for e3 as well.

  • Lennox

    Every game under sun has been downgraded. Except maybe the 2D era. Get used to it.

    • wrestlefan01

      i think most are used to it…its the fact that the devs lie about it that make people mad..the fact is when a game gets a downgrade the devs always come out to deny it when its visually apparent the game is downgraded..id have more respect for an honest person than someone who is clearly trying to sell me on buying a game based on illusions

      • Lennox

        I can understand people being mad about devs lying, but at this point I don’t even listen to thir promises. I know its going to be downgraded. If people don’t want their games downgraded then prepare to get game files that are about 60-80gb.

        • wrestlefan01

          i think most know it will be downgraded..which leads one to wonder why arent the devs just straight up about it to begin with? i mean when they show a demo then a month later we get footage that has been downgraded..they always take to twitter to claim it wasnt downgraded and our eyes must be fooling us..all i am saying is just be straight with us instead of coming off shady

          • Lennox

            You have to look at this as a business now unfortunately. Its not like the late 90′s/early 00′s anymore. Developers are going to lie. They’re going to polish those e3 demos to hell to get their hands in your wallet. Like I said I just don’t listen to the promises, the tweets, etc. Cause I know what the deal is already.

  • NoNeedToArgue

    or maybe they stop showing fluff trailers. We’re more impressed when the game looks as good as or better than the reveal.

  • Cassive

    They’ve made hardware that’s supposed to survive 10 years and it can’t even get through the 1st 12 months without graphic downgrades and resolution issues, embarrasing

  • Luke Warm

    QUALITY CLICKBAIT, WOULD READ AGAIN 10/10

  • Saxhleel
  • Axel Villar

    “They do it because they try hardest to ship the best game they can, a
    process which often includes shifting the delicate balance of graphics
    and gameplay” But we dont get either this days. Both graphics and gameplay are downgraded. And there is a difference between “this is a concept of the game” which would be valid and “this is the trailer/ad of the game you will be getting if you buy it. Believe us,its true” And then hold to that lie until the game its released like when Ubisoft said there was no downgrade a few days before the game release.

  • Alter

    Don’t buy what you don’t want. That’s simple. Your rants won’t magically fix downgraded games after all. So do devs a favor by STFU.

    • desponent

      Nah, I will be doing myself AND everyone who cares a favor by not buying the game if I deem it bad and tell everyone I know about it.

      It’s time to stop being such a corporates’ ass dog.

      • Clifton Walton

        You guys think you are “sticking it to the man”, but in reality you are ignorant and don’t understand what you are talking about.

        Yes, if a game is bad you have a right not to buy it and to also tell other people about it. But most of what has been happening lately isn’t that kind of thing. It’s mindless knee-jerk overreaction based on ignorance and baseless assumptions.

        • desponent

          If you say so Mr. holier-than-thou.

        • Sexy Mcgee

          True, buying a game based on proven bullshit, going into denial about it, apologizing for the publisher and making excuses like, “it’ll totally look as good at launch it’s not even finished yet and they’re making sacrifices for gameplay, just wait” isn’t only ignorant it’s willfully ignorant which is just retarded.

          • Sucka Free

            or you can just enjoy the game based on it own merits and no try to compare it to every stage in its development. Are they trying to deceive us? Probably, that what people do when they are trying to sell you something. Should you let that ruin my experience of an otherwise awesome game? I suppose that is up to you.

          • Sexy Mcgee

            Voted up for rational non-personal attack response.

      • IncognitosX

        “Corporate’s ass dog.”? I think someone is over entitled. If you don’t like the games then don’t buy them . . . the other 99.9% will go on enjoying the game and you can sit there pouting.

        • desponent

          You can buy and enjoy the game however you like, just don’t go around telling people to STFU when companies do whatever they want.

    • Sexy Mcgee

      But what if I wanted what the publisher showed and then what they sold me isn’t what they showed to make me want it. I think I’ll do devs a real favor by bitching about it so then they know why I sold my copy and am not buying the next iteration.

      Some moron on the internet who bends over and spreads himself open for the PR machine telling me to STFU isn’t going to change that and in fact is just going to encourage me to counter-balance his stupidity by being louder.

    • NeOmega

      Whatever

      • xultra

        YMMD
        ROFL
        CAN’T stop to laugh.
        ++

  • Vious

    well Nelva, I can’t say I agree with you this time.

  • Lennox

    Both the consumer and the developers have problems. The developers show some high res demo at E3 and fail to look the same on the retail game. They should just be realistic and show the real footage running on the consoles’ hardware. Instead of a beefed up PC. But even if the devs do a decent job of porting the games to consoles, lots of gamers get really technical about it and still complain; taking it to far. People would go to their twitters and call them names, curse them out, and even make death threats. All I’m saying is neither side is perfect. And it won’t get better if devs keep changing the quality of the games, and gamers keep being immature about everything.

  • Homer Ruglia Beoulve

    It only boils down to this one quote: Don’t let the trailers fool you. If you don’t like the game beforehand, then don’t buy it if you don’t like the “downgrade”. Take your money elsewhere and leave. Don’t ever come back.

  • Clifton Walton

    Bravo! Well written article with great insights. This author truly understands how game development works. Many gamers, on the other hand, do NOT.

  • You_Still_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

    I would like to thank myself for making every single clickbait site wig the hell out over downgrades with my endless truth bombs. The Order: 800P threads would never have been as fun without Sony’s relentless spinning over the screen tear in the public demo (The Order 720P upscaled to 800P incoming). Guiseppe, William Usher and all the other morons going straight into damage control before E3 even starts. Even that fat ass $ony shill Jeremy Conrad freaked out because of me (Sadly it’s too late for him to try throw himself in front of a truck again as that would just damage the truck) and exposing the fanboy hypocricy has never been so fun (Especially Sony fanboys. Remember. Resolution ONLY matters if it’s higher then xboner. If PC master race makes fun of your resolution. Stammer “B-B-BUT GAMEPLAY” ineffectively).

    And remember on the eve of E3. PC gaming is the master race.

    For anyone inevitably disappointed by the M$ and $ony conferences. Please consult Newegg in the US and Scan in the UK for the best pricing on PC parts. Better gaming awaits with the PC Master Race :^)

  • You_Still_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

    Oh and while I am at it. Enjoy your permanent ban from Neogaf after tonight, Dualshockers.

    RIP what little credibility you had. This article just pisses on the grave.

    • superkarma

      “NeoGAF” and “credibility” in the same post? That’s cute.

  • Sucka Free

    I think the industry should go back to the PS2/Xbox/GC era. The games didn’t look that great, but people complained about it a lot less

  • Nabbic

    If you are shown something that influences your decision however is not like the end product, it is false advertising.
    Please report all downgrades to trading standards and explain that your decision has been influenced by previous trailers and “gameplay” which turned out to differ from the product you received.

    If you show me a gameplay trailer or gameplay footage, you have entered a promise that this is the end product. If you talk in detail about core features of the game, you have entered a promise that this is the end product. Your actions have now influenced my decision in ways, and if I saw the end product as it actually is, I may not have purchased it.
    And if this product differs to what I am promised, I have a right to complain about it.

    This is not whining, or being immature, this is standing up for my BASIC CONSUMER RIGHTS that all other industries respect except for the video game industry. And what’s worse, there are people like you who actually try to shame those who actually stand up for those rights. This needs to stop.

    False advertising is highly illegal and can get the companies involved in a lot of trouble. However they get away with it because no one reports it.

    I’m going to say this is caps so even you notice this, but here it goes
    IF YOU CANNOT PROVIDE A PRODUCT THAT MATCHES WHAT YOU HAVE PROMISED, DO NOT PROMISE ABOVE WHAT YOU CAN GIVE
    IF YOU PROVIDE A BUILD TO THE PUBLIC, THAT BUILD MUST MORE OR LESS THE THE END RESULT
    And most importantly
    IT IS A CONSUMER RIGHT TO KNOW EXACTLY THE END RESULT WE ARE GETTING. COMPLAINING AND TALKING ABOUT A DOWNGRADE FROM WHAT WE WERE INITIALLY PROMISED IS NOT BEING ENTITLED BUT EXERCISING THOSE RIGHTS – WE SHOULD NOT BE SHAMED FOR THIS

  • Gershom_Goldberg

    Yes goyim, listen to the industry approved gaming “Journalist”. It’s only a sample. The gaming industry would never lie to you. Now just give us your credit card so you can pre-order and get a dollar off the DLC season pass. Ehehehehee.

  • junguler

    were we supposed to be crying? nobody told me anything!

  • Apocalypse

    I am afraid all this article is doing is protecting itself… gaming websites thrive at E3, more traffic than any other time of year, and they live off the announcements for months afterwards too. If the general visitor of these sites start to understand that the stuff shown at E3 (the same stuff that will be regurgitated on sites likes this for weeks afterwards) is not credible, the chances of them clicking on an article about it are reduced, and lose credibility or ‘hype’ thus driving traffic down. If the article was a bit more honest and not just pure defense i would have held back this comment but it just sounds like damage control… sorry. Its clear to every man and his dog what is happening. Fool me once…

  • albatrosMyster

    Not all “downgrades” are in the same category, some people call them for no reason too, because they don’t know better.

    By example, UbiSoft does not deserve a pass on this, they always present their demos “gameplay footage”, probably running on the highest possible PC config that exists at the time of their demos, then they release something else… leading console games to believe they would achieve their vision until the last possible moment! and they repeatedly do it… This is not to say the final product is always bad (I am no fan of most of their games, but plenty of people truly love them)… so why even do this? it only pisses people off…

    Then, it’s entertainment, there is no great social policy or health issue behint it (unless you play too much, it’s not healthy to sit all day)… so beyond the analysis and the discussion, why even bother loosing sleep over this?

  • leethelord

    to all the ppl who have ps4 and moaning about maybe a delay release for TLOU remastered just think it could be much much worse and own an xbone lol with 2010 video ram etc so be happy 1080p gamers rejoice 480p720p xboners get you arced greased up and get ready for an ass pounding from MS lol by showing games using gtx cards at E3 2014 and u all getting wet )

    • junguler

      i got ps4 to play the games that can’t be played on ps3, i wanted second son, uncharted and order 1886 and …
      could care less how much horse power it has.

    • Geist

      Wow your intelligence is astonishing, I’m surprised you had the brain power to type. This is the problem with little kiddies learning to speak from online play.

  • Michael Balchunas

    I’d say we can thank Watch Dogs for this new trend of downgrade criticism. Ever since that story trailer came out every game has supposedly been “downgraded”.

  • ryanyomomma

    #dealwithit

  • Forever_Flat_Out_Peasant

    Downgrade count so far

    The Division: Downgraded
    The Order: Still Downgraded
    Uncharted: About to be downgraded. Looks like the PS3 games in 1080P anyway
    Far Cry 4: Looks exactly like FC3 on Ultra settings.

    Only The Witcher 3 seems to have escaped the Downgrade stick but then CD Projekt are golden Slavic gods

    • Jecht_Sin

      Don’t forget:
      - Your brain: downgraded to pre-alpha release.

      • Forever_Flat_Out_Peasant

        Bloodborne. 30FPS. And looks like a PS3 game

        Downgraded before it even started. Amazing.

  • albatrosMyster

    It’s the new generation of consoles, let’s all talk about the upgrades!!

dualshockers300x250

Recent Comments

Powered by Disqus