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  1. #1
    WiiChat Member Solace's Avatar
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    Was going next-gen necessary?

    Back in the last generation of gaming people and companies made the same claims they make today, that this generation may very well be the last generation of consoles since we have reached such a high level of technology. However, as it turns out there was a new generation, since we now have the seventh generation with PS3, Wii, 360, and OnLive. But was the jump really necessary? Last generation we really reached a level where for the first time high-end graphics and RAM were available. And aside from HD and 3D, it's not all that much different from the current generation.

    In this generation we saw an increased use of HD and online play. Compare a current generation game's graphics to a last generation game's graphics on a SDTV, and (depending on the games compared), the difference in graphics is either non-existent or only different on a minuscule level. I may be slightly wrong in this statement, since the only last generation console I am really familiar with is the Nintendo GameCube (and Dreamcast), which was praised as being "eons" ahead of it's competitors in terms of graphics last generation.

    Of course, online was only starting to become popular for consoles last generation, and now online is simply a must for all games. Last generation the Dreamcast's online service (Dreamarena, and the second iteration of SegaNet) was shutdown, along with most of it's games, the GameCube's online service only met with limited success (namely Phantasy Star Online), and neither the PS2 or Xbox had online capabilities at launch.

    Sure now we can watch Netflix, listen to Last.fm, download updates to games that were half-broken to begin with due to lazy developers, and browse the internet on our consoles, but in terms of actual gaming, was the leap to next-gen really necessary? And more importantly, how would gaming be different today if we were still in the sixth generation, with PlayStation 2, GameCube, Dreamcast, and Xbox?

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  3. #2
    The Scrubbiest of Hunters Splash_King's Avatar
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    Now, this is an interesting topic.

    I'll start with the comparison of consoles' graphics. Now, when comparing the Gamecube's graphical capabilities to any modern-day visuals, namely to it's predecesor the Wii, there is a bigger difference than you might think. First of all, make sure to compare games that arrived in a similar lifetime as on the other console; comparing something such as Super Mario Galaxy, which arrived quite early in the Wii's lifetime, to something such as Zelda's Twilight Princess (since it can be run on a 'Cube, I consider it a 'Cube game as such) is rather detrimental. Rather, comparing Super Mario Galaxy to a Gamecube game's graphics from 2002, since both games would of been released a year after their home console was.

    So, let's compare Super Mario Sunshine to Super Mario Galaxy. I have personally played both, so I can easily support Mario Galaxy's incredibly superior graphics. Youtube isn't the most ideal for quality comparison, but let videos buffer for a time in the highest quality for these videos.

    Super Mario Sunshine:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPgWbNrH3VU

    Super Mario Galaxy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QafCg...eature=related

    I couldn't even find a good quality Mario Galaxy video, but I'd say it's rather clear that Galaxy's graphics are cleaner and support far more polygons than Sunshine's, even when you put it into 720p. I'd go far enough to say Sunshine's "cutscenes" are of less quality than Galaxy's typical gameplay graphics. Even the latest released Gamecube games would still appear lackluster to Mario Galaxy, if you ask me, and the Wii's graphics have improved hugely since then, such as with Metroid: Other M. The cutscenes in this preview are what the Wii does indeed show, except better.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mf5VXxlv4U

    The graphical jump from Xbox to 360, and PS2 to PS3 is also quite major, especially with the PS3 utilizing BluRay towards better graphics period. While graphics are anything but the most important aspect of a game, it certainly should be clear after those examples that this generation has massively improved a system's visual capabilities.


    Onto the more important part of this perhaps soon-to-be debate, the gaming aspect of the new generation. The technology behind our new systems does more than support updated graphics. If you tried running Call of Duty: Black Ops on a PS2, you'd get nothing more than a crashed console, sort of like trying to run Vista on a 1995 computer and OS; it just doesn't work.

    As the engines behind our consoles improve, so do the possibilities with all their other features, notably as you've mentioned, online play. I've always found the internet surfing and being a psuedo-media player as a rather unnecesarry but still interesting feature of our new consoles (yes, even the Wii if you've the mind to hack it via homebrew). But the actual online gameplay is where the importance of a console's new capabilities lie.

    Not counting how taxing a game itself is on the system's engine, but what if you tried to run the most infamous of all multiplayer shooters on a PS2; MAG? This game can support up to 256 actual players in a single online game, working in real time via headset, on-screen HUD orders issued by your human commander, and so on. Even with incredibly dumbed down graphics, the PS2 simply wouldn't be able to handle all that activity, no matter how great a server you give it for the game.

    MAG:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ycewMRWVk0

    If last gen's systems did remain in development for long enough, I'm sure online play could have been much more explored and impressive when being compared with today's standards, but that's simply not the case. Thus, developers needed room to think and inovate, and so came our new consoles.

    I hope this at least helps support my position that our new generation's consoles are incredibly more powerful than the last. I can ironically agree on the release of a new generation being detrimental in one way, though; being released too early.

    The major gaming companies themselves claim to support the 10 year cycle for a system, but we havn't seen a console with such a life span since the N64. The fastest developing countries are the most avid gamer fanbase, and are basically over run with the urge to have powerful technology, and have it updated constantly. The world constantly sees new "improvements" and implements in cell phones, computers, programing and ofcourse, video games. It's a shame the video game industry has been consumed by the demand for constant, more powerful technology, since if the trend continues, we'll never see the true potential of our consoles.

    We also won't be able to see the best starting points of consoles. The 360 was terrible because of it's RRoD when first released, we all know this to be true. The PS3 had next to no games apon release, and none of them were epic launch titles like Nintendo almost always supplied. If I recall, none of them were even Sony's A-team 1st party games, although I may be wrong.

    Given a few extra years, the PS3 would of clearly had a bigger game library, and the 360 might not of been so fail at applying a more powerful glue. So while I certainly don't say the leap to generation 7 was unnecesarry, I will claim it was too early.

    EDIT: Ahh, the good ol' wall of text. Great to see it again.

    The Vermilion City Guru
    絶望の海。水の墓。スプラッシュ、コイキング!

    Spoiler Alert!

  4. #3
    I HATE PEOPLE! ff6rDOMA's Avatar
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    If we were still in sixth gen?
    Well, hard to say, maybe the wiimote would be just another accesory to the Gcube, who knows?

  5. #4
    semi-pro thumb jockey skidmarx's Avatar
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    seriously? i'm sure i've played games that would never work on a ps2. i still love ps2, but could you imagine playing bayonetta or fallout: new vegas, or the upcoming deus ex 3 on 6th generation hardware? i like the eyepopping visuals that 7th generation can provide.

  6. #5
    The Scrubbiest of Hunters Splash_King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmarx View Post
    i like the eyepopping visuals that 7th generation can provide.
    You'd lose more than just visuals throwing something like Bayonetta on a last gen system, lol.

    If we wanted the games we had today on last gen systems, to be even remotely as epic as they are now, there'd be hundreds of glitchy and experimental, time consuming, and maybe even purchasable only updates and patches to our systems (except the 'Cube... it'd just remain junk ). We'd have an underdeveloped system and two Windows XP's on the gaming market. And who would want that in comparison to what we have now? (although, avoiding the RRoD would of been nice...)

    The Vermilion City Guru
    絶望の海。水の墓。スプラッシュ、コイキング!

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