Gaming – The Next Generation?

If its one thing that is guaranteed to generate talk across the internet, it is whenever a new console is rumored or ‘details’ of said consoles appear. But there are always two sides argued. One side insists it’s the only way forward and once we all have new hardware everything can progress exponentially. The other protests and strongly believes more time with the current generation would bring about greater games than advancing to new technology so quickly with possible higher production costs.

The interesting thing is a predominantly PC gamer like me never really gets bothered by all this. Sure we get flashier games too but we don’t have to wait for the next generation to shell out a load of cash as the PC hardware market is almost constantly evolving. Obviously though, to those who are using current generations of consoles, this is a massive deal.

So I’m going to take a look at what we have, what we might get and maybe what we need from the future of our beloved games.

What we have: What we have now is incredible, look back just 10 years and we were all on repeated textures with low polygon counts and not a lot of artificial intelligence. Stories were limited by what the developers could achieve and games simply couldn’t compare to the other media out there. We now have sophisticated graphics, AI that although they have their moments generally are of a much higher quality. And stories that are no longer defined by what is possible, but rather by the developer’s imaginations.

I think that with a longer time in this generation we actually could see some truly great titles. Developers can push the engines they use further – a lot of what we’ve seen can be advanced and changed to create new opportunities. Only when the current technology is truly mastered would we see the best results and some developers believe that there is more to come from the current generation.

What we might get: Now this is the part where I needed my crystal ball to predict the future but as I seem to have misplaced it I’ll just have to go on what little info we have. The advances we may see in the next generation all depend on the hardware that is used. But there are a few that say the next generation is where all of the best advances dwell, and that our current generation is in fact holding us back.

It becomes easy when looking at the next developments in consoles to focus on the visuals. Yet there are many features that will actually benefit from the increase in power and resources. Simply having more processing capability and a higher RAM will mean that tasks can be handled quicker and in greater quantity allowing more sophisticated on screen action. ‘Will it be a big enough jump from what we have?’ I think is the most important question though but it is only time that will reveal the answer to that one.

So we might get some something spectacular that can only be achieved with the latest and greatest hardware and tech. But wasn’t that true in the previous generation switch too? And are we only now starting to see what these consoles can truly achieve? When they first released it was said that Crysis would never come to consoles. And not only has the original come to them but two sequels also is this proof that we don’t yet need another cycle? Releases like Halo 4 are also proving what can be achieved on this hardware, and there is cost of the next hardware to consider. How much will the new generation cost and what cutbacks will be made to keep costs reasonable?

What we need: Is to take a step back, really look at what we are chasing. Developers making completely opposite claims and a community who just want to see more of what they love and less of what they don’t. It seems every time a console releases the world stops and looks for a second. But what are they seeing, what has actually been promised? We are told a new generation would herald a new era, but what exactly would that era bring?

I think the next generation needs to have a large advancement in almost every aspect to make the grade. Last time HD gaming meant upgrading was worth the investment. We are now however at a stage where we have a lot of the shinier graphics and sophisticated gameplay. Would you shell out the cash for a new console that only improved a small amount? Do you think the next wave of consoles has been much needed and the sooner the better?

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  • alextweedehands

    Great post guys!  Personally, I’m gonna give it a while to see whether the launch games are any good.  Really, it’s the gameplay that’s gonna make the next gen consoles for me.  I’m not totally convinced by the Wii U so far, but I can’t see the new Xbox or PS4 doing anything outrageous and sticking to the tried and tested.  So in that sense, it doesn’t seem worth the hassle for a while, as the graphics on this gen consoles are pretty neat anyway!

  • Stephen Chapman

    @alextweedehands Thanks dude! To add a more personal note: I’ve always thought of the next generation upgrading every part of a game. Nothing is truly next gen until every last part of it couldn’t be done before. I have high standards though!