Jump to content

Next-next gen


englishbob
 Share

Recommended Posts

There are still good games, of that there is no doubt. It is more that it seems hard to aim a games narrative at anyone other than an idiot.

Maybe. But like many of the classics of old, many great games hardly have a narrative. Crackdown, Galaxy (even though it's small story is actually well done), Rock Band, Team Fortress 2.... Just a few examples. And things are certainly improving with titles like Portal and Braid. And while I don't want to drag these 'they didn't deserve a ten' discussions out of the swamp, I thought titles like Bioshock and GTA were certainly far more interesting than most of the stuff Hollywood comes up with these days.

And while I couldn't care less about the storyline of Gears of War (I hardly remember anything from it), I did have much fun playing it. In co-op at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was a period in the late-'90s when games were beyond what I felt I could've designed myself. An abundance of talent which was allowed to breath.

I was going to expand along almost exactly that line. It's tough to know whether or not it is merely that we happened to be in our enjoyment peak at the time or if it was a genuine glut. The more things go on I think it's a bit of both as I was lucky to be that age then, but also that various technical and market factors combined to create an environment that fostered such diversity. Games then struck a nice balance between being impressive to customers and not too expensive to make. These days to impress customers to the same degree will take a much larger investment and risk.

Of course the loud fans that have stuck around (and only relatively recently found a voice on the net) go along with this "we're in a golden age" idea, because it's a self selecting group of people that will already believe it and as a result the products created are directly targeted at them, accentuating the effect, but I can't help the idea that this will just repeat the bust of the comics industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No card slot either. No physical media.

don't know about you but i get a few games pre-owned every now and again... this would actually be a perfect way for sony et al to wipe out the dreaded pre-owned market

ideally i'd like a version of the new Microsoft dash update where you can burn your physical media disc to the hard drive (without needing the disc in the drive) but you know... DRM is never going to go away and frankly i'd abuse it if it did :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe. But like many of the classics of old, many great games hardly have a narrative. Crackdown, Galaxy (even though it's small story is actually well done), Rock Band, Team Fortress 2.... Just a few examples. And things are certainly improving with titles like Portal and Braid. And while I don't want to drag these 'they didn't deserve a ten' discussions out of the swamp, I thought titles like Bioshock and GTA were certainly far more interesting than most of the stuff Hollywood comes up with these days.

And while I couldn't care less about the storyline of Gears of War (I hardly remember anything from it), I did have much fun playing it. In co-op at least.

Most of the stuff Hollywood produces is aimed at idiots. I accept totally that your average game isn't going to break narrative conventions and really make you think, just like most Hollywood cinema wont either. I just want someone somewhere to actually make me think about a bigger picture when I'm playing a videogame. It's not going to happen with space marines and rocket launchers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not going to happen with space marines and rocket launchers.

Agreed. But there is more out there than that, and some of the titles I listed are definitely a step in the right direction.

Can't wait to see what Team ICO comes up with this gen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back to downloads again, I think the major problem for consoles is that they're not open systems. You've still got the license fee to pay. Why would I buy a Popcap game from Xbox Live when I can get it direct from the makers for less? It's not getting rid of the middlemen, they're still there; Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo, and they all want their cut. So if the future is downloads only (and it is, eventually) then it will wipe out consoles altogether as we know them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of you are being deliberately obtuse about digital distribution. We won't see digital distribution into the home as the sole manner of getting games or movies for a very long time due to bandwidth constraints and availability of broadband. However, I'm sure we will see it working in tandem with retailers. The tipping point will be when people can download their games/movies at a price that is cheaper than going to a shop and buying it. I too like seing a physical object that I have bought but that is clearly down to what we are accustomed. The options will still be there for those who want to pay a premium for that kind of thing.

What is to stop Game having a download point in their retail space? Clearly you woudn't have to cart your console in, you could just take your memory stick or whatever back home and load it up on your console when you get home. Game could even burn a proprietary disc for you or charge £5 for a case with artwork if you want that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course the loud fans that have stuck around (and only relatively recently found a voice on the net) go along with this "we're in a golden age" idea, because it's a self selecting group of people that will already believe it and as a result the products created are directly targeted at them, accentuating the effect, but I can't help the idea that this will just repeat the bust of the comics industry.

I think I might be half-way to being one of those loud fans... :) Although it's less about us being in a Golden Age than the fact that I can't remember a time when there wasn't a steady stream of games I enjoyed.

There's plenty of things I was sad to see fall by the wayside (that specific Amiga / VGA PC early to mid 90's style of strategy games mainly), but there's always been something new or a resurgence of some other genre to take the place of the things that have fallen out of fashion.

A lot of the games I was playing 10-15 years ago (and earlier - Pac Man C.E...) are still around in refined forms: I've still got Unreal Tournament, Civ/Col, Bomberman, Street Fighter etc. etc. I can't see myself ever getting bored of those games, just as barring some major dicking about with the formula I don't see myself ever getting bored of online Halo or Gears.

I think a comic industry style crash might actually do some good in one respect. Lower budgets, and a shift back to the PC for "hardcore" western games development - like a soft reset of that one part of industry taking things back to the mid 90's, only with todays technology. Probably just wishful thinking.

...

As for next gen. Graphical consistency would be nice - e.g. solid framerates (60fps preferrable, 30fps if it can't be done), no draw in / pop-up, less (or no?) L.O.Ding., proper real-time shadows.

To be honest, even if it ends up being another round of the same but "bigger and better" I'll be happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is to stop Game having a download point in their retail space? Clearly you woudn't have to cart your console in, you could just take your memory stick or whatever back home and load it up on your console when you get home. Game could even burn a proprietary disc for you or charge £5 for a case with artwork if you want that.

A similar system was once operated by John Menzies - they had a bunch of games on the shelf and you took the case up to the desk, told them which format you wanted it on and they copied it onto tape or disc (which tells you how long ago this was). It clearly never really took off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a comic industry style crash might actually do some good in one respect. Lower budgets, and a shift back to the PC for "hardcore" western games development - like a soft reset of that one part of industry taking things back to the mid 90's, only with todays technology. Probably just wishful thinking.

I definitely agree with you here. A proper crash would get rid of a lot of the hangers on, and reduce the meddling from other industries, specifically the movie and kids TV companies. More hardcore titles would probably survive, but with lower budgets. This idea that hardcore means epic (and massive production values) strikes me as a slightly bizarre recent idea to justify massive budgets.

As a slightly related example I think Treasure are missing a trick by not releasing Bangai-O Spirits (much as I hate it) on the PC. Combined with a decent online setup for level exchange and they'd absolutely clean up. It would also cause a major shift in hardcore PC gaming away from the graphics whores. What annoys me is that if anyone but Treasure released such a thing tomorrow it would die an immediate painful death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back to downloads - that new Ratchet and Clank game on PSN is apparently 3.2GB. I don't fancy a whole generation of multi-gig downloads at even 20-50meg (50meg being where Virgin Media will be by early 2009, apparently). And I don't fancy a whole generation of smaller games either.

So John's idea can wait a bit. Like a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A similar system was once operated by John Menzies - they had a bunch of games on the shelf and you took the case up to the desk, told them which format you wanted it on and they copied it onto tape or disc (which tells you how long ago this was). It clearly never really took off.

This has resurfaced in one form or another over the last 20 years - I used to get trade mags like MCV and every year it seemed someone would try to launch one of these 'on demand' jobbies. Often marketed at places like petrol stations for impulse purchases - yeah, right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine this:

You turn on your telly and turn to the "Games" Channel. Like the frontpage of a shopping website it has various new titles being pimped, a chart of most popular, a search box and a list of categories/a-z listings to the left. (imagine Play.com or something).

You click on the latest version of Space-Breakfast 5 and it goes to the game's page. You like the look of it (a preview is playing on the page) and click Play! The game starts after a brief wait. You start playing. After half an hour the game asks if you'd like to continue playing. You do, and so it now says that £9.99 will be added to your monthly bill. You keep playing.

The next day you come back to play again, go to the games channel, the game you paid for yesterday is on the Games Channel homepage, you click it and immediately return to the game.

In the previous scenario, do I care about the hardware I am using? No. Do I care about files/downloads etc? No. Do I care about broadband? No. Do I care about disk space? No. Is it easier than going to a shop? Yes.

It is the future and TV will be delivered in a similar way too, it already is (see iPlayer). And don't worry about GAME and Gamestation (and certainly not the supermarkets) they'll just go the way of WH Smiths and Woolworths, old greats of an industry that moved on.

Digital Distribution will complement and then take over from physical media within two generations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Imagine this:

You turn on your telly and turn to the "Games" Channel. Like the frontpage of a shopping website it has various new titles being pimped, a chart of most popular, a search box and a list of categories/a-z listings to the left. (imagine Play.com or something).

You click on the latest version of Space-Breakfast 5 and it goes to the game's page. You like the look of it (a preview is playing on the page) and click Play! The game starts after a brief wait. You start playing. After half an hour the game asks if you'd like to continue playing. You do, and so it now says that £9.99 will be added to your monthly bill. You keep playing.

The next day you come back to play again, go to the games channel, the game you paid for yesterday is on the Games Channel homepage, you click it and immediately return to the game.

In the previous scenario, do I care about the hardware I am using? No. Do I care about files/downloads etc? No. Do I care about broadband? No. Do I care about disk space? No. Is it easier than going to a shop? Yes.

It is the future and TV will be delivered in a similar way too, it already is (see iPlayer). And don't worry about GAME and Gamestation (and certainly not the supermarkets) they'll just go the way of WH Smiths and Woolworths, old greats of an industry that moved on.

Digital Distribution will complement and then take over from physical media within two generations.

So whaty you're saying, essentially, is that there will be one single format within two generations? This is why I believe that PC is future in that the guts of this multimedia model you're describing is basically a PC, now.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think games and TV with align themselves much closer together in their distribution networks. If this means a single format then maybe that's what will happen. If Sony and MS sat down and devised a console between them I'm sure it could work.

I don't think Physical media will disappear overnight just that it will gradually become less important and less of a seller than it is now until eventuially it does disappear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like something that Looks liek it belongs in the living room, it needs to

- Look like a hi fi seperate and stack with them

- Be quiet, as in no noise from loud fans

- Able to stream any type of video-music-picture file from any source I chose.

- All software is downloadable only.

- web browsing built in

- motion controls AND normal d pad type controls

- 1080p native

- ability to record tv/radio from any source

probably some more.. but yeah, i'm looking for the ultimate living room media centre type deal, WITH games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does any of that relate to a PC?

Because it's already doing what was described, and it does a lot more too. I believe in the future there will be no need for extra consoles and set top boxes. Just one box that does everything, from playing games to word processing, editing photos, watching TV.

The console makers of today will just be another channel, like Setanta, pay-on-demand, or whatever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because it's already doing what was described, and it does a lot more too. I believe in the future there will be no need for extra consoles and set top boxes. Just one box that does everything, from playing games to word processing, editing photos, watching TV.

The console makers of today will just be another channel, like Setanta, pay-on-demand, or whatever.

Sounds a lot more like a Xbox live arcade than anything I've encountered on a PC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about something similar to Halo 3's Theatre, but built into the console itself, so I can record & play back any footage from any game, and then upload it to my own little bit of webspace, ready for sharing etc. None of this saving goals in FIFA or whatever and trying to upload them palava (or waiting for EA to sort saving replays from online matches); everything on the console is available through one simple interface, and I can choose the length of the replay etc.

Obviously it wouldn't be just like Theatre in terms of manipulating views etc. It's very much just a replay facility.

I have no idea how it would work, or if it's technically possible at all. Apologies if I missed someone post something similar; I skim-read a few pages of digital download posts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No clue how you relate a box connected to TV using a proprietory download service and a closed OS with a PC. It sounds like a console without a DVD drive.

I'm not sure what you mean. it would be exactly like a PC now. To play a Nintendo game you would go on the Nintendo channel and buy it, like you do with Steam now. The real difference I can see is that it's connected to the TV, but there's nothing to stop people having as many other displays around the house as they like - be they keyboard and mouse setups with montiors, laptops, handheld devices etc - all streaming from the one main box.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you mean. it would be exactly like a PC now. To play a Nintendo game you would go on the Nintendo channel and buy it, like you do with Steam now. The real difference I can see is that it's connected to the TV, but there's nothing to stop people having as many other displays around the house as they like - be they keyboard and mouse setups with montiors, laptops, handheld devices etc - all streaming from the one main box.

Surely this will also come along with the whole 'home hub' thing that controls all your electronics around the house and you can send a message to your box to start downloading something while you're out as well as put your washing on and stuff...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because it's already doing what was described, and it does a lot more too. I believe in the future there will be no need for extra consoles and set top boxes. Just one box that does everything, from playing games to word processing, editing photos, watching TV.

The console makers of today will just be another channel, like Setanta, pay-on-demand, or whatever.

Convergance is vastly over-rated and until the tehnology is available at negligable cost something like this is unlikely to happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.