tapedeck

What will developers do with more power?

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(Bolded for those with time constraints)

 

With the impending reveal of Nintendo's new console, speculation is already reaching fever pitch levels. Nicely we've seen that a Nintendo reveal still focuses on the actual controller as much as the system itself.

Yet alongside the controller, the usual discussion of raw power has taken a front seat in the minds of gamers everywhere. Arguably, due to the direction Nintendo took with the Wii, many are already talking about the graphical fidelity of their next system as the barometer of it's possible successes.

 

From the rumors appearing, it appears that the systems architecture is one that developers are pleased with. (Does this indicate the power of the system? I'd hazard a confident 'yes'.)

Therefore, if Cafe is able to match (or supersede) PS3/360 graphics, what will developers do with this power? Sharper models, greater draw distance, more enemies on screen? What could cafe then offer that, say, the 360 or PS3 can't? And will it be enough? With such a wealth of software available for the 360 and PS3, would it be worth owning for a Call of Duty that had more enemies on screen or a FIFA with slightly smoother gameplay? Remember that, historically, the strongest system hasn't always been the most powerful.

It will be interesting to see what the differences might be and what developers will do with the rumored added power to bring in new gaming experiences and consumers.

 

But perhaps this isn't the issue Nintendo are bothered about.

Maybe the difference is Nintendo themselves.

 

With Nintendo it's always interesting to see what they do with new power.

Whether it's pushing 3D polygons in Starwing and then Mario64, manipulating light and dark in Luigi's Mansion or moving away from graphics and focusing on a new approach to control with Wii and the DS. Nintendo build new systems from a gameplay point of view (just like they do with their software). You could argue it's gimmicky yet it works. It's engaging. Nintendo offer a difference, a creativity in an industry that, sometimes, relies on copy-cat formulas too much.

 

So what opportunities should this new power present to Nintendo? Will Nintendo use the extra power to push millions of Pikmin across the screen? Will they use it to stream content onto a controller?

 

So let's focus on the power of project cafe and ask ourselves, what would you like to see on project cafe? Larger environments for Mario to explore? More tracks in Mario Kart? HUGE, detailed enemies for Link to destroy? Or a console that can do "everything"... :p

 

So I ask you...

What will developers do with more power?

 

Thoughts as ever : peace:

 

Further reading:

IGN's Wii "2"

The Uncanny Valley (Gamespot article July 2006)

Stats on Wii 2 interest

Edited by tapedeck

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Realistic breast physics :p

 

But seriously, I don't know what will change really apart from better graphics, maybe Zelda will be more open plan, Metroid too, who knows. Nintendo will probably surprise us with millions of new features and ideas to use extra power (then never use them!)

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what would you like to see on project cafe?

 

some new IPs and updates to some underused franchises like Luigi's Mansion, and a percolator.

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Well, for one thing, improved graphics are reason enough to justify a new console. If everything can run at 1080p and 60fps with more polygons, that will be a massive improvement.

 

The thing I want most though is better overworlds in Zelda. I think Twilight Princess is the first Zelda I've seen that was ambitious beyond the power of the console. Take the link between Lake Hylia and Zora's Domain. When at the bottom, you could summon a winged creature to take you to the top. When at the top, you hired a kayak to get to the bottom. But it was all an illusion, that's the problem.

 

The perfect version would have been an entirely accessible underground waterway, that you could walk up or down at your leisure. Maybe you could use boats to get down it, but the important distinction is that you wouldn't have to activate "modes."

 

So, that is what I'd like: totally freeform and "built" overworlds, where the computer never forgets one bit's relationship with another. If you're in a mansion and you get knocked out of a window, you land outside, with no loading times. If you're in a house and you go onto the balcony, you could jump off into the square outside (again, with no loading times). If you're at the top of a mountain, you could use something like the Deku Leaf to float down anywhere, and you'd land in the correct place. That's what I'd love.

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Therefore, if Cafe is able to match (or supersede) PS3/360 graphics, what will developers do with this power?

 

I think all you need to do is look at the PC ports of PS3/360 games. They usually improve lighting effects, increase the draw distance, sometimes use larger textures, add some post-processing and of course add lots of anti-aliasing.

In most cases changing the number of enemies impacts gameplay but some like to increase the crowd or for instance in GTA the number of cars.

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So...what we are perhaps saying is that we will get enhanced ports with shinier graphics.

Is it worth updating to a new console then?

I for onwcan't wait until we hit the ceiling for graphics.

 

Any predictions for when that will happen, or if it will happen at all?

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So...what we are perhaps saying is that we will get enhanced ports with shinier graphics.

Is it worth updating to a new console then?

 

Not for those, but they'll be a nice bonus. I want it for the Nintendo games, and I assume there'll be a novelty too. Unfortunately, the public doesn't seem that excited about the stereoscopic feature of the 3DS (an interesting topic in its own right), so hopefully they'll like this more.

 

I for onwcan't wait until we hit the ceiling for graphics.

 

Any predictions for when that will happen, or if it will happen at all?

 

Funny you should ask that, I was thinking about it the other day. I would guess a lot of people here are familiar with Moore's Law? My crude understanding of it is that processing power becomes possible with smaller chips on a regular timescale. Well, apparently that is due to come to a halt with current technology circa 2020.

 

So, when Intel and co have finally made the smallest chips they can, a mobile phone would be of a certain power, and you'd literally need something double the size for double the power, triple for triple etc.

 

If Sony are to release a PS4 in 2014 (just using them because their consoles are numbered simply), I would expect the PlayStation 5 and its contemporaries to be the last ones for a long time.

 

Until someone invents a new technique, that is... ;)

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So...what we are perhaps saying is that we will get enhanced ports with shinier graphics.

Is it worth updating to a new console then?

I for onwcan't wait until we hit the ceiling for graphics.

 

Any predictions for when that will happen, or if it will happen at all?

 

I'd say that is mostly what Sony and Microsoft's consoles will get when it comes to games.

With NINTENDO, one really can't say.

What one can say, however, is that NINTENDO likes to innovate, so one could expect creative ideas with this extra power.

 

I do also think that some franchises will get some 'serious' make-overs (not permanent, just occasional) as was the case with Other M: to me, a game that wanted to be a triple A game of XBOX360/PS3 standards, but on a NINTENDO system.

 

As for the 'bigger, better, shinier' concept I'll say this: who wouldn't want a Mario Kart game with all the tracks of the previous iterations + new ones, about every character from the Mushroom Kingdom and more, REAL competitions hosted by NINTENDO's own people, video chat (one could set the icon above one's character as a live broadcast), etc....

Oh yeah, it runs in 1080p with 60 fps :)

 

Something like that just seems unlikely now, but who says that NINTENDO and co. might just go about approaching games differently with this new Café.

 

It would be a dream come true if they are finally able to create balance between casual games and triple A games.

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Nintendo will use it to do something you never even thought of or began to contemplate.

 

 

And it'll blow you away.

 

 

 

For a while, at least.

Edited by Rummy

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I expect them to build on the types of franchises that have been successful on the Wii. Don't forget a lot of the newer types of games haven't had a proper sequel yet so expect to see WiiFit 2 and WiiSports 2 and so on...

 

Hell there are some very smart things they could do that go around the games like making a very good social element involving online that is part of the OS, which integrates with everything but.... it's not very Nintendo to do things like that is it?

 

Personally I would like to see high res textures, decent normal mapping and some better dynamic lighting please.

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I'd like to see more expansive and well populated overworlds in games (Zelda)... I guess that's about it really as I'm not overly fussed about graphics as such; I still think Metroid Prime 3 looks as good as almost anything else out there (art trumps all).

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It would be a dream come true if they are finally able to create balance between casual games and triple A games.

 

All they need for that is for developers to know everyone has got both types of controller.

 

Well, I say that. One thing's for sure: traditional games need traditional controllers. I think the more "casual" games can be done on those too (I loved 4-player Mario Party on the GameCube), but I accept some people like motion control.

 

If this sounds negative, it's not meant to be. I don't believe Nintendo has a serious problem with not being able to make "core" or AAA games any more; it's just that I genuinely believe Nintendo's development teams were hindered by the Wii's hardware and controller, and only those two things. It's not a positive analysis of the Wii, but it is good reason to be hopeful for the future.

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If you look at the likes of Just Cause, then that game could make use of a longer draw distance. It's a gorgeous game and all, but while flying a plane, you can see that the trees far away are sprites and you can clearly see the LOD models changing.

 

Call of Duty tries to be epic, but the fact of the matter is that even I, who served in a non-fighting unit during my military service participated in more epic excersises. Want some numbers? 50 men on my platoon vs 50 men on another platoon was standard. I directed traffic when about 100 tracked vehicles and probably thousands of soldiers were fighting in the middle of a large city. Helicopters, fighter jets and transport aircraft were flying above my head all the time. We were "bombarded by artillery", "attacked" by tanks and had to stand guard, ready for a "motor cycle gang loyal to the enemy". This makes CoD feel pretty unepic. A more powerful system could introduce the propper scale in to the game!

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I'd like to know what my pulse is while playing through some kind of finger attachment.

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Most likely more power will generally just mean better graphics. Very few things change. Really when you look at a lot of genres they aren't actually improving other than graphically. The odd thing about the Wii is despite it's 'lack of power', it had some of the most innovative games of the last generation which actually changed how many people saw gaming!

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Most likely more power will generally just mean better graphics. Very few things change. Really when you look at a lot of genres they aren't actually improving other than graphically. The odd thing about the Wii is despite it's 'lack of power', it had some of the most innovative games of the last generation which actually changed how many people saw gaming!

 

Not only that. Better hardware enables more expansive game environments, better physics and more characters. It might be true that most developers haven't done anything innovative with the power, but quite a few games have gone beyond that.

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Not only that. Better hardware enables more expansive game environments, better physics and more characters. It might be true that most developers haven't done anything innovative with the power, but quite a few games have gone beyond that.

 

Wekk I believe that was why the Wii was so important. What had really changed in FPS gaming? What had changed in sports sims? Or racing games? Very little in most cases other than the graphics. Yes, I will concede that we palyed those games with bigger environments and more players, but we were doing exactly the same things.

 

When I played Wii Sports for the first time I was bowled over. Not because I was playing tennis on the most accurate court with players made to look phot realistic due to billions of polygons, but because I was playing a tennis game in a new and exciting way.

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Wekk I believe that was why the Wii was so important. What had really changed in FPS gaming? What had changed in sports sims? Or racing games? Very little in most cases other than the graphics. Yes, I will concede that we palyed those games with bigger environments and more players, but we were doing exactly the same things.

 

FPS: Brilliant games like BioShock, with it's gunplay and plasmid use simply wouldn't be possible on a lower-powered console. It introduced a huge narrative to it and created a brilliant experience.

 

Racing Games: Burnout Paradise, racing around a city at those speeds and it's online freeburn modes - it's a game only possible on 360/PS3 and high-powered PCs. It's a brand new racing experience made possible from the extra power.

 

Other games wouldn't be the same without the "extra power" either. The whole narrative and gameplay of Assassin's Creed wouldn't work without the vast, historically-accurate(ish), realistic environments. Mass Effect is on a massive scale that wouldn't work on previous generations.

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FPS: Brilliant games like BioShock, with it's gunplay and plasmid use simply wouldn't be possible on a lower-powered console. It introduced a huge narrative to it and created a brilliant experience.

BioShock is just System Shock 2 underwater, so the gameplay worked fine on PCs back in 1999 (the stories have their pros and cons in both games). But if you're arguing that the atmosphere is helped significantly by the graphics, then I'd be inclined to agree.

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Wekk I believe that was why the Wii was so important. What had really changed in FPS gaming? What had changed in sports sims? Or racing games? Very little in most cases other than the graphics. Yes, I will concede that we palyed those games with bigger environments and more players, but we were doing exactly the same things.

 

FPS: For instance look at Crysis. More or less physically correct destructible environments, brilliant AI, a dense jungle one could use to hide in. Also the large draw distance made it possible to actually scout from afar and plan an approach.

 

Racing games: Again physics. I got the impression that with this generation cars started to behave a lot more realistically. One could actually feel the mass.

 

Sports: I can't comment on that. I don't play sports games.

 

Also usually the tracking systems are quite resource intensive and I am quite convinced that the Wii pointer would be more precise if the system had more power.

Also for instance they had to cut Kinects resolution because it was too much to handle. If you connect it to a PC Kinect can recognise individual fingers because it runs in full resolution.

 

Better hardware is not just shinier graphics, but a better draw distance, smarter AI, more advanced physics, new environments. Of course not every developer will use everything to its full potential but with more resources there are less compromises to be made.

 

Now I'm not trying to say that better hardware is the only way to go but and underpowered system with a unique interface isn't the best approach either. Why can't we have the best of both worlds? Plus an option for classic controllers; you know when one actually wants to play videogames to relax.

 

What I'd actually like to hear are your arguments for what changed with the Wii, because you just posed three question and answered only the sports bit.

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Konfucious, I think you've indirectly answered Zech's question. By discussing 'power' you've defined how that power has refreshed gaming to an extent.

 

Fundamentally the powerful system creates a re-invention of existing genres/gameplay experiences, more ambitious concepts and, at times (in the right hands) genre defining titles.

 

Yet interestingly, the exaxt same can be seen with motion control.

 

The extra grunt of a powerful system just looks nicer and offers an immediate capture of the imagination of both gamers and developers, it therefore appeals on a far grander scale.

 

As Im sure this generation has taught us, neither way is the right or wrong way. They both offer experiences that can differ.

 

That's perhaps why this generation has been both exciting and frustrating. This is proven when a lot of 'core' gamers who owned Wii at some point enjoyed the system yet missed out on a lot of the more ambitious third party games. (Bioshock, Assassins Creed, Red Dead, Burnout and so on).

 

Yet this point of no right or wrong is further proven when PS3/360 ended up with motion control to entice the market share (and thus experiences) the Wii had capitalised on.

 

A very interesting console generation indeed.

Edited by tapedeck

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