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I don't think we need better graphics than we have today too. I am a lot more interested in them making the games interesting, creative and fun. And that doesn't necessarily means "realistic/life-like looking"

To be honest, I thought pretty much the same about the movie industry. I see almost zero difference between a DVD movie and a blu-ray of the same movie. There's a limit to how much the human eye can see so what's the point of cramming more pixels into the same square inch? If only they placed more extra content in the extra space a blu-ray provides I would see a reason to move up, but as it is now there's very little incentive for me to buy a more expensive device to play more expensive movies that look the same in the end.

Of course some might say blu-ray movies present enhanced audio over DVD and we would fall into the same argument. There's a lot of difference when I hear a 192kbps MP3 song and a 320kbps MP3 of the same song. There's zero difference between a 320kbps song and... now that I think about it nobody tried to go further in audio quality. Go figure.
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wizardtypething: *shrug*

I still think Half Life 2 looks incredible.

I reckon any advancement at this point should be on animations and interactivity, rather than image processing, but I guess the latter moves more quickly and has to be kept up with.
It does. The art design and atmosphere are both top notch. And I'd take that over a few more shaders any day.
A very nice benefit in seeing the rate of change slow down to at least less dramatic levels is we get more life out of our hardware investments. I'd like to see the days of needing GPU upgrades so frequently to play newer titles go away actually. I just bought a new computer with a nice GPU in it and I plan to get 5 years out of it regardless of where games go in their demands. I'll fall behind some if need be. That won't be anything new. Those games will just be nice and cheap when I get around to them then. ;-)

I may also opt for a next gen console maybe after they are about a year old or so and play the latest greatest that way. I just can't see replacing computers or even their components as constantly as I have in years past anymore. It's not worth it.
Post edited January 18, 2013 by dirtyharry50
I don't have a Holodeck yet so I'll be happy to watch them continue to improve. :P
I hope graphics can hurry up and reach as good as they're gonna get so devs are forced to distinguish themselves through gameplay.
PC gaming has changed so much since I bought my first PC back in 1998 and invested in the immortal Baldur's Gate, all the other IE games and Deus Ex : what an amazing era for PC gaming this was, and there was so much greatness which preceded it too.

Nowadays the industry seems jaded and cynical to me (a bit like the rest of the world) : release new game (e.g. Crysis - awesome game btw ) with amazing graphics which requires a new graphics card, which in turn requires a new motherboard and probably a new PC etc. etc. etc .... yawn, it's just a money-making racket and wherever money is involved, honesty goes put of the window, so you can't even trust professional reviews any more, whereas only just over a decade ago reviews were HONESTLY written by games lovers. Meanwhile, games AS GAMES ain't what they used to be. People's attentions spans and patience thresholds have decreased and PC gaming, having gone from being a niche pastime enjoyed by a handful of highly intelligent nerds, has become "mainstream". Joe Average now calls the tune. A game first of all, then, has to LOOK GOOD. Yawn, yawn, yawn ...

Personally, Crysis was the game which made me finally realize that I didn't care about graphics any more. Don't get me wrong, Crysis is a VERY good game, but it's the way it made me buy a new PC which made me realize that trying to "keep up with the Joneses" was not only ridiculous, it had actually alienated me from what I got into gaming for in the first place : fun, enjoyment and stimulation. I love nice graphics but ultimately great visuals are nothing more than window dressing.
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wizardtypething: *shrug*

I still think Half Life 2 looks incredible.
I reckon any advancement at this point should be on animations and interactivity, rather than image processing, but I guess the latter moves more quickly and has to be kept up with.
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jefequeso: It does. The art design and atmosphere are both top notch. And I'd take that over a few more shaders any day.
You're bloody spot-on about Serious Sam HD, surprising how much the HD remake does for it, it's almost ridiculous.
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wizardtypething: I reckon any advancement at this point should be on animations
This is a big thing, imo. As graphics become more real, animation has started to lag behind, which makes everything look weird. Less real graphics with less real animation if fine, but realistic graphics with less real animation looks uncanny valley...y
It's sad that "good graphics ing aming refers only to the technical quality - screen resolution, frame rate, texture resolution, polygon counts, etc. I can't think of any other medium, whether it be painting or photography or film or whatever, where beauty is based on technical aspects, the amount of detail, how close it is to reality.

Imagine if Ansel Adams' photographs were judged by everyone as crap simply because they were made with film, have no colour, and the lighting is unrealistic. That is very primitive and narrowminded view, but that's basically how video game graphics are judged now.
Look at Borderlands and XIII. I loved the art direction in those games, but are they cutting edge or an advancement? Of course, Borderlands made my old Nvidia card huff and puff and overheat.
What constitutes "good graphics" anyway ? In Crysis you get an attempt at photorealism, whereas in Planescape : Torment, for instance, it's all hand-drawn ART. The general consensus is that graphics these days are "better" - but are they ? In one sense they are, but only because of higher resolutions and various other bells and whistles. What looks good remains very much in the eye of the beholder. Having said that, the trees (for instance) in Deus Ex and the old Thief games look absolutely terrible when viewed through modern eyes. Which doesn't stop these games from being vastly superior to almost every other game which has been released since, however ...

A game which got confused as to what it was trying to achieve graphically : Oblivion. Half the time this game is trying to achieve photorealism, the other half it is trying to be artistic (as really befits its subject matter).
The Crysis3 guys will disagree. They want to melt your computer. I think thats what the head developer said.
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Theoclymenus: What constitutes "good graphics" anyway ? In Crysis you get an attempt at photorealism, whereas in Planescape : Torment, for instance, it's all hand-drawn ART.
All character and (probably) all environmental graphics in Planescape: Torment are pre-rendered 3D models, hardly an approach that deserves special mention as it was common practice for RPGs back then. Also it was pretty much the best way to go for "realistic" graphics in those days. I'm quite positive that a realistic (if dark) style was what the developers of Planescape were going for. Planescape really doesn't deserve kudos for originality or artistic value considering its general visual style.
Post edited January 18, 2013 by F4LL0UT
It think graphics should and will continue to evolve. But I don't want realistic. I still want to feel that it's a game, but that's artistic direction, rather than graphics.
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Elmofongo: Hey sometimes realistic, beautiful graphics sometimes add to the atmosphere of the game.

Imagine Metroid Prime remade under Cryengine 3 and Unreal Engine 4

Tallon Overworld with full of lush grass, trees, and foliage

Chozo Ruins with its ancient architecture and sandy winds

Phandrana Drifts with snow falling on your helmet visor

You would be immersed.
Of course, and I really enjoy that, I just think we have already reached it to the most common sense stopping point. Hitman Absolution looks so realistic that I think any improvements beyond that are not worth the added expense. If we could stop now, lower budgets and make games cheaper, focus on gameplay, I think that would be best for the entire industry.