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StingingVelvet: To some degree graphics reached "good enough" for me with Crysis like 5 years ago. Recently though it's being hammered into my skull. I've played three games recently, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3 and Hitman: Absolution, which look AMAZING. Like, as lifelike as I think games ever need to look. Any more lifelike might actually look worse in a weird way.

Since budgets keep climbing and sales stay the same, it makes sense to stop at some point. Games like Minecraft, WoW and every indie game ever show that people care more about art design and gameplay than they do pure tech. I am definitely at a place now where I don't need graphics to look any better.

How about you? Eager for new consoles, hoping graphics take another leap? Looking to SLI two amazing new video cards this Fall so you can pump out the latest amazingness? Or are you good to go, like me, and hoping for a very small upgrade?
I actually wish that rather than pushing the HW requirements, and making things look polished, the focus were on enjoyable gameplay, controls and story.

I even today find that the BGII finity engine isometric view would be totally acceptable to this day and age should the substance of the game be of the same level, and cannot recall that I have never been put off because graphics were mediocre when the game was otherwise great.

I find it not too customer oriented, rather almost arrogant, actually, when game specs assume that there is no need to accomodate bit older HW resources but everyone shall have that high end craphics card etc.
As someone who loves older games and especially 2d games, I think graphics should continue to advance.

The rise of the tablet/phone market has set standards back for those games as developers can make stuff on par with the ps2/xbox generation which will look great on a 5 inch screen portable device. However eventually they will reach the quality of a decent PC of today's standards and will have to advance more. Also 4k TVs are starting to come to market. Mass market is far off, but more powerful hardware will be needed to render games at those resolutions. Also we need a new generation of consoles as these have been hitting their limits for a while now, like the PS3 with Skyrim.

I don't think we are going to see more massive leaps in terms of PC graphics for a long time. High end CPUs have slowed to a crawl the last few years for advancements. Video cards are still getting better, but eventually they will come to a head also without better CPUs to back them up.
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Fictionvision: I don't think we are going to see more massive leaps in terms of PC graphics for a long time. High end CPUs have slowed to a crawl the last few years for advancements. Video cards are still getting better, but eventually they will come to a head also without better CPUs to back them up.
From what I understand the leaked specs of the new consoles, while considerably ahead of the last ones, do not have amazing processors.
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Miaghstir: Graphical fidelity ("good graphics") and art direction are different things though people often mention the first when they mean the latter.
Who says that "good graphics" has to refer to the "graphical fidelity"? (also: how do you measure fidelity in case of abstract visual styles?) "Good graphics" is a subjective statement that just expresses someone's appreciation of a game's visuals, you can't bind it to the technical execution.
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StingingVelvet: Eager for new consoles, hoping graphics take another leap?
I am, and a graphical boost will be nice if it comes with, in reality I'm more interested in other features and hardware improvements in my console. More RAM and better disk I/O will improve level load times (the only real, major drawback of current console gaming, as I see it). Massive hard drive space should help with the same, SSDs would allow on disk cache for every game you inserted.

More RAM and CPU/GPU will actually enable the better Kinect processing, the kind that tracks individual finger movements.

Better integration of devices that people have now that they didn't use to have would also be welcome: smart phones, tablets, etc. This will enable side play and a lot of other interesting things that the WiiU's tablet doesn't do, but should (I think we'll see what a poor man's implementation that actually was as soon as new consoles launch, if MS fucks this up they deserve to lose their market share).

And as always, any new console gen brings the possibility of breaking the exclusivity stranglehold of old series, which would be nice.
I think the graphic race will have to slow down at some point, the cost is ridiculous to make something like Uncharted. I'm more interested in performance, 60fps is so nice. There's no reason why consoles can't use a mouse & keyboard either, some cross platform gaming would be nice, stop the communities from being fragmented and get rid of some elite-ism.
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Fictionvision: Also 4k TVs are starting to come to market. Mass market is far off, but more powerful hardware will be needed to render games at those resolutions.
Personally I'm thinking 4k is going to be the caviar of TV tech. An expensive luxury for the elite that a lot of people just don't have the pallet for.

In large TV's it may make pointing out issues much harder, and it may be super cool for a moment, but I don't think it is going to be something everyone can appreciate like the SD to HD transition, nor do I think people are going to get distracted by a "low quality 1080p movie." I've spent my working life sorting out image quality issues in print media and from what I can tell, most people just aren't tuned into things well enough to appreciate the kind of detail a 4K screen has, and the data through put on those things is nuts. It's high overhead with moderate practical payout. Factor in viewing distance for the size of TV's 4k is useful for, the common occurrence of poor eyesight, and there is a problem. Only people with big budgets, large TV's, and solid eyesight are going to be able to tell the difference close up. I'm sure there are people who will get it just like there are people who think MP3s are so inferior to FLAC, but if Amazon started selling FLACs instead most of us wouldn't be "yeah better quality!" We would just be like "why are you wasting my HD space? I cant tell the difference."

All things being equal, fine, and maybe I'm being a fuddy duddy, but I really have no personal interest in directly or indirectly paying for the wide spread revamping of a TV, gaming, and Internet infrastructure to allow for a technology that seems to be rather gratuitous in function and requirement.

Of course I have never seen it first hand and this is all my initial reaction. So I might see it and freak out at the awesome, but if I have to buy a 50+ inch screen and whip out a magnifying glass to sort out what I think, then I think I will probably just ignore the trend for a good long while.

As it stands an HD movie can top 9GB for streaming, I don't even want to know what size a 4K movie would be. I doubt Netflix does either, and a 1080p movie on a 4k screen is still 1080p.
Solid art direction has always been better than graphics tech. Of course, great art direction plus great graphics tech is ideal, but most games with great graphics technology I've seen in the last ~10 years have poor or generic/cookie-cutter art direction.
Perhaps I'm short-sighted, but I don't know what the "end game" of graphics is... aside from virtual reality!

I don't know, make games look exactly like real life? I don't know if that would be any better. I'd rather companies focus on putting out games that don't need a million updates or bug fixes. If graphics stopped right now I'd be ok with it.
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gooberking: Personally I'm thinking 4k is going to be the caviar of TV tech. An expensive luxury for the elite that a lot of people just don't have the pallet for.

...
That is definitely going to be the case for a time, but if I had to throw out a guess I'd say that they'll become standard in our lifetimes and Blu-ray will die as we move on. The internet infrastructure does need to accommodate a lot more data for streaming to be reasonable, but I can't see any reason why we wouldn't want it to. Hard drive space is not a problem anymore, as terabytes are slipping into the mainstream computing segment purely based on price. Smaller devices are going to set us back, but they are also going to improve in storage space over time. If I had what I wanted, it would be the same file being used to project a movie in theaters on my own hard drive or available for streaming, but the film industry probably wouldn't want that to happen.

In fact, if there is any reason we won't move on in the consumer market technologically, it will be because there is no opportunity left to do anything but just give people exactly what they should have been getting all along, the very same thing that the film industry doesn't want us to have. That goes for what we get from internet service providers too.

If Amazon started selling FLACs, they'd also most likely start selling MP3 conversions of those files at the same time. Why not just be able to choose? Ultimately I would think the preferred consumer environment would accommodate choice rather than restrict us to 1080p and MP3s indefinitely.

EDIT: Also, someone stated earlier that Battlefield is one of the "grey" shooters. I thought Battlefield 3 was actually quite vibrant...
Post edited January 18, 2013 by PhoenixWright
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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.
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wizardtypething: You're bloody spot-on about Serious Sam HD, surprising how much the HD remake does for it, it's almost ridiculous.
Really? I thought I was the only one who thought so, actually :3

I've always liked how the Serious Sam games have looked. Even the originals still look pretty damn good, IMO.
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DieRuhe: Perhaps I'm short-sighted, but I don't know what the "end game" of graphics is... aside from virtual reality!

I don't know, make games look exactly like real life? I don't know if that would be any better. I'd rather companies focus on putting out games that don't need a million updates or bug fixes. If graphics stopped right now I'd be ok with it.
It might be virtual reality. If the basic style of technology remains the same, I'm personally guessing that more attention is going to start being paid to the details. Sharper textures, more polygons, more bump mapping, etc. Perhaps more detail to interactions and physics (like we're seeing with PhysX). Trying to simulate the infinite detail of the world. Although some graphics can look nearly photorealistic in wide shots, even the most technically advanced videogame shows very obvious rough edges when you look at it closely enough.
Post edited January 18, 2013 by jefequeso
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DieRuhe: Perhaps I'm short-sighted, but I don't know what the "end game" of graphics is... aside from virtual reality!
VR sex that you can't tell from the real thing, no doubt:)
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SweatyGremlins: I think the graphic race will have to slow down at some point, the cost is ridiculous to make something like Uncharted. I'm more interested in performance, 60fps is so nice. There's no reason why consoles can't use a mouse & keyboard either, some cross platform gaming would be nice, stop the communities from being fragmented and get rid of some elite-ism.
You mean besides the fact that many people hate using a keyboard and Mouse setup in their living room and will cry that they have to make some crappy desk setup their to play the games with optimal controls and in multiplayer they will complain, that they are really forced into that because otherwise they can't compete with the ones that do use Keyboard and Mouse. At least in anything that focuses on aiming or has a lot stuff to click on the screen.
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DieRuhe: Perhaps I'm short-sighted, but I don't know what the "end game" of graphics is... aside from virtual reality!
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orcishgamer: VR sex that you can't tell from the real thing, no doubt:)
No, I was strictly referring to strapping on a shield and shoving my sword into warm bodies.

Oh, wait...
I'm far more interested in technology than graphics particularly. I think there are a lot of things that we miss out on because all that's in our minds are shadows, lighting, and textures. They're certainly not at their top level yet, but there's a lot more that we've been neglecting, primarily animations. The only company that seems to have made any effort towards animation (helping both the world and actual gameplay!) is Rockstar with their Euphoria tech. Those differences, though not immediately apparent, do far more than upgrading models.

The increase in figures on a screen is also something I'd like to see, primarily in multiplayer games. Outside of Total War, there's never been a video game war that felt like a war, though The Witcher 2 came damn close at the beginning (by understanding their limitations). I'd like to see Battlefield 3 one-upped and some developer going out of their way to provide a massive experience.The destructibility is also an interesting topic, since it's the real evolution of the physics-based gameplay which has been predominant since Half-Life 2 and NVIDIA PhysX. Reactive worlds are much better than huge ones, I'll always say.

I think it's always about how you present a game, whether you have uber technology or not. Some games can be linear and undervalued in texture quality, but provide a much more realized experience than something like Skyrim. Minecraft has certainly shown that vision is more important than anything else, and that you can create something beautiful with the simplest elements. I will be keeping my eye on how these all evolve, but I am hoping for two things:

1. More open-source/middleware software that will help provide groundings for increasing technological capabilities, so it does not have to be reinvented every time.

2. More focus on the benefits to the consumer with technological ability, rather than using it as marketing.