1. generational_changes.jpg

    As we slowly prepare ourselves for the onset of the newest console generation--the launch of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5--our minds are filled with the possibilities of the greatness to come. What amazing new games will we see on this brand new hardware? How drastic will the gaming experience change with newer, better graphics, and lightning-quick load times? We can’t tell for sure just yet, but whatever the future may hold, there’s one thing that’ll certainly happen: it’ll affect our perception of the games that have come before.

    That isn’t to say we’ll play something like Halo Infinite or Godfall and just throw away our retro game collection, no, (but who’s to say if Bugsnax will be the greatest video game of all time? And thus the only game you’ll ever need. Which it will be.) but certain innovations or changes to the foundations of game mechanics might make it harder to return to games that we previously loved.

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    We’re just a short few months before the Xbox 360’s 15th anniversary. The seventh generation of video gaming is getting up there in age--and while it may feel odd to consider them “retro”, the libraries of the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 are without a doubt, old. Especially by today’s standards.

    Let’s take a look back at some of the trends of that era.

    If you didn’t grow up during that time, or were too young to remember it, one of the defining hallmarks of that console generation was just how grungy, dark, and muddy things were. Many AAA game developers eschewed the previous generation’s reliance on cartoon-y colorful graphics by making their new high definition games hyper-realistic. For example, Fallout 3 had an ever-constant dark green filter over its visuals, desaturating its entire world. It worked in a thematic sense, but it’s a prime example of the mid-late 2000s trend of very brown, very drab, very dark visual styles.

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    When the next console generation came along, featuring not only the better processing power over the previous set of systems, but also developers more experienced and understanding of the intricacies of how to deal with HD graphics, a large number of games were re-released under Definitive, Ultimate, Remake, or Remastered banners. Some of these games, such as Uncharted 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Journey, or The Last of Us already looked good to begin with, but the move to a new console really let their visuals shine. And in the case of Naughty Dog’s games, the remasters became the de-facto best way to experience the games. It didn’t make the original release bad, but there’s an inherent desire to play the best version of a game, and with the “next-gen” remaster on PlayStation 4 being an improvement in every way, it made it harder to revisit to the PlayStation 3 release.

    That’s not to say next-gen releases always end well--Silent Hill HD Collection for the 360/PS3 or Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection for PS4/XBO had numerous, well-known flaws, resulting in gamers recommending the older versions of those games as the optimal way to play to those interested in trying those franchises out for the first time. Sometimes, older is better.

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    That same console generation was also where players were introduced to new features that hadn’t really been seen before, at least on a wide scale, such as interactable objects having physics. This let you blow things up and see the debris scatter in Crysis 2, or even do something as mundane yet still amusing as throw cups and books around and let them clank to the ground and roll about on the floor in Skyrim. Of course, it’s also hard to forget Portal, which made you yourself become the object manipulated by the game’s physics and gravity.

    However, there are moments where you can see that this is still a new concept. In Crackdown, cars will roll over as though they’re weightless and made of plastic, and while the ever-popular Skyrim is one of the most well-loved games of the era, it tends to be jarring when its characters awkwardly wobble up and down on slopes, glitching through the ground they stand upon. These were harmless issues at the time, and still are in a sense, but as time passes and developers are able to create more stable worlds and mechanics, going back to games made during that time where the concept was still new and untested can feel awkward after being spoiled by today’s standards.

    When it comes to generation-defining games, Dark Souls can definitely be described as such. But there was a game that came before it: Demon's Souls. FromSoftware laid the groundwork for what would become a phenomenon and would lead to dozens upon dozens of direct clones and games inspired by its mechanics. In 2009, Demon's Souls was considered one of the best games to release that year, winning awards, accolades, and selling far above expectations.

    Yet, just over 10 years later, with a three-entry long series of spiritual successors and two other games inspired by it from the same developer, Demon's Souls now has this notion of being hard to approach in this day and age. Some might think its gameplay is dated--especially after going through the Dark Souls franchise--that its graphics are drab, or even that it lacks polish, compared to games that came years after it released. The conventions that modern gaming has brought to us within the last 11 years have taken what was once an instant-classic and turned it into something that newer gamers might consider "clunky". Even if by your approximation, Demon's Souls is still more than playable in 2020, many won't agree, for some reason or another. Despite that, it's still popular to gamers that enjoy the genre, which is why Bluepoint Games is remaking it for the PlayStation 5, where the game will get a second lease on life, able to be enjoyed by everyone once more, without those connotations and labels of being "old" or "not having aged well".

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    One of the things from prior generations that has by far become the most dated has to be character model animations. By the tail-end of the seventh generation, using motion capture for video games had turned into a popular trend, which helped it become the prevalent feature that it is now for games on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Nowadays, we’re used to the idea. But back then, Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain were notable PlayStation 3 titles that stood out specifically because they made use of motion capture technology to better suit their narrative focus. It wasn’t the first time we’d seen mocap in gaming--even games as old as Shenmue had utilized it, though we’d never had graphics that could make human characters that looked, spoke, and animated like actual people until that point.

    But for the most part, returning to the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3's libraries can put a spotlight on some unintentionally hilarious walk cycles or facial animations. Anything made from Bethesda is a free target to point and laugh at, even when they were new, but there’s an uncanny stiffness in the way some characters in Deus Ex: Human Revolution speak, or how Frank West awkwardly shuffles around in Dead Rising. Even though both of these games are considered as good--even great, and still are, their age is clear to see.

    Going back to Dead Rising, it's another example of how perception can change over the course of a console generation. Though it wasn't a launch title, it arrived on the scene very early in the Xbox 360's lifespan, and was quite popular on the platform. It was popular enough to the point where it got a sequel, which quickly sold over 2 million copies and was received well by critics and players alike. As the franchise moved to the new Xbox One, (this time, as an actual launch title) it got a third entry, which was seen as decent, and a fourth, which was much more reviled by older fans of the series. Its sales reflected the mediocre-to-negative reception, resulting in numbers far below what publisher Capcom had hoped for. Although a Dead Rising 5 was in the works, it was cancelled, and the studio responsible was shut down. What had started life on the Xbox 360 as a well-liked game had ended up as a dead franchise in the span of a single console generation. It makes you wonder what other currently-popular games might arrive at the same fate in a handful of years.

    Video games age quickly. So, as the eighth generation of gaming comes to a close, we should look back on some of the titles we've always wanted to experience, yet never got around to. In a matter of years, you never know what may change, and what games you see as innovative now may become hard to play later on. We can always appreciate games for what they've done regardless of their age, and some truly are timeless, but why not value the current platforms and their libraries now, while they still offer concepts and "modern" gameplay at their freshest?
     
  2. Discussion (47 replies)

  3. playstays_shun

    playstays_shun GBAtemp Fan
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    I enjoyed reading this one
     
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  4. eyeliner

    eyeliner Has an itch needing to be scratched.
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    Nice article. Mostly, the gaming landscape will be the same, but with even better graphics.
    I am unwise about the developer's intent on updating physics, eliminating some referred issues like the ones in Skyrim (mostly because of ragdoll physics).

    And our perception will change, mostly because if the prices get inflated, our expectations will accommodate.

    Interesting times? Depends. I've been around for a few generation changes. They mostly revolve around visual fidelity and ease of gaming. No more, no less.
     
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  5. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Crazy Cool Cyclops
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    If only I could write as well as @Chary...

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Maybe I'm just getting overwhelmed by my current backlog, maybe it's my desire to start living on a budget now that I plan on moving out in a year from now, or something else, but I'm just not feeling it with this generation. I have plenty of games to play on PC, and there's so many multiplayer games out there that, as someone with no IRL friends, it becomes kind of difficult to justify getting multiplayer games atm.

    It could also be because I'm about to get an atom bombs amount of OT at my current job for the rest of the year... :(
     
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  6. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Psycho!
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    The Wii was the most popular console at the time and it had a lot of casual games, point and click games, cartoon graphics and so on.

    I got a PS3 eventually to play a few games, but I still love the Wii more.

    Man was the Wii U a freaking mistake, had they called it Wii 2 and not include a tablet it would actually have been more popular.

    The tablet could have been perfectly replaced by making the console anle to connect to the 3DS and using the 3DS as a second controller and second screen but nooo...
     
  7. Goku1992A

    Goku1992A GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    Maybe because I'm 29 I dont feel the same way about next gen when I felt when I was 15. I'm pretty content I can play a old game and be happy. Graphics or FPS doesn't determine my happiness and enjoyment as a gamer. Im probably never going to play a GTA game again honestly I beat GTA V in 2013 and for the last 7 years they just kept on milking the same game.

    For those who are excited about the next gen I hope you enjoy it. For me thr $500 asking price and $70 games are a no go.
     
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  8. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Perhaps more important, and what makes this next generational shift in console hardware more unique than any previous, is the focus on performance. Higher frame rates, support for higher display resolutions, and much faster load times. This also gives next-gen consoles more parity with PC gaming, and thus should benefit it by way of faster ports that take better advantage of high-end hardware.

    Throughout previous generations it was just a given that we'd be stuck with subpar performance in consoles, even when they were base priced at $600 like the PS3 (lol), and regardless of exaggerated marketing claims. Now though I do believe that PS5 and XBSX can deliver on the kind of performance they're promising, as the hardware inside them basically speaks for itself. They are of course a bit late to the party where SSDs are concerned.

    Not that it was ever a smart idea in the first place, but it occurs to me that developers will no longer be able to get away with tying physics to frame rate. Bethesda's gonna crash and burn so badly if they don't build a new engine or use somebody else's. :lol:
     
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  9. GABO1423

    GABO1423 Vergación...
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    Honestly, I was pretty jaded when it came to the transition from the 7th to 8th gen of game consoles. I remembered feeling pretty disappointed that nothing was really different than the games we saw on the last generation. 2013 was such a "nothing" year when it came to video games for me. 2014 was more of the same, since I did not care about many of the huge disappointments that year. But damn did the Wii U got a decent year! 2015 is really when I think the generation really started to get good. With many games (including my personal game of the year, Metal Gear Solid V) being real standouts. But the growing and growing presence of stuff such as loot boxes and pretty ridiculous microtransactions made me pretty disappointed with the state of gaming yet again. I'm honestly not exactly sure if this new generation is going to be something really special, but here's hoping that it can bring some meaningful and amazing experiences.
     
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  10. WD_GASTER2

    WD_GASTER2 Hated by life itself.
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    "Dark and grungy"That is mostly a hallmark of unreal engine 3.​
     
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  11. DinohScene

    DinohScene hail p1ngpong
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    I'm surprised the Online services for those old consoles are still online.
    I haven't been giving me 360 as much attention lately but I'm still fond of the thing.
     
  12. Deleted User

    Deleted User Newbie

    Perspective and expectations...:unsure:
    Introduction of 3D was the last meaningful evolution of videogames and it was 25 years ago, in a 50 yo industry.

    What were the consequences ?
    Simply increasing the market by making games more realistics and thus dedicated to older people, not a childish hobby anymore. Since then, well so many genra have disappeared, became niche or been overly simplified in order to increase sells and compensate the cost of graphics departement.

    HD is a plague to creativity, plain and simple.
    Stuff like UE5 reduce the cost of graphics at the expense of heavy ressources consumption, but seriously who cares, we are blessed with wonderful hardware nowadays, no need to be efficient at coding.

    The other improvements in story telling or gameplay we've witnessed in the past 15 years are almost anecdotals compared to graphics.
    Not even talking about the impact of "smartphones" business model, I deduce that was a real breakthrough considering our thirst for DLCs nowadays...

    In 30 years in this hobby, we've come to Georges Méliès to Michael Bay, or from the Ca.60 to the Concorde, I'm glad I witnessed this evolution but i'm convinced there is nothing more to expect.
     
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  13. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Maniac
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    It´s worth noting that FIFA 2002 on Gamecube looks better than FIFA 2015 for Wii.
     
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  14. Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee

    Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    There will be problems for most PCs to run games developed with PS5 SSD in mind.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Screenshots? Video? Who else says that?
     
  15. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Maniac
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    I haven´t touched FIFA 2002 since 2002 and I was surprised to see how good it looks. Some aspects are worse but the effects (esp. lighting) and audience are better than in later entries. At some point (Fifa 2012, I believe) EA stopped caring altogether. Pls look up videos yourself, I am just reporting what I experienced these days when I revisited old soccer games.
     
    Last edited by UltraDolphinRevolution, Jul 19, 2020
  16. Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee

    Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee GBAtemp Advanced Fan
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    Fifa 2002 didn't have hold R1 to run. You had to press a face button again and again.
     
  17. UltraDolphinRevolution

    UltraDolphinRevolution GBAtemp Maniac
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    L and R were used to make the ball swerve to the left or right (not just in standard situations). FIFA 2002 was also amibitous in terms of exact passing (the ball did not automatically find the player) which led to AI problems (so they abandoned it later) but made the gameplay more demanding. Anyway all soccer games suck in comparison to the Wii controls enhanced gameplay of PES 2008 - 2013 [coming from a soccer fan since FIFA 97].
     
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  18. Goku1992A

    Goku1992A GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    @Torina / @Silent_Gunner

    The main problem is with next generation have the games that were shown have the capabilities of running on this generation but they want to squeeze an extra $600 for you to play them. I'll state some facts on the PS3 we received a GT5 Prologue , GT5 and GT6. On the PS4 we only received a GT Sport (which is basically a GT6 Prologue) On the PS3 we received GTA IV, GTA IV Episodes, and GTA V. On the PS4 all we received was a port of GTA V.

    Basically by the logic the higher the generation we are the lower qty of games we get. Companies are more focused and vested in micro transactions versus making newer games it kinda makes you worry about the next generation. I'm feel sorry for people that only gamed on the PS4 and Xbox One because they missed out on some great games from PS3/360 era and PS2/Xbox era. Bascially what I am getting at if you buy a PS5 or series X don't expect a GTA 6 until 2023 and expect them to milk that game for 10 years lol I probably may not even play the GTA 6 when they do release it since there are so many other games that kinda copied the formula and waiting so long kinda made me lost interest in the series.
     
  19. Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee
    This message by Pokemon_Tea_Sea_Jee has been removed from public view by DinohScene, Jul 19, 2020, Reason: Not a image board.
    Jul 19, 2020
  20. nikeymikey

    nikeymikey This is now a Spiderman thread.........
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    As a gamer since the Atari VCS days, yes i am that old... I can honestly say that the last gen has been the most disappointing gen ever. XB1 and PS4 have more rehashes of old games than ever and only the Switch has tried to be something different, even that is getting to be a boring gimmick now. I own all 3 and i havent really played them all that much at all. I have been on a retro trip lately thanks to the rise of ODE's and flashcarts and honestly have had more fun with the old games than any of the few games i own from this gen.
    Even my kids prefer to play on the 360/Wii rather than this gen.
    One major flaw for this gen is microtransactions. I dont mind DLC if its worthwhile, but the endless skins or weapon colours are just pointless and boring and until people stop spending money on lootboxes or Fifa points etc, these microtransactions will NEVER go away.
    I don't see the next gen being much different to this one either, Yes the consoles will have very good specs this time but games wise it will be more of the same.. more COD, more FIFA, more SEQUELS...... BLAH BLAH BLAH

    Yes i will end up owning all the next gen consoles in the end as im a hardware whore but unless they have some ground breaking NEW games etc, i wont be using them all that much.
     
  21. Goku1992A

    Goku1992A GBAtemp Advanced Maniac
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    DLC and micro-transactions are going to ruin gaming. Look at GTA yes Rockstar may have made 6 billion dollars from GTA V but most people are going to move on. They could have made 12 billion if they released GTA V episodes and GTA VI. Lets be honest who is really paying for GTA V online nothing but little kids using mommy/daddy credit cards. These are the same kids that are buying lot boxes and etc... GTA that used to have a good reputation now have a bad one by milking a game for $$$.

    Gaming is kinda sad Pokemon is ruined , Assassins Creed is ruined, GTA is ruined and the list goes on and on.
     
  22. RPG_FAN128

    RPG_FAN128 Advanced Member
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    I would love to expound on the line "Video games age quickly."

    Essentially, I would argue that only if a video game is aiming for "realistic" graphics it does tend to age poorly. Whereas if a studio chooses an artistic style and goes with that -- they age very gracefully and even several generations later they are still beautiful. When I was a kid I was super vain and only interested/attracted to shiny pretty graphics. But now that I can look back at a very large video game collection and I definitely separate games that "make my eyes bleed" and "games that are truly beautiful."

    Just to note a couple of examples, for Super Nintendo look at the games Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario RPG. These games are decades old and still beautiful. Now that I have gotten into ROM hacking, it's fascinating to me how you can do so much with so little. Some of my custom graphics levels for my SMW ROM Hack are absolutely beautiful (hope that doesn't sound too narcissistic) and I am working with 8 KB of graphics! 8 Kilobytes!! I can pull out my phone from my pocket and in a split second take a picture that is 1,000 times that size.

    I seriously wonder, if video game studios focused on creating worlds based on an artistic expression instead of 'hyper realistic' graphics how timeless and beautiful their video games would be decades from now.
     
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