Has gaming peaked?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Subtle Demise, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Subtle Demise
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    I've noticed a trend lately where the exponential growth of technology seems to be rapidly outpacing gaming, especially on dedicated game consoles; so much so that the console manufactures have had to all but completely do away with the traditional "console generations" of days past just to keep up.

    This isn't just a "PC MASTER RACE" rant either, AAA and indie PC games alike are facing the same problem, whether it be because the games need to be ported to the aging consoles or the fact that games in general need to do something unique and innovative, and become grander in scale, depth and freedom than their predecessors in order to keep current customers satisfied and create new generations of fans. Games like Metal Gear Solid V and No Man's Sky that failed to live up to the grand visions that both the designers and gamers had in their minds. The latter being a game that could have spent 20 years in development and still never be able to live up to it's full potential.

    The big budget games of this era already take almost a decade to be released; often still being rushed, buggy, and unpolished; so is it not far off to see the games of the future taking 10-15 years to complete and being outdated before they hit store shelves? How much money and manpower will it take to keep up with the demand for bigger and better games? Will big budget games drop out of the race to make way for more simplistic, casual games; or maybe some deep indie games with awesome gameplay mechanics that may be lacking in the graphics department? (BTW, Neon Chrome is a good recent example of this, you should seriously play it right now!)
    I personally hope for the latter, but with the recent trends in mobile gaming, I'm not that optimistic. Not that casual games are bad in any way, but I would not want a future where that was the ONLY option. Nor would I enjoy a future where the latest blockbuster was little more than a somewhat interactive movie, which already seems to be a frightening trend as well, but may be just a symptom of the phenomenon I mentioned in the beginning of this thread.
     
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  2. CeeDee

    CeeDee hm?~

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    I'd love more of this. Cave Story, UNDERTALE, Shovel Knight, etc. are all awesome games without amazing graphics, and goes to show that not every amazing game needs HD graphics to be an awesome game.
    (As long as, you know, the game is actually good... Not every pixelly indie game is automatically amazing.)
     
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  3. Subtle Demise
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    Subtle Demise h

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    That would be my ideal future. Hell, just today I hooked up both an NES and SNES to my brother's little 19" hdtv. I only have RF adapters (those weird boxes with coax cables in them and a port to plug your antennae into so you could change the channel and watch regular TV without unhooking everything) for them, and boy do they look GOD AWFUL by today's standards, but nothing beats that classic gameplay, in my opinion. Not every retro game is a gem though, a lot of games I thought were awesome back then I found were really objectively garbage.
     
  4. Chary

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    There's still plenty of series out there that are well-made, and hit all the right notes in terms of quality. Just like every console generation, there's always a lean towards a specific genre; this time it happens to be interactive based video games. It doesn't mean AAA games are going to drop dead nor does it mean interactive games are going to rule the market for the next 20 years. Games and studios fluctuate constantly and will adapt no matter what. Who knows, in a few years, interactive games might not be popular, much like how the 3D platformer that was so prevalent in the late 90s that has slowly dropped off.. On the other hand, there's been a dramatic downturn of classic video game franchises that are getting WORSE with each iteration (Halo, Kojima based Metal Gear is dead now, Uncharted 4 was more movie than game, Star Ocean is dead in a dumpster fire, and so on and so forth.) So we need to see something really innovative come out of this generation to pick things up.

    As previously mentioned, small studio games are also filling a void that seems to be popular at the moment, the sort of "nostalgia" based throwbacks to the 16 bit era. Undertale, Stardew Valley, Shovel Knight, VA-11 Hall-A, OlliOlli, Mutant Mudds, etc. And each proof the age old argument that you don't need HD graphics to make a good game. But that doesn't mean we need to suddenly stop innovating and pushing the limit graphically. If studios want to strive to impress, with the biggest, latest textures and lighting effects, then we're going to see consoles go the way of smartphones, with yearly revisions. That, or they're all going to turn into upgradable PCs, which would be totally fine by me.

    Which big budget games are taking decades to release, besides Square Enix titles? No Man's Sky took 3 years and made everyone want to cry, but that's not much dev-time. MGS V didn't live up to the hype, but it's certainly not a bad game. Call of Duty and Battlefield are released yearly, Uncharted 4, Overwatch, Dark Souls 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex only took a couple of years, and those are some of the highest budget, big title releases out there that I can think of. (And they were all highly successful) So long as people keep buying these types of games, you don't have to worry about Angry Birds or Temple Run or Shenmue taking over your life.
     
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  5. CeeDee

    CeeDee hm?~

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    There's no way they'd allow them to become more than limited upgradable PCs locked down with too many limitations on what you can run on it at all, with required major rehauls every few years.

    Which is pretty much what they are now!
     
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  6. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

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    Lol I almost completely disagree. I see the indie taking over bigger and bigger parts of the industry, then some AAA publishers will make indie appendings (a small part that will be still infie while getting some money from the publishers). The reason is simple- indie games cost less to the consumer and the maker (mosta time) and instead of flashy cool new super hyper 3d rendering with shadows and lotta shit they just focus on gameplay (minecraft-ps1 graphics, sold for 2.7 bilion $ or slt) and story telling (afaik undertale and journey, dont kill me if im wrong). Also games should stop making high expectetions (see-no mans sky). The hype was so high that no game could make up with it... indies release games faster (mosta time) so even if 99% of them will be flops there will still be lotta great games. The AAA industry will not die in the near/foresee-able future either. They will have to adapt, and it will happen. They will need to stop making remakes for hundreds of milions and start new franchises or else the sales will drop.

    The problem is that in the past two gens of consoles the graphics havent changed much (compare original assasins creed on max graphics to any ps4 pro or pc game) compared to previous gens. Like, the transition from old ataris to nes to snes- even if youre blind youll spot the diffrence. Same from snes to n64 and ps1- 2d to 3d. Then it kinda continued to go up, ps1 to ps2, but not the same size of leap as last time. Then ps2 to ps3, again small diff in graphics and now one and a half gens after ps3 rhe graphics barely changed. Of course, now its on 4k at 60 fps with better shadows and whatnot but you wont spot much diffrence if you wont put your mind into it, unlike from nes to snes... so the graphics are pretty damn realistic right now, and have not too much more where to go up... thats why I say that future games would be more creative.


    Ps. Sorry for bad english... that isnt my native lang
     
  7. Exaltys

    Exaltys GBAtemp Fan

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    Those games so have great graphics though. Just because something has high res textures and models doesn't mean aesthetically pleasing graphics.

    Shenmue, what?
     
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  8. Demifiend

    Demifiend The bored one

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    Is just not the same anymore, as time passes, technology is getting more advanced to the point that we may probably won't work within the limits of a console. Ask yourself this question "How many games have pushed the limits of the PS4?" compared to "How many games have pushed the limits of the 3DS?", the answer for the first one may vary, a game like FFXV or KH3 sure look stunning but that doesn't mean is all that the system can do, right?, exploiting the limits of a system to make a game stunning is just something that takes too much effort to do, now, compare that with the 3DS, the same system that got Bravely Default, Fire Emblem Fates, KH3D: Dream Drop Distance, etc. that took advantages of the system hardware.

    Compared to the 7th generation of consoles where people demanded ultra top-notch graphics in 3D with 60FPS running at the highest resolution possible, now gamers have expanded, there is more acceptance with games that don't exactly exploit the capabilities of a system in order to bring the full graphics out of it, rather these games prefer to approach this in a different way, make a game that looks retro but plays modern (Shovel Knight) or make a game that looks modern but plays retro (Doom'16).

    Gaming has changed through-out the years, games have been adding features that whereas wouldn't have been possible in the late 80's or 90's, is the amount of possibilities that you can ever put into a game, that having the graphics full 3d hd 4k 900 fps isn't the main priority, is the content of it that people remembers the most, is not to say that gaming has peaked or anything, is just that is taking a different approach compared to older generations.

    That's the word approach, you won't repeat the same mistakes of older generations with just prioritizing in getting everything as if it was "meant to be", now you wanna change, you wanna take another route of action, i believe that gaming will shine in its own unique way with the years that are coming, may be there's someone out there who wouldn't like this path of games, but in life, you can't satisfy everyone.
     
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  9. Subtle Demise
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    I didn't say they were taking decades, but close to it. It was mostly hyperbole, but there have been games like Star Wars: The Old Republic which took 8 years I believe. There are also examples of games that went through development hell and literally did take a decade to come out, like Duke Nukem, Too Human, and Postal 3, but those aren't an issue of being too big, but rather poor decision making.

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

    I noticed that too, where before there was a noticeable upgrade in fidelity from one generation to the next, it's become much more subtle in recent years, but I think this is due to the game companies not necessarily going for bleeding-edge technology to keep the price point lower and sell the systems to a larger demographic.
    If you remember in the 90s, failed consoles like the 3DO, CD-i and Atari Jaguar all tried to go for the latest and greatest technology, but developers often didn't know what to do with that technology, and the systems had to sell for $500-700 just to break even. Adjusting for inflation that would be about $800-1000. Could you imagine the Nintendo Wii being $500 today? Let alone 800?
    That could be another reason there seems to be this sort of plateau effect going on, the "big 3" learned from the mistakes of their competitors and with the exception of Nintendo, have decided to play it safe. However, lack of innovation also leads to stagnation, and that wouldn't bode well for any of them.
     
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  10. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

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    Where could they go higher? Like I saw lately a video footage of some pro racing games. Some time after that I saw a video of a real racing game and I thought it was a game. Like, games now are very realistic. Only way up is vr, and I dont see it growing much bigger in next few years. The only things which still grow in power are the inside parts like cpu and ram which allows for devs to spend less time optimising cpu ram and gpu usage, which leads to more games/content in less time. Also I guess next gen will be all hard drive/flash memory cause the optical discs dont fulfill their needs. So I dont think its like the cdi and other console examples from 90s. Think about the diffrence they showed in graphics vs the diff in graphics between ps4 (mahbe even pro) and the next gen supper buffed pc in 2-3 years from now. I cant think of any huge diffrence that would happen... also nintendo nx most likely will be more streamlined casual console- mosta rumors talk about a tablet (or a screen) with a controller which can also connect to a tv. Most likely that direction will lead to smartphone like specs which nowdays can produce graphics somewhere between ps2-ps4... a little less then ps3. So they most likely make a gamble with it, but that isnt a real gamble- lots of casuals even nowdays buy a tablet for gaming sometimes with a moga or something...
     
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  11. Attacker3

    Attacker3 GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, it's a shame VR isn't catching on as fast as it should. We are kind of in a weird place in gaming history. Who knows what will happen next?
     
  12. natanelho

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    Even without vr the gaming is good enough. Like, think of all the things u really dont need vr for. I dont see normal mario game being better with vr. Anyway, we are close to the concrete wall of gaming where they cant become graphically better anymore. Even with vr. Then we will face a situation where creativity is everything. Like movies now. Or writing in last 100 years. Yeah there are new tricks and more accessability to content makers, but the product consumers get isnt huge leap forward compared to a year or two (in the writing - even decade or century) ago. So now we have everything but vr in gaming (and no quantum processors which will be enough for anything but math jobs specifically to run in hundreds or thousands of frames per seconds)
     
  13. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    Having shared engines helps a lot. Unity, Unreal, etc, help speed up development times. With it being available to anyone, you're going to get more people that are trained on the stuff. Downside to that sort of thing is games can feel "samey", or it would appear to me.

    There are those that still develop and use their own engines, though, and those can take forever. They tend to be better at taking advantage of the unique hardware, and delivering the visual and the conceptual, as you seem to be concerned with, but it adds time, people, and money.

    I don't know. I figure eventually we'll have a tech approach that'll automate or expedite a lot of the time-consuming development task of today. Maybe. Hopefully.
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Sep 20, 2016
  14. Taleweaver

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    Yes. And that's a good thing, because we're at a point where a mere 1% increase in visual quality* comes at so much extra work (and thus costs) that the average customer simply isn't willing to pay anymore. I forgot which Tomb raider reboot it was (I believe the 2013 one), but despite a couple million sales it made a loss because the damn game was so costly.


    Sorry, but AAA-titles and indies don't really face the same problem in the same way. The latter group uses premade engines like game maker or unity. While these are somewhat limited in what they can achieve, they have the advantage of perhaps having to do little more than pressing the "compile for <insert platform>" button to generate their game on whatever platform they want (I'll have to ask one, but perhaps it's merely catering for different button layouts that'll be the biggest problem). The larger studios usually use their own engine, which they upgrade pretty much all the time. Of course porting costs are higher there. And that's something they'll have to do away with at some point.

    Grand visions failing is something that has happened before (Peter Molyneux, anyone?), and will happen again. As someone I know IRL once (sarcastically) mentioned: "there's no limit to the work you can delegate to someone else". Think about that sentence next time a CEO announced the greatest game in the history of greatest games: they don't see the hurdles or impossibilities, underestimate the amount of time features require to make and assume that writing code is as problem free as writing a feature list**.

    That will only happen if there is demand for it, and if the studios in the end can make an actual profit. And indeed...I think big budget games will eventually become more of a rarity. The refund policy of steam is still fairly new, but I think it will have a big impact on future projects (especially if people can get their money back no matter how long they've played, as apparently is the case with NMS). There is a reason there is a shift towards reboots, remakes and sequels, and once the audience decided that they've got enough bundles of their franchise to last a lifetime, things may REALLY turn problematic for these studios.
    ...except they've already realised this and made steps towards the things that still turn a profit.

    Here's the thing: you mix 'mobile gaming' with 'casual gaming'. There was a time where consoles were also ditched as "for casuals only". It just took a few hardcore titles to change things around.

    Mobile games won't completely take over. There will always be a market for pc and consoles (it's more the handheld console market I'm wondering about). If for nothing else, then for VR. :)



    *this is, of course, assuming you can measure such a subjective quantity. As mentioned, the aesthetics (e.g. the pixel shaded look of borderlands) are far more noticeable than the sharpness of what is shown.
    **half a year ago, one of our marketing department guys made a presentation on the future of our business. He told everyone all these sorts of futuristic gimmicks that sounded neat to use and would really make a difference. That was until my colleague stepped up and burned him on the spot with the question: "if that's all up on your sleeve...why haven't you even talked to IT about this?". Truth was that he dreamed up all those things and never put any work in realising anything. When the pokemon go rage came around (which was a HUGE opportunity to draw in customers), the entire marketing team reacted way, way, WAAY to late to do anything.
     
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  15. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

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    I dont think so.
    1. Some studios are already making games on pre made engines. So I think in the future some company will start making more pro engines for the big companies. For big cost. It will make the AAA pay less, and maybe decrease prices.
    2. We see vr coming to mobiles. The mobile market is still accelerating- i saw a serious company (dont remember the name) anouncing a super powerfull smartphone- 2 snapdragon 630 proccessors (i dont remember, it was the one that was yet to be anounced few months ago) 12or 16 gb ram (again I dont remember...) 1 tb max storage and two batteries. This shit or the next one or the one after will b able to do vr on their own. So still no excusses for gaming consoles. In the last few years pc became WAY more affordable and easier to use and consoles began that "digital distro" shit so less convinience there... so whats the big diffrence now between gaming pc and a console? Gaming pc even sounds cheaper to maintain- upgrade gpu instead of buying a whole new one ....
    3. About portable consoles- I think of xperia play as their future. Phone+games as the way to progress... it wont be just normal droid (cause its easily piratable) but still a smartphone .. think of a special nintendo os with ability to install android stuff plus nintendo eshop. Awesome right?
     
  16. bowser

    bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    It's interesting that I was thinking along these same lines just a couple of days ago. I'm afraid we are heading towards another video game crash like in 1983 because developer budgets and consumer demands/expectations are getting way out of hand. They are struggling to keep up with each other and a big skew between them may cause a crash.
     
  17. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

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    Now we have more indies and development for them is easier then ever. Like think of a world with less cods and assasins creeds and more undertales and minecrafts. Not really a crash is it?
     
  18. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I feel that gaming peaked in the summer of 2014. The 360/PS3 owners had a shit-ton of great games, 3DS was finally thriving, and Steam had killer games out. Now there's just HD remasters and ports of last-gen games on Xbox and PS4, and the NX is being super secretive. Steam is slowly becoming a PS Vita (Nothing but an indie platform).
     
  19. nIxx

    nIxx GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Ehhm Steam does have 11,055 Games right now and these are not just indie games ;) (thought many of them are still better as a AAA game or whatever from a big company)
    Sounds more as if you don't have fun with games nowadays in general.
     
  20. Jayro

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    Have you seen the specials in Steam right now? The AAA games to indie games on sale are like 99 indie to 1 AAA by comparison. It's insane...