Author Topic: The Next Generation of Consoles  (Read 62143 times)

mobias

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The Next Generation of Consoles
« on: January 25, 2011, 09:37:07 PM »
Just been reading the latest round of rumours on the next generation of games consoles. Doesn't seem like yesterday that the PS3 and 360 were the latest and greatest things in gaming. Mind you it doesn't seem like yesterday that the PS2 came out. Anyway I've been following with interest the latest rumours going round the games industry as to when we'll actually see the next machines from Sony and MS. There seems to a growing number of people who think Sony will be first out the door with the PS4 this time around. With the PS3 having clearly not sold as well as the 360 and the PS3's Move not setting the gaming world alight Sony may well feel they're in a position to get new hardware out and beat MS to it this time. A fair few people say we could even see the PS4 released as soon as next year. Sony have already openly admitted they have their in house studios working on next gen titles. I was also reading a bit of speculation that Rockstar could be prepping the next GTA as a PS4 launch title. At first I thought that was bonkers but in actual fact the more I thought about it the less bonkers it became. Rockstar and Sony did very well out of each other last generation and this generation has clearly not been owned by GTA like the last one was. Rockstar also recently admitted they prefer developing for one console at a time. GTAIV was clearly a headache to develop for both consoles simultaneously and probably suffered as a result. Perhaps it makes sense. I do think we'll see the PS4 sooner rather than later though.

There seems to be less rumours coming out of MS as to the 360's successor. I've read various things about MS perhaps focussing the next Xbox on the market share enjoyed by the Wii ie more family orientated gaming. In a way it would be better for gamers if each console focussed on different areas of the market. You wouldn't get games developers straining to make games work on two entirely different systems. They'd be able to focus their resources on just the one. I also read one rumour that MS may pull out of the console war altogether to focus on what it needs to do elsewhere in its business. Strikes me as unlikely though, at least just now.

It'll be interesting to see just how much more advanced and capable the next generation of consoles are. At the start of this generation the jump was clearly the most obvious in the leap to high definition gaming. With the PS4 and Nextbox the jump will be much more about concept and scope I think.   

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 10:05:49 PM »
I don't see the point in a new generation for it's own sake. Nearly every previous generation of consoles was driven forward by developments in graphics. Since photorealism has very nearly been achieved, and many developers are steering away from it in favour of more stylised artwork, I'd be interested to find out what each manufacturer considers to be the new driving force for further advancement. I recently read an interesting letter on Metro's games page[nb]http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/games/[/nb], where a reader suggested they would like this driving force to be a vast improvement in AI, and I agree, since it's pretty shit isn't it? Fallout NVs enemies and allies don't seem to be much smarter than Perfect Darks, for example.

Mister Six

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 10:08:28 PM »
Can't imagine Microsoft pulling out of the console game after the success they've had with the 360. Also can't see them releasing a new console within two years of the Kineckt, even if it's backwards compatible.

It'll be interesting to see what the specs of the next major console will be, and how people utilise them. Given how impressive graphics are these days, I can't imagine new consoles managing anything more than minor incremental improvements, so hopefully developers will start to focus on pushing hardware in other ways: persistent worlds, continents to traverse, incredible AI... nah, who am I kidding? They'll just work out how to render individual freckles on a CGI hooker's arse won't they?

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 10:15:58 PM »
My prediction for next gen consoles is Virtual Reality. We're already half way there with the graphical ability and motion sensor hardware, next step up could be seeing something like those old VR helmet things (but smaller hopefully) so you can genuinely feel totally immersed in the gameplay.

ThickAndCreamy

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 10:17:04 PM »
A 3D console.

Just wait to marvel at some more gritty, dull as fuck shooters in 3D..

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 10:24:05 PM »
A 3D console.
Yup, I forgot to mention this. Another technological advancement that most people won't have access to because they just spent their life savings on a HDTV 5 minutes before 3DTV was released.

mobias

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 10:28:49 PM »
Since photorealism has very nearly been achieved, and many developers are steering away from it in favour of more stylised artwork

Photorealism has been achieved in cut scenes but in game real time photorealism is still a long way off. As GT5 proved, the closer they get to it the further away they seem to be in a funny sort of way.  But as you hint at, I don't think photo realism is the holy grail of gaming graphics enjoyment. Violent photo real games would just be too disturbing.
I think the next big leap in gaming will be with physics rather than graphics. Having lots of destructible environments and much more dynamic lighting, that'll be the way it will go I think.
I genuinely don't think motion sensing will be the future of all gaming. Family games yes but your GTA's and the like won't ever be motion sensing I don't think. The simplest answer is often the right one and simplest answer isn't leaping about the room whilst at the same time trying to engage with what will become increasing cerebral gaming experiences just aint the future I don't think.     

Consignia

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 10:30:48 PM »
The PS3 can already do 3D. The 360 might be able to as well, I'm not sure, but it is something that is already available in this generation.

VegaLA

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 12:30:49 AM »
A 3D console.


Let's hope not eh? But that could well be the case!

That GTA rumour is disturbing. It's been almost 3 years since GTAIV was released so some news should be leaking in the next few months. If it is a Sony exclusive then the PS4 will also get leaked.

I would love to see another contender to the throne this time around, throw the cat among the pigeons. Who do we have though? Apple? Sega perhaps? Nintendo maybe?

[spoiler]Oooooooooooooooooh that was nasty![/spoiler]

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 05:53:12 AM »
I would love to see another contender to the throne this time around, throw the cat among the pigeons. Who do we have though? Apple? Sega perhaps? Nintendo maybe?
An iConsole would be interesting, but iCan't[nb]See what I did there? Wooo![/nb] see them going it alone. Maybe if they partnered up with a company like Panasonic.
I don't know if there's room in the market for more than three consoles though. I'd rather see the games industry become more like the DVD and CD markets, where I can play any game on any manufacturer's machine, but there's probably some technical reason why this won't happen.


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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 12:07:38 PM »
Photorealism has not been achieved!

Jemble Fred

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 12:23:24 PM »
Can't imagine Microsoft pulling out of the console game after the success they've had with the 360. Also can't see them releasing a new console within two years of the Kineckt, even if it's backwards compatible.

Yes, the 360+Kinect combo will last at least as long as the 360 alone did – so you'd be looking at a 2015/16 date for a 'Nextbox', if not longer. And Nintendo are more likely to pull out of the consle game than Microsoft (ie, not even vaguely likely at all).

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 12:53:32 PM »
You can never have enough CPU power in a computer or console.

Even if it's just for the proverbial 'icing on the cake'. Example: modern footy games have had a good grasp of on-field gameplay and graphics for a while now, but things like audience detail in the stands is still very lacking. Naturally, that's because such 'dressing' in a football game is very secondary, but with greater CPU and memory resources comes the chance to create even more flair around the core aspects of a videogame.


biggytitbo

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 12:58:41 PM »
The problem with the PS4 is it can only really get a bit better than the PS3 before it stops really been noticeable, unless we all get ultra HD TV which is at least 20 years off. And if its only a bit better than the PS3 whats the point? It'd essentially be a PS3.5, - full 1080p, slightly better graphics, more memory but what else? 3D is not really a console led tech but a TV lead one, so thats not really something a PS4 would be able to do better beyond the PS3. I suppose one thing they could do is make it a media hub for smart TV services, but the PS3 can already do most of that now.

The Masked Unit

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 01:08:59 PM »
My dad went to America and they've already got PS4 out there. He brought one back but you can't come round and play it cos it's in the loft. I've got GTA 5 and it's amazing - you can get a blow job off a hooker and it looks real. You play as Nico's dad back in the 70s, and because it's the 70s it's got Veitnam in it, and you can go there but it takes literally 8 hours to fly there. It's so realistic you have to go through customs and if you forgot your passport you have to go back to your house and get it. Honestly it's well realistic.

The Masked Unit

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2011, 01:09:35 PM »
Also they're bringing out Basketball Heads on it.

MojoJojo

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2011, 01:36:49 PM »
The PS3 can already do 3D. The 360 might be able to as well, I'm not sure, but it is something that is already available in this generation.

It should be able to... to output a 3D image you just need to output the two images side by side, split screen style [nb]or interlaced, but lets not get into that now[/nb], and the 3D TV does all the work.

A new generation seems a bit premature... Sony aren't actually losing money AFAIK, and one of Sony's great strengths is that they can massively reduce the costs of the consoles by integrating all the chips together (think PSOne, PS2 slim, how much the PS3 price came down after launch).
MS don't seem to have that skill, but it's hard to see why they would want to embark on releasing a new concole now... this generation is their first chance to really profit after losing money on the Xbox.

HappyTree

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2011, 01:59:29 PM »
I do think that Kinect has only limited appeal. I'm surely not the only one who actually likes sitting still and controlling everything with small thumb movements. For things like bowling, tennis, dancing and fitness, etc., Kinect would be good but the point of a snowboarding game, for example, is allowing me to dream I can do cool moves without actually having to be able to do them.

So I see Kinect as being for a different market from other types of game. Perhaps MS will corner that market, usurp the Wii and leave Sony to develop the more traditional games. I am now quite loyal to the Xbox brand, but would have no problem migrating to the Play Station if they redesigned their controller to be like the 360 one. My dislike for the PS controller is about the only reason why I'm not keen on it. The extra capacity of BluRay discs is a great benefit over the game discs the 360 uses

I have no interest in 3D anything. I don't like the films in 3D and gaming would have just the same effect.
 

Jemble Fred

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2011, 02:06:41 PM »
I have no interest in 3D anything. I don't like the films in 3D and gaming would have just the same effect.

I still personally have no doubt that by the time a next generation of gaming comes round, this brief period of the '3D revolution' – in cinema, TV and gaming – will be looked back on with acute embarrassment that anyone thought it was worth a flying fuck.

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 02:12:15 PM »
Dedicated physics processors failed on the PC but would definitely be useful in a console situation, that and enough oomph to process shadows properly without the horrific sawtooth/flickery shite that creeps across supposedly "realistic" games.

3D can fuck off until a single glasses-free standard is agreed upon and mass produced.

A new generation seems a bit premature... Sony aren't actually losing money AFAIK, and one of Sony's great strengths is that they can massively reduce the costs of the consoles by integrating all the chips together (think PSOne, PS2 slim, how much the PS3 price came down after launch).
MS don't seem to have that skill, but it's hard to see why they would want to embark on releasing a new concole now... this generation is their first chance to really profit after losing money on the Xbox.

The 360 "Slim" already has an integrated 45nm CPU/GPU I believe.

HappyTree

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 02:14:05 PM »
If you think about 2D and 3D art - paintings vs. sculptures - there is a totally different way of engaging with the piece. What the current "faux 3D" system is doing is trying to make a 2D way of engaging with a film or game into 3D, but for real 3D you need to be able to move your head to see around things. For me the problem Avatar had (the only film I've seen in 3D) was one of focusing. The concept of seeing perspective in a flat image is so well engrained that I don't see how trying to force it to be 3D improves it.

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 02:19:27 PM »
If you think about 2D and 3D art - paintings vs. sculptures - there is a totally different way of engaging with the piece. What the current "faux 3D" system is doing is trying to make a 2D way of engaging with a film or game into 3D, but for real 3D you need to be able to move your head to see around things. For me the problem Avatar had (the only film I've seen in 3D) was one of focusing. The concept of seeing perspective in a flat image is so well engrained that I don't see how trying to force it to be 3D improves it.

In theory the Kinect can do this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw

Jonny Lee is now working at Microsoft so fingers crossed.

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 02:22:28 PM »
My prediction for next gen consoles is Virtual Reality.....something like those old VR helmet things...

Totally this.
I don't see it as being that far off... You'd still use a pad (although with advancements like the Kinectg a lot of developers would probably come up with other control methods.), but you'd have full 360 vision. Almost all games would be hugely improved by it. It offers total immersion.
You would of course be able to view the game as you currently do on screen, but it would mean I could play CoD sat next to my girlfriend on the settee whilse she watches BGT or whatever.
Also, wouldn't 3D be a lot easier to do with a VR headset? It'd require a much smaller display surface.

DO IT PEOPLE!!!!

HappyTree

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 02:28:03 PM »
Ah the head tracking is more like it! Maybe I'm just very lazy, but could I be bothered to play a game like that?

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2011, 02:30:44 PM »
Ah the head tracking is more like it! Maybe I'm just very lazy, but could I be bothered to play a game like that?

Some PC simulation games implement a version of this already and the movement is scaled, so your movements are amplified on screen (so you can look sideways in game without looking away from the screen for example).

Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2011, 02:34:12 PM »
Photorealism has not been achieved!

I want that on a T-Shirt

Surley there's got to be a limit of how detailed and vast the games can get. Even if the console is able to deal with it, the number of man hours it will require for every bit or terrain to be worked out, constructed, made to behave realistically would not be worth the monetary return. Though obviously someone would have made this point while playing Mega Drive, unable to imagine a game like Red Dead. But there must be a limit to how much time and effort can be put into a game.

Other than graphics and vastness, physics and AI is where it's at.

VegaLA

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 04:50:42 PM »
I do think that Kinect has only limited appeal. I'm surely not the only one who actually likes sitting still and controlling everything with small thumb movements.

Kinect has really taken off. It has already surpassed MS' own prediction of 5M untits in the first 3 months by reaching 8M in units sold. I think most of them have been bought by hackers though as every week someone has done something new and non XBox related with it. It will also be available for the PC sometime soon. The Gurl is interested in it for the Netflix feature so she can lull around in bed waving her hand around in front of it. Like you I can't be arsed with it for games playing.

Quote
My dislike for the PS controller is about the only reason why I'm not keen on it.
I think this is the reason why I couldn't get into the games I had on my PS2 and went for the original XBox. 14 years and they have still yet to redesign it.

Quote from: Slaaaaabs
Jonny Lee is now working at Microsoft so fingers crossed.

He just ditched them in favour of.....(drumroll please) Google. I heard Ballmer was going to Cali armed with a soldering iron and a jar of red ants.


Mister Six

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2011, 05:21:21 PM »
I think this is the reason why I couldn't get into the games I had on my PS2 and went for the original XBox. 14 years and they have still yet to redesign it.

To be fair, the last time they tried that it ended up looking like this:


Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2011, 05:24:33 PM »
Hahaha. I love that.

Yes I think it's been a long long running pet peeve of mine, their incredibly unergonomic stupid fucking never-evolving controller. Microsoft have already designed two superior controllers to it in half the time, and I don't mind their big chunky one all that much either.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The Next Generation of Consoles
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2011, 05:36:05 PM »
Surley there's got to be a limit of how detailed and vast the games can get. Even if the console is able to deal with it, the number of man hours it will require for every bit or terrain to be worked out, constructed, made to behave realistically would not be worth the monetary return. Though obviously someone would have made this point while playing Mega Drive, unable to imagine a game like Red Dead. But there must be a limit to how much time and effort can be put into a game.

Other than graphics and vastness, physics and AI is where it's at.
I think this is the crux of the matter. I remember back in the Commodore 64 days, games were regularly one-man affairs, and it's grown with good reason to huge deals. How much bigger can it get? I just don't know, much as I'd love a super-huge totally sandbox GTA thing, I just don't know if that's how gaming is going. Smaller games, more multiplayer?

I think needing the internet and wifi to be better and quicker will have to happen before we think about next-gen.