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Next-Gen Graphics Might Not Sell Games 106

jayintune writes "2old2play has a great editorial up regarding the next generation of gaming, and suggests that maybe 'next-gen' graphics and sound will not be what sells games this time around. Instead the next-gen champions will be the ones that provide better content and innovation in their games." From the article: "The average gamer is in their mid-thirties. Many of these adult gamers understand the value of a dollar and have a firm grasp on technological trends. The trend is simple: new technology arrives and costs a ton of money, then prices lower as newer technology hits the market. Developers are not screaming for larger removable disk capacity, yet Sony is forcing a consumer (and developer) to purchase a high capacity Blu-ray device 'for the future.' By the time Blu-ray and HD-DVD's are needed for gaming we will be in the 8th generation of console systems. Why force it on us now?"
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Next-Gen Graphics Might Not Sell Games

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  • by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:45PM (#15344547) Homepage
    maybe 'next-gen' graphics and sound will not be what sells games this time around. Instead the next-gen champions will be the ones that provide better content and innovation in their games.
    No shit. Graphics are cool and all, and my 5.1 sounds great, but I'm not gonna play if it isn't fun.
    • No shit. Graphics are cool and all, and my 5.1 sounds great, but I'm not gonna play if it isn't fun.

      And there are plenty of people, like me, won't play it if it doesn't look good as well. Poor graphics have become the video game equivalent of shoddy workmanship; if it doesn't look good, there's something very annoying about playing it.
      • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:18PM (#15344840) Homepage
        There is a big difference between "looking good" and having cutting edge graphics. Most people agree that Geometry Wars both "looks good" and uses relatively simple graphics.

        If a game s ugly, I won't be likely to sit through it. But I play games like Asteroids and Dig Dug on a regular basis, because beauty and simplicity are not mutually exclusive concepts.
        • So that's your personal preference. Me, I can't play Asteroids or Dig Dug anymore even though I grew up with them. I prefer games that are not just meant to entertain but also immerse you in the world and let you feel as though you're really there. Graphics and audio go a long way towards accomplishing that feeling. Polished and good looking are key, but I think that it all comes down to personal preference in the end.

          I also have this theory that games are as good as what is available to you at the mome
          • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:52PM (#15345809) Homepage
            You don't catch many people sitting at home playing cell phone games while their Xbox or PS2 gathers dust.

            Maybe, but you do find people playing their DS or casual PC games in the presence of high-powered home consoles. Among my group of friends there is the much revered "drunken Pong tournament" where we set all the consoles aside for a Tele-Games Pong machine.

            You may be different, but I'm pretty sure that even you have examples that break your own rules. Maybe I'm less of a fair-weather fan than other people, but I don't abandon things that I love simply because there is a shinier version. I may like the shinier version too, but that has nothing to do with what I liked about the older game.
            • Console Polygamy!

              Whole new meaning to B!G LOVE.

              If you catch me playing a console at my house, it probably wont be mine. IF it is mine, please call the AirForce and warn them of the impending Alien Invasion!
              I will stick with the PC platform until it ceases to become practical. Yes a "GAMING" PC costs about $1200 (mobo, power, ram, cpu, vid card. You allready have the drives & case anyway right?)vs ~$600

              But unlike other game systems, I can use a mouse and Keyboard!

              As well as scanner, printer, fax, netw
              • What does a console do when it becomes obsolete? 10 years later someone decides to overclock it, and get R-TYPE to work at constant rate. YEah.. Turbo Grafix 16 did that along time ago...
                Well, you can use an unmodded Dreamcast as a Divx player (among many other things).
          • I agree with your point, but keep in mind a lot of people (myself included) have spent time at home neglecting their Xcubestations in favor of a Gameboy or DS. I love my consoles, but I'll follow games like Phoenix Wright and Advance Wars, no matter where they are. (And given the Poke'mon fad in the 90's in America, as well as right now in Japan still, I'd say it's entirely possible to happen again)
      • I get the feeling that your type is in the overall minotrity, and it just seems like plenty because you and your friends are in that demographic.
    • I don't play games much, but NetHack really picked a good mixture of playability, plot, twitchiness, and portability. I might use the graphics overlay a bit more if my laptop screen had more pixels, but colored text mode is really just fine. You don't need 5.1 sound if all the sound comes from your imagination...
      • I play my console most of the time, but every couple of months I burn out
        on it and end up playing nethack for a couple of weeks until I'm ready
        to play the console again.

        Sometimes I'll play ADOM or Zangband, but usually it's nethack.

        If the console had more turn-based games, I probably wouldn't burn out as
    • The games I bought for PS2 aren't that impressive. I picked them more for their game play rather than for their graphics. I do avoid games that have really sucky graphics though. I don't expect the best but I don't want it to look like a past gen console either.
    • There's that annoying buzz word again: innovation. I'm copy-pasteing this from an earlier post of mine (with some additions), because apparently nobody saw it:

      People always complain about "lack of innovation" yet can't exactly explain what kind of games we should be getting from developers. Adventure games, graphical and non-graphical, pretty much died out. Traditional roleplaying games are few and far between. Simulators are a distant memory. Non-realtime strategy games are rare. Sidescrollers are a novelt
  • You can safely give it a miss. They compare price, upgradability, and functionality, and conclude that Sony is in trouble, Nintendo is brilliant and the guys to watch in this generation, and Microsoft might not be brilliant but they're placed better than Sony in this generation. They also think that the expandability of the Xbox 360 is going to matter to someone; I disagree completely, I think that they'll sell practical no HD-DVD addons at full price and pretty much nobody will ever upgrade their hard driv
    • As an Xbox 360 owner I couldn't give a flying fuck about the HD DVD drive. I don't want one and I have no use what so ever of one. But I'm glad Microsoft had the foresight of not making me pay an extra $200 to have one.
  • Sony wants the HD DVD market. By putting a Blue ray drive into the machine, it puts that many more blue ray drives in households so they can get the movie studios to want to release movies on blue ray discs. plain and simple.
    • IF they can be sold to the average consumer in any sort of volume.
      • By releasing the PS3 at this initially high price, then the machine will
        always be perceived as having a higher value even once the price has
        been reduced to a level closer to that as the 360.

        Sony will have no trouble selling all their first PS3s to the early
        adopters who've already spent $4k for an HDTV. Then the price will
        come down and they'll sell to the next tier of consumers. By the time
        the PS3 is in the $300 range, Sony will have reduced production costs
        and will be making money on it, and MS will still b
    • Shadow Hearts: Covenant already comes on two DVDs, and that's a PS2 game. Game developers are already running out of space in this generation, and in the next generation they will face an explosion in space needs as every texture, model, and video needs to be upped in resolution so it will look good on the new HDTVs.

      It is my opinion that from a business standpoint, Sony's inclusion of the Blu-Ray in the PS3 is a cynical product "tying" ploy designed to use their established position in one market to benefit
      • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (bbabnoraa)> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:46PM (#15345160) Homepage
        You people have got to stop talking about multi-DVD games and how that relates to the increased capacity of Blu-Ray.

        1) Multi-disc games in the DVD format are rare.
        2) Multi-disc games in the DVD format have sometimes been single-layer discs - possibly because of manufacturing issues or possibly because of console reliability (or lack thereof).
        3) Cutscenes are going to be done within the game engine more and more as those engines advance because FMV is expensive.
        4) Cutscenes tend to bore a lot of people and they really have been the primary reason for multi-DVD games.
        5) Getting up once during a game to change discs shouldn't bother anyone with legs.

        Blu-Ray is cool, and so is HD-DVD. I'm on Slashdot so it can be safely assumed that high tech is interesting to me, and larger storage capacities get me a little hot. That said, it's a factor that I consider all but irrelevant to console gaming at the moment.
        • They're currently rare, but shortly will not be. Mark Rein, IIRC, hinted that UT2007 would be 20 or 30 gigs. And then keep in mind that the "current" next-gen consoles need to last for years (What was it, at least five?)

          When thinking of next-gen consoles, you need to think about the requirements of games along the FULL life of the console.

          That said, I still think it's too early to shove BluRay or HD-DVD in consoles. Yes, we might need the capacity, but the hardware is too new to stick in consoles being manu
        • 5) Getting up once during a game to change discs shouldn't bother anyone with legs.

          Which is fine if the second half of the game takes place in a completely separate part of the game world, but if the player can move freely about the game world (as in the Grand Theft Auto series), I can imagine that there's going to be a lot more disc swapping going on.

        • 3) Cutscenes are going to be done within the game engine more and more as those engines advance because FMV is expensive.

          Xenosaga Ep. 2 uses realtime cutscenes most of the time so that's not going to shave off that much.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Everyone loves to point out the sheer amount of space that Blu-Ray offers and how we're all running out of space on our current media. This is true, but only to a point.

        You may be able to get 25 gigs of data to fit onto the disc, but you still have to get it off of the disc, and in a reasonable amount of time... not to mention the fact that a limited amount of RAM means you can only store so much data at a time anyway. Compression does a lot more than just save disc space, and last I checked, a 2x BD-Rom
    • Ok it had to be said. MS tried to do this, but they had hard deadlines of last year so that they would be the first to market in the "next-gen" race. The delays killed that idea. Personally if I had to choose between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray wins every time simply because it is better technology. Does this mean that Sony made the right decision? Well, time will tell. Personally this is how I feel, I am most definitely buying the Wii the day is it out. I "might" buy a PS3 if/when the price drops. I will N
      • Except that, in practice, BluRay isn't better tech after all. They still haven't cracked commercial replication of dual-layer discs, and there's no prospect of it happening at an affordable price in the next twelve months.

        Which leaves at least the first gen of discs stuck at 25Gb, wheras every HD-DVD film I've checked so far has been on a 30Gb disc. Also, DD+ hi-def or TrueHD lossless audio is only optional on BluRay (and Sony don't plan to use them, due to lack of space) wheras at hi-def audio support is m
  • Spore (Score:5, Interesting)

    by reldruH ( 956292 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:50PM (#15344588) Journal
    The game I've seen the most hype for lately is Spore and it goes in the opposite direction as far as graphics are concerned. It looked good, but graphics weren't really important at all. During demonstrations nobody was talking about how good the graphics were, they were talking about this new, innovative way of making games. While it's hard to sell a game that doesn't look pretty it looks like it's going to be pretty easy to sell a decent looking, completely innovative game.
    • Re:Spore (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gulthek ( 12570 )
      While it's hard to sell a game that doesn't look pretty it looks like it's going to be pretty easy to sell a decent looking, completely innovative game.
      That's what Nintendo is betting on with the Wii. Gamecube quality (or slightly better) graphics, extremely innovative gameplay.
      • And I hope it works. I own a PS2, but lately I've been enjoying my friends' Gamecubes a lot more, and my GBA honestly sees a lot more action. Both systems tend to run simpler games, and I've been getting into those a lot more. The only PS2 game I still play frequently is Katamari Damacy, which has just about the most basic gameplay of any recent game.

        The thing that Nintendo seems to be figuring out is that fun is an intangible that is only loosely linked to realism, flashiness, or complication. Especial
    • Re:Spore (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kisrael ( 134664 )
      On the other hand, unless it's all smoke and mirrors, Spore has got to be using a huge chunk of horsepower to keep track of the galaxy the player is messing about in... any individual piece of graphics may be "ok", but the whole issue of scale means this is NOT something that would run on, say, an N64...
      • Yea I was wondering about that too. I'm sure evolution of galaxies you occasionally visit is highly random and only done when you visit them. Meaning the game could wait till you visit them next to say. Ok now 1000 years has past sense you last visited them. Lets randomly generate improments based on that. Its possible that planets your closly aligned with specially ones you are at war with or have an allience with might be tracked better. But who knows.
        Its all procedural :)
        • I don't think it'll be that bad. It is all procedural. That entire world might be a couple of megabytes in size as opposed to one texture taking up that same amount of space in a regular game. There will definitely be a lot of computation involved but AMD has a processor that can do over 27 billion calculations per second. I think Spore is going to be the first game that actually takes advantage of all that to improve gameplay and not graphics.
    • I don't know personally while the game is amazing I think for the casual gaming crowd (the buyers that made The Sims such a success) its going to be a hard sell. Most of these people simply won't get it. I wouldn't have "gotten" it if I hadn't watched the full GDC footage.
      • It doesn't sound that hard to get. The cell phase has you moving around almost as in a classic 2D fighter (though with "melee" attacks rather than ranged ones, by the sounds of it). The next phase is an odd diablo/sims mix. The ones after that mesh Simcity, Populous, and some RTS/Civ mechanics, with the depth increasing as the stage does.

        With the complexity gradually building, it doesn't sound that hard to grasp. You got from a video what users would probably normally understand after several hours of playi
        • No I mean by get as in to sell. Imagine trying to put it into a 30 second commercial so that the average consumer will want to go out and buy it. I've seen the trailer they made for E3, I wouldn't have bought it on that alone. Heres to hoping it will sell on word on mouth. Because it doesn't fit into a sound byte unfortunately.

          I'm NOT knocking the game, just realizing how terribly difficult it will be to sell.. I feel sorry for the marketing guys here.. Good luck. Hopefully they will come out with something
          • The Sims: create your own little family then watch them grow

            Spore: create your own little creature then watch it grow and conquer the universe

            That doesn't sound too hard to fit into a sound byte. Think of commercials for other games like Oblivion; none of them do complete justice to the concept behind the game, but they present something compelling enough that the viewer wants to look into the game.

            Marketing will figure out a better way of getting the idea across, of course. Most people I know of don't get
    • You know its much easier but more expensive to create high quality graphics than to provide new types of gameplay.
    • FUR (Score:3, Interesting)

      How can the game be even an evolution simulation while leaving out the possibility of fur. From what we've seen so far they seemed to have left out any possibility of creating MAMMALS of any kind. No live birth (only eggs), no hair, no mammary glands.

      If I can't evolve my creature to look like any REAL creature as well as imaginary, then what's the point of giving me constrained freedom. If I can't evolve a mouse into an ape into a human, then why play an evolving game.

      Seriously, the scale bump mapping looks
      • Most people play games to have fun. If it's fun, it won't matter exactly what the constraints are on the type of animals you can create. But I thought that would be obvious???
  • by 9mm Censor ( 705379 ) * on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:51PM (#15344599) Homepage
    Graphics alone doesn't sell games. Gameplay alone doesn't sell games. Cinematics alone doesn't sell games. If you want to sell games, have abit of all of the above, gamers want a full game, not just a cool feature or buzz word. Good games have a balance of what makes games good, so have abit of everything in them.
  • Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:51PM (#15344600)
    Gameplay always sells over graphics quality. Consider games like World Of Warcraft and GTA: San Andreas, with their blocky 3000 polygon character models, and how it sells far more than any other game.
    • Re:Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cutriss ( 262920 )
      No, gameplay *occasionally* sells over graphics quality. In truth, neither has nearly as much mindshare as concept. Football and basketball games will always sell because everyone likes them already as a genre. People buy movie games because the name and theme sells the game, the quality of the game usually taking a backseat. Seasoned gamers know that media-oriented (movie, TV, etc) and gimmick games almost always stink, and yet they almost always sell too.

      You're confusing "sells" with "get critical apprai
  • I'll tell you one thing, with AA title games selling for $60 a pop now, I'd rather rent first and make sure that the game lives up to the hype. Reviews are pretty much worthless -- most of the game press are industry shills and go to any game site with reviews and you'll see a bunch of 10/10 reviews with "This is the best game ever!" Even if the game happens to blow donkey balls. I'm willing to drop $50 or $60 for Oblivion sight unseen, but there aren't many other titles I'm willing to say that of.
  • People might not be clamoring for larger capacity, but I've heard a lot of people and reviewers complain about load times. People forget that with the bump in optical technology here we're also getting a substantial bump in data transfers.

    While dev's maybe haven't been asking aloud for more space, I'm sure a number of them have wished for it. Tons of uncompressed textures, true 24 bit audio, not to mention serious HD video storage... those are all things that can help make games better. Now I'm not a g

    • People forget that with the bump in optical technology here we're also getting a substantial bump in data transfers.

      In the case of PS3, this is false. The BluRay drive in PS3 has a slower transfer rate than the DVD drive in X360. Most likely it will be slower than Wii as well, since Nintendo's president spent a few minutes talking about slow load times during the E3 conference.
      • Nintendo tends to be ludicrously meticulous about load times. I mean, the N64 used cartriges for a reason. The Gamecube had 1T-SRAM instead of the DRAM everyone else was using. The DS uses flash cards instead of mini optical discs like the PSP. Apparently Nintendo deliberately slows down the hard drives in their devkits so that developers see the same load times as the gamers will. I wouldn't be surprised if they had something up their sleeves for the Wii.
    • Side note: I've read some information about the Blu_ray drive that is supposed to be in the PS3, and according to all of the reports I've read it will actually be SLOWER than a regular DVD Drive. Comparisons to the XBOX 360 drive show it to be possibly 5 times slower. This was based on the stats provided for 1X blu-ray drives, which everyone thinks will probably be in the PS3.
      • The PS3 comes with hard drive with both models that will be used to significantly increases load time by cacheing the relevant datas. That's one area that it has the Xbox 360 beaten.
        • The PS3 comes with hard drive with both models that will be used to significantly increases load time by cacheing the relevant datas.

          So when you take your game to your friend's house to play it on his or her PSGrill, you have to wait several minutes while it installs^W "caches" the game to the hard drive. How fun is that? And then when you're done, your friend has to wait to reinstall^W re-"cache" his or her own games onto the unit.

          • On a good PS2 game you can have a large playable area with seemingly no loading time, the relevant datas being streamed off the DVD. Having a hard drive is a better version of this. Remember playing games like Resident Evil series (never available for the original Xbox), when you come to a door, there will a pause while the next room is loaded. On a well written game for console with a hard drive as standard, the next room will be cached to the hard drived as the player comes near it, so when he opens t
            • Interestingly, the situation is only partly reversed.

              While the 360 specifications tell developers to code for the drive to not be there, they are still allowed to use it for caching if it happens to be there. What you will see in games (Oblivion already does this), is that if the drive is there, the seamless loading happens using the hard drive for the cache. If the drive is not there, loading times will be longer as they have to be done from the DVD all at once rather than streamed to the HD then loaded
  • This certainly isn't anything new. Since when has a game of purely amazing graphics and no quality gameplay sold millions of copies? No game sells well if it's not fun and engaging. Gaming is an active, not a passive, experience. Therefore graphics are only part of the equation.
  • by OctoberSky ( 888619 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:56PM (#15344645)
    "2old2play has a great editorial up regarding the next generation of gaming, and suggests that maybe 'next-gen' graphics and sound will not be what sells games this time around. Instead the next-gen champions will be the ones that provide better content and innovation in their games."

    Maybe is a powerfull word. It makes this entire article pure speculation, opinion, and suggestion.

    I would like better game play, better coding so games run smooth on older hardware and better overall scene emersion but I will play anyway.

    The truth is that these next gen games will sell just as well as the last, with or without game play... it that were not true Id would not be in business any more.

  • Yet. The only way it will be is if enough people buy a PS3/B-R drive, at which point Sony will have enough weight behind them to force DVDs out of the market. Hopefully it won't reach that point.
  • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:59PM (#15344684) Homepage Journal
    Let's see ... story, plot, sound, gameplay, multiplay features (assuming that the game is not multiplayer-focused), physics ...

    These companies need to realize that a large portion of the gaming population came from a time when 16-color EGA and then 256-color VGA were the norm. Graphics are no longer the big "ooh aah" that they used to be because we've had realistic graphics for years! Oh, but look! We can make it more realistic!

    Some games that are mindless fun have sold well (e.g.: Doom) but there still comes a time when people need more than graphics. Sam and Max and those old LucasArts games sold because they were FUN. Magic Carpet was the perfect combination of everything - graphics, sound, gameplay, fun factor! (I *so* wish someone would buy the rights to it and release a more modern version.) Look at how popular Infocom games were (and still bring fond memories to many) with no graphics at all.

    Then there are games like Red Faction on the other side. Truly destructable terrain, something that had not been seen since Magic Carpet, but the game sucked! Besides destructable terrain, it was another FPS.

    Frankly, with respect to this whole attitude that "it might not be about the graphics", my only response is "It's about f**king time you realized that!" Graphics are one part of the successful game formula. It's too bad that the gamers recognized that balance a lot time ago and that developers apparently are only now catching up.
    • Doom isn't just graphical eye-candy... it's not cerebral but I wouldn't bill it as mindless either. It has frenetic gameplay and some serious tactically tough situations.

      Actually DOOM worked beause of an interesting graphical compromises, especially the use of sprites, which let it feel the screen w/ enemies (and then leave their corpses behind) in a way later all-polygon games couldn't generally match...
      • Well-l-l-l, okay, fair enough. I meant "mindless" in the sense that it's not like games where you have to carefully plan what you will be doing, like with Splinter Cell or Thief. You're right, though. Some of those boss levels could not be defeated by just running and shooting.
    • "Magic Carpet was the perfect combination of everything - graphics, sound, gameplay, fun factor! (I *so* wish someone would buy the rights to it and release a more modern version.)"

      And what would the modern version have over the old version? Better graphics. See, even you can fall prey to the "graphics are king" fallacy :)
      • Shows what you know. Magic Carpet requires a native DOS environment to run. I know because I have a 350 MHz PC specifically to run old DOS games that do not work well with an emulator. Magic Carpet is one of them. I've tried all of the major DOS emulators out there. The copy protection in Magic Carpet does a call to MSCDEX to make sure that the CD is in the drive. Because MSCDEX, as of last year anyway, could not be properly emulated to that level on any of the DOS emulators, there was no way to play
      • And what would the modern version have over the old version? Better graphics. See, even you can fall prey to the "graphics are king" fallacy :)

        I'm not familiar with the game in question, but there are ways of modernizing that don't involve better graphics. For example, I'm sure there are places where the gameplay would be improved by more memory letting the game keep track of more details.
  • Why they're pushing for next-gen removable media? DRM.

    Imagine the possibilities! Ensuring no copies, killing the second-hand market, eliminating those rentals (where the customer sees that he's been BSed by the "reviews" and how the game really sucks before he bought it).

    Wouldn't this be your wet dream if you were in the seller's position and greedy?
  • Limiting Factor (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    When people think about upgrading to Next-Generation platforms they don't (necessarily) think of better graphics; they do think about the elimination of the factors that are limiting their gaming experience. Traditionally this limit has been closely related to graphics, but I'm not so sure that is the case anymore.

    Certainly, with better graphics you can tell a more impressive story (or draw the player deeper into the game) but I think the emphasis has moved away from graphics and is now more firmly centered
  • My biggest issue with the whole "Blu-Ray" thing.. who knows if it's going to be the "standard" HD format? I bet that beta would become the "standard" in tapes.. but no. It was VHS. I'm irritated by having an HD drive bundled with my console on the premise that "You'll need it someday". Says who? By the time HD movies are popular, Blu-ray could be a thing of the past.
  • Back in the stone age, graphics made the back of the box look good. Seedy publishers started to put cutscenes on the box, and so we all got burned. Today, anyone can quickly scour the internet for reviews and find out which games are fun, and which are not (once you filter out all the "this is the greatest game ever" reviews that people use to feel good about their purchase). Maybe the little pictures on the box helped sell more games in the past, but that era has long past.

    Check out which games get ensh
    • Back in the stone age, artwork made the boxes look good. Of course, back in the stone age games came with actual *stuff* to complement the game. Anyone remember the comic books that came with some Atari games?
  • Minority viewpoint (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SlayerDave ( 555409 ) <> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:26PM (#15344930) Homepage
    I'm always a bit surprised that my viewpoint on this topic is in such a minority around Slashdot, but apparently it is. I'm an avid gamer, and I certainly appreciate innovative gameplay, well-crafted stories, solid level design, etc., but graphics and sound are very important considerations for me. Now I won't necessarily buy a new game solely on the basis of graphics, but graphics do factor very highly in my decision-making process. I'm going to buy a PS3 because I believe it will be able to deliver more impressive graphics, physics, and sound than the other systems (and Sony has historically had the game franchises I'm most interested in), and I probably won't buy a Wii unless I hear that the gameplay is truly outstanding.

    For all those people on Slashdot who argue that graphics don't matter to gamers anymore, I'd like to offer myself as a counterexample. Graphics do matter to me, in a big way. And I know that there are others out there like me, because otherwise ATI and NVIDIA wouldn't be able to sell high-end graphics boards. Maybe we aren't the majority, but we do exist.

  • Heck, when most of the "advanced graphics" are for HDTV, which most people don't have and won't be buying until they're forced to, you'd think they'd clue in that people care more about the games themselves.

    When I was thinking about the xBox360/PS3/Wii choice back a few months, I started realizing I was likely to buy a Wii when I noticed that I wanted to actually play four-fifths of the games that were announced as being developed for it, and only cared about two or three games of all the xBox360 titles, wh
  • 600,360,250 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nightspirit ( 846159 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:47PM (#15345172)
    First, let's get something out of the way. The top of the line version of each system is really the only one to get. The big thing about PS3 is blu-ray, and that will eventually be useless as a movie player unless you have the $600 version (HDMI). You get a good value for the premium 360, as componenet cables and a memory card would nearly take up the difference themselves. MS stated they would drop the price of the 360 yearly, so let us assume in november the premium will drop to $360. Nintendo would be considered a value at $250 this generation, so I'll assume they will go for that. So that leaves us $600 vs $360 vs $250.

    I believe most gamers will vie for something with next-generation graphics, and likely something innovative as well. So this means likely a Wii and either a 360 or PS3.

    The problem I have with the PS3, other than price, is that it is a gamble. First, I'm gambling that blu-ray will become the established format. Then, I'm gambling that $70 APEX (or some other cheap chinese) blu-ray/HD-DVD players won't come out within a year and negate the PS3. All the DVD player technical reviews I have seen stated that the ps2 dvd player was mediocre quality, how do I know that the ps3 player will be superior to a cheap chinese knockoff?

    So, for $600 in novemeber I can get a premium 360 and a Wii, and I bet within a year a combo HD player for under $100. Why should I get a PS3? I get both innovative gameplay and next-gen graphics for the same price as a ps3, and I won't be stuck gambling that bu-ray will be the next format. (yah, it took a long time for DVD player prices to go down, but the cheap chinese companies are already here this time, and I doubt they care if they get the blu-ray specs legally).
  • ...the previous round, and the round before.

    Why do people feel like they have to write editorials about this?
  • 'Good' graphics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @07:13PM (#15346492)
    Good graphics just means that the game is pleasing to watch, it's not necessarily anything to do with technology.

    Take Katamari Damacy: flat shaded, small textures and low polygon objects, but the whole thing looks great because of the art style. Compare that to something like Unreal Tournament 2004, which has technologically better graphics but just looks dull and soulless in comparison.
  • Wich is why every review site doesn't have screenshots but instead carefully arranged gameplay illustrations.


    It is like saying you prefer women with a good personality over one with good looks. Yeah right. Who are you trying to kid.

    And what about games where graphics affect the gameplay?

    What do you prefer, an enemy with a health meter OR an enemy where you can see how damaged he is?

    Is a flightsim where you can see the wing surfaces move a better flightsim because of it? If not then why are the

    • Well playing some DS/GBA games I am forced to ask myself when Nintendo will finally pull their games into 1990 and add some bloody speech. It is really a nice change to be able to just listen to your handheld rather then having to read slowly scrolling text.

      It's not a technology problem, as even the GBA is perfectly capable of decoding GSM audio at 30 kbps []. It's a content production problem. It costs Nintendo money to pay Charles Martinet to speak all of Mario's lines.

      Frankly we hear this same discus

    • Sometimes speech in a game is very nice and fits well. On the DS, though... there are some things that never should speak. I like to compare two of my favorite series that have taked different approaches to speech, game play and other things; Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario. If you ever played Sonic Adventure, you'd probably think twice about having Mario speak beyond a couple 'yahoos.'

      Speech needs to be applied with thoughts about other things besides just how real it is. Like Half-Life 2. Would it rea
    • Speech is irritating - you can't just leave and go to the bathroom. Text allows you to play the game at your own pace - and the writing in the better SNES RPGs is far superior to voice acting in most video games.

      And y'know - some of us DO prefer a woman with good personality to a good looking one. If she's a hottie, too - that's just icing on the cake. Graphics are just icing to me, and not even GOOD icing.

      In short, Get out of my internet.
    • Actually, of the last three women I've known, including my wife and my ex-fiance, I "met them" online, and never saw them until I met them in person. I'll take personality any day. Shallow Americans may differ.

      Graphics sell games, have done so since "shadow of the beast" on the Amiga. It was utter crap, but it looked like nothing else.
      As for the PSP, let me be rightly understood, the games, with very little exception suck. I own a PSP and a DS, and sure, the PSPs is prettier in all ways, it's a gorgeous
  • Sorry folks, but it's not 1995 anymore. I hate to say it, but tacking '3D' onto the end of your game's title is no longer a selling point. We all played Star Fox, we got the fucking point. Z-Axis, third dimension, whatever. Throw something cool in it, like fun gameplay and a halfway decent story, when applicable, and you might have me sold.

    A generic, boring game in pretty clothes is still a generic, boring game. It just looks good, so it keeps your attention for an additional, say, two minutes or so, until
  • Game developers dont need more storage why when i install a game do i see overly compressed images and movies and horrible quality sounds?

    Why arent all the images and movies compressed lightly? Why arent i hearing 96KHz sounds (that my card supports)?

    Its not my problem developers cant think of something to put onto the disk.

    • 96 kHz Sounds are fairly useless. The higest Frequencies you (or any human) can hear are around 20 kHz, and much lower if you are more than 5 years old. To sample a signal with a max frequency of 20 kHz you need a sampling rate of 40 kHz ( p ling_theorem). CD-quality is 44.1 kHz.

      96 kHz is nice in audio production because you mix, process and mash up sounds, which can lead to rounding errors in the high frequencies.

      Now 24 Bit sample resolution... Thats another q
      • All misconceptions forced in place by CD marketing companies back in the day exploiting a lack of understanding of how human hearing works. Theyve been around so long that theyre making it difficult to justify sound quality higher than the false golden standard of "CD Audio". Perception of sound goes far beyond 22kHz.
        • ...another thought: sound studios use high res sounds. Game engines are mixing many sounds together and adding effects, so having very high res sounds at the start of this process makes sense for the same reason having high res sounds in the studio makes sense.
  • ...due to its controllers that will open up new and interesting ways to play games. Gameplay is what counts. Pretty graphics are nice, but they no longer sell the game.

    The Gamespot's PC top games chart has 10 games, out of which all the games are strategy, RPG and adventure. Which means that people want gameplay, not fancy graphics only.
  • While I agree that "fun" matters more, a lot of people still judge games by the screenshots.

    Story: when Nintendo's press conference broke, I sent screenshots to my friends of Wii games. A lot of people said the same thing: "It doesn't look that great; I'm not interested in the games." When I sent them the video of Nintendo execs bouncing around on stage they then said "Ok, looks cool."

    And think about it: what are the primary means of learning about upcoming games? Some people have IGN/GameSpot/et all sub
  • Honestly, why folks seem to think the videogame market is mutually exclusive is beyond me. A crap-ass movie is still a crap-ass movie even in HD-DVD on a $20k Plasma screen that can be watched from the Moon and 7.1 surround sound on an uber expensive audio system that goes all the way up to 11.

    I've watched low budget titles in plain stereo that blew me away and immersed me beyond belief on a 25" RCA TV. Pi, SmallTime, Big Man on Campus, Bully, Kids, Bichunmoo, etc.

    Guess what? Same with games. Same with musi
  • ...perhaps misleading. Sure, pretty graphics (or higher quality sound, etc.) alone won't sell next-gen games -- heck, they aren't what sells this-gen games or sold last-gen games, either. But better visual, sound, etc. enables better experiences and more intuitive interfaces and better feedback -- IOW, better gameplay.

    Sure, people will buy what provides them the best subjective experience (or at least, what they expect to do that, based on previews, reviews, cover art and copy, etc.) But you couldn't provid

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.