Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The next generation – Do we really need it?

The next generation – Do we really need it?

One thing that always becomes the talk of the internet is whenever a new console is rumoured or ‘details’ of said consoles appear. But there are always two factions. One insists it’s the only way forward and once we all have new hardware everything can progress exponentially. The other protests and strongly believes more time with the current generation would bring about greater games than advancing to new technology.

The interesting thing is a PC gamer like myself never really gets bothered by all this.  Sure we get flashier games too but we don’t have to wait for the next generation as the PC hardware market is almost constantly evolving. I find that this gives me a different angle on the whole thing, as I’m not really going to be greatly affected by the next wave of consoles coming in.

So I’m going to take a look at what we have, what we might get and maybe what we need from the future of our beloved games.

What we have: What we have now is incredible, look back just 10 years and we were all on repeated textures with low polygon counts and not a lot of artificial intelligence. Stories were limited by what the developers could achieve and games simply couldn’t compare to the other media out there. We now have sophisticated graphics, AI that although they have their moments generally are of a much higher quality. And stories that are no longer defined by what is possible, but rather by the developer’s imaginations.

I think that with a longer time in this generation we actually could see some truly great titles. Developers need time to get to grips with the tech and the engines they use can all be advanced and changed to create new opportunities. Only when the current technology is truly mastered would we see the best results and some developers believe that there is more to come from the current generation.

What we might get: Now this is the part where I needed my crystal ball to predict the future but as I seem to have misplaced it I’ll just have to go on what little info we have. The advances we may see in the next generation all depend on the hardware that is used. But there are a few that say the next generation is where all of the best advances dwell, and that our current generation is in fact holding us back.

It becomes easy when looking at the next developments in consoles to focus on the visuals. Yet there are many features that will actually benefit from the increase in power and resources. Simply having more processors and a higher RAM will mean that tasks can be handled quicker and in greater quantity allowing more sophisticated on screen action. ‘Will it be a big enough jump from what we have?’ I think is the most important question though but it is only time that will reveal the answer to that one.

So we might get some something spectacular that can only be achieved with the latest and greatest hardware and tech. But wasn’t that true in the previous generation switch too? And are we only now starting to see what these consoles can truly achieve? When they first released it was said that Crysis would never come to consoles. And not only has the original come to them but two sequels also is this proof that we don’t yet need another cycle?

What we need: Is to take a step back, not just the community but the developers and really look at what we are chasing. Developers making completely opposite claims and a community who just want to see more of what they love and less of what they don’t. It seems every time a console releases the world stops and looks for a second. But when you think of the interest in the Wii U in comparison to the original console you can’t help but feel like sometimes releasing new hardware isn’t the answer.

Not that it would be the case with the new wave of Sony and Microsoft branded consoles. I’m sure even Nintendo will fare well considering it is the first time many Nintendo characters will get to be shown in full HD glory.

I think the next generation needs to have a large advancement in almost every aspect to make the grade. Last time HD gaming meant upgrading was worth the investment. We are now however at a stage where we have a lot of the shinier graphics and sophisticated gameplay. Would you shell out the cash for a new console that only improved a small amount? Do you think the next wave of consoles has been much needed and the sooner the better? Or like me are you the PC gamer with an opinion on the matter yet ultimately remain unaffected by this transition? You know where to post them answers people, see you in the comments.


P.S – If you have any requests for articles or anything you’d like me to look into covering let me know! I’m always happy to do some research and even if I can’t make a full article about the subject I might mix a bunch of answers together in an ‘Ask Stephen’ type article.

About Stephen Chapman

A British games enthusiast and avid writer. Likes to write reviews and cool features and discuss games. He can be followed on Twitter through @SuperMassive20
  • Ghost250

    i can honestly say i could care less what next gen offers in terms of advancements. i don’t care for all the extra crap that comes along with this argument like native 1080p picture or a locked 60 FPS which im pretty sure your accustomed to being that your a PC gamer. 30 FPS is fine and 720p is fine too. all i care about is getting good games. personally id be fine if sony and microsoft dragged this gen out longer. whatever console has the most games that appeal to me then thats what i buy. personally i don’t see the point of discussing a next generation. it comes when it comes.

  • TheGrimOfDeath

    The thing is I have a awesome PS3 but a CRT TV. XD I will save money for a new TV for myself, maybe a Sony 32″ 3D TV, but I don’t see that happening since a lot of games are coming out. :D

  • nick

    of course we do!
    PC gamers need it most so we can FINALLY stop having to put up with crappy console ports!
    well slightly, they will still be crappy console ports but at least they wont be held back as much because the gap between them will be allot smaller.
    besides that though id like to think once developers get new systems they will have the confidence to do something different.
    now were just getting the same shit over and over again because thats what sells!
    but every time a new generation starts we start to see new franchises and new experiences.
    so we need it for both the power advancements, feature advancements, and difference advancements.
    also id like to believe a new generation will make developers stop focusing on big flashy set pieces and focus on the gameplay more!
    prime example uncharted 3 was such a better game than uncharted 2!
    most games are uncharted 2, all they care about is flashy graphics and big set pieces!
    to hell with how interesting and fun a game is!
    uncharted 3 is the opposite.
    it looks very nice, has a few set pieces, but its far more interested and focused on telling a story.
    and a dam good one at that!
    so id like to believe with next gen systems instead of every game being from michael bay we can FINALLY start to see some more sophisticated thinking man games!
    we need more inception and less transformers!

  • http://www.starblindgames.com Christos Chatzisavvas

    With all the RAM, processing and graphics hardware improvements, along with possible new peripherals and maybe some new features (like a new “3D”, as in, not 3D, but an equally big feature), I know I’m excited about the next generation. Though frankly, I think this generation still has life in it for a couple of years or more. More exclusives means more powerful results. Look at Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3. If these were multiplatform, sure, they’d look horrible and have even more limitations, but as it stands, they’re technological gems in gaming.

  • nick

    perfect examples of why we need new consoles!
    both were minor upgrades from their predecessors!
    in fact i found the texture detailing in uncharted 3 to be lower of uncharted 2!
    especially the forest level, you compare the leaves and tree trunks of U3 to the forrest level from uncharted 2, the one in uncharted 2 looks more detailed.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Beta_Beast Martin Zamora

    I say the new generation needs to come, I understand that some feel that the current consoles have a few years, but I feel like the quality is peaking. I mean the current gen’s consoles tech is over five years old! Why do you think Battlefield 3 on consoles couldn’t have the same features as it’s PC counterpart? It simply couldn’t handle it. Just doing a quick search on release dates, it seems like with every 5-6 years, a new generation is introduced. With the PS3 and Wii releasing in 2006, we’ve had the systems for six years, we’re due for a new generation. With a new generation, consoles could have the current tech of computers, and be able to go to “the next level,” for lack of a better term.

    Also with the introduction of a new generation there will be new IPs. That’s why I felt that this year’s E3 was so… boring. It seemed like there we only sequels showcased and gimmicky movement based games, except Last of Us, Watch Dogs, and Beyond off the top of my head.

  • http://www.gamesthirst.com Ernice Gilbert

    Awesome read. Keep them coming!

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