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Are the 360 Launch Titles Actually Next-Gen?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the waiting-for-oblivion dept.

XBox (Games) 99

An anonymous reader writes "1UP has a feature up entitled 'Is This Really The HD Era?' The article begs the question: How many of the games ported to the Xbox 360 (12 of the 18 launch titles were ports) are truly next gen, and how many are just trying to cash in on the hype of the new console? There are some interesting conclusions, but best are the quotes from Peter Moore explaining the HD Era throughout the whole thing: 'Next generation games will combine unprecedented audio and visual experiences to create worlds that are beyond real and they'll deliver storylines and game play so compelling that it will feel like living a lucid dream.' Right."

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Truth (5, Insightful)

Brantano (908473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14188988)

I think just about everyone who has done some research could of realised this without looking at this article, although it does introduce some new complaints (Such as Quake 4 being utterly unplayable, didnt know that). It seems that even though microsoft tried to release some great games for there launch, they just ended up with a bunch of ports and a few decent games. Sadly its been toted as one of the best launches to console date, but this is only because most of the games released for it arnt new at all.

But the article speaks truth, 12 ported games where nearly all of them dont add a reason (and even take some gameplay away) to add a 10 dollar price tag. Hopefully they can actually release some decent games (or atleast decent ports) or there is going to be some rough tides ahead for microsoft.

Re:Truth (3, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189068)

The Nintendo GameCube had the same problem. A lot of the early titles were PS2 ports. Nintendo started rejecting titles that came straight over from the PS2 without using any of the GameCube polish to make the games stick out. Unfortunately, Nintendo made game development a living hell for the developers that they no longer support the GameCube as much as PS2/XBox. I don't think anything will change for the Revolution.

Re:Truth (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189166)

What are you smoking? I really want some.

Re:Truth (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189266)

Worked in the game industry for six years at Accolade/Infogrames/Atari, three of those years as a lead tester on the Nintendo GameCube and GameBoy Advance titles. If you want to smoke the good stuff, apply at any video game company. If you want to make money and have a life, try working anywhere but the video game industry. Sad but true.

Re:Truth (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189475)

All the money is going to the publishers. EA MUST fall as a prime example to all the other publishers in the video game industry.

The money has got to flow to the developers and game makers. Not the guy doing the marketing and printing the CDs on the shelf.

Re:Truth (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191205)

I've got sad news for you buddy. Marketing is all that matters. In society today people care more about what you tell them about yourself than they do about what others tell them about you. Drug companies spend more on marketing than on research. You want to be a big partner at a law firm? Don't try and do it by ingenuously working for your clients to get them out of tight spots. You have to do it by plain, brute force, small talk marketing.
 
All these industries which should have only a very small to no marketing component at all have a HUGE one, and you want the gaming industry, one of the most hype ridden cesspools of modern marketing, to have none?

Re:Truth (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189857)

I love games so much I don't think big money would really mean that much to me. I'd take a pay cut from my current software dev position in a heart beat. It just seems like a lot of big shops have forgotten about making great games, and instead focus on what will make them the most money. Sadly they don't go hand in hand.

Re:Truth (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190119)

Just out of interest, how did Nintendo make developers' lives hell?

Re:Truth (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190529)

Withholding critical information about their debugging hardware and APIs for their multiplayer hardware. Nintendo has standards but they don't tell you what the standards are (unlike Microsoft and Sony who provide too much information). If you do a pre-lot check, they won't tell you everything that they find that should be fixed for the final submission and your title will get rejected if you don't figure it out on your own. Trying to get a title through Nintendo was like getting a football through a minefield that's being bombed by friendly fire.

Before I left the game industry a few years ago, Nintendo starting being more helpful when it became painfully obvious that publishers strongly preferred PS2 and XBox over the GameCube. Hopefully, they learned their lesson from the GameCube and developer support for the Revolution will be similiar to Microsoft and Sony. If not, only Nintendo's titles will be popular on that console.

Re:Truth (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196512)

Before I left the game industry a few years ago, Nintendo starting being more helpful

Was that when or shortly after their management changed, perchance?

Re:Truth (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14198488)

Honestly, I have no idea. I heard Atari had a management change after I left.

Re:Truth (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14194186)

A lot of the early titles were PS2 ports.

Which ones? I can't think of any off the top of my head, except maybe Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid, and I wouldn't call those early.

Re:Truth (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195070)

Maybe I should rephrase that. Men In Black and Monopoly Party had their codebase developed for the PS2 first, and the XBox and GameCube versions was created off of that. Nintendo was not thrilled to see references to the PS2 controller on the GameCube version during pre-lot checks, and demanded that the GameCube version look better than PS2 version. Did that happen? Not really. Microsoft had the same complaint but got a better response.

Re:Truth (1)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189437)

What else is new?

DOA2 for the Dreamcast had antialiasing, they had to drop that for the PS2 version. First-gen titles usually look a bit like ass these days. The only re4ason I want to get my hands on a 360 now and not in 6 months is that I have a HDTV projector, so I really want the increased resolution.

Re:Truth (2, Interesting)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190139)

You, when I first read the headline for the article, I thought it was going to be pretty biased garbage, but then reading through it, find it rather spot on. The games they focus on are ports, and it almost goes without saying that they're not going to look that great. Two big reasons:

1) They're first-gen titles. 'nuff said.
2) Companies spend most of their time and money on the "current-gen" products, and won't spend that much more on improving the next-gen version

Unfortunately, we won't be seeing a large quality jump until we get more next-gen systems, like the PS3. Game companies will tend to develop to the lowest common denominator. That's why a lot of cross-platform games just look fairly average, while console-specific titles (Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox, MGS3 for the PS2, etc.), look amazing for their respective platforms.

So, the original reason why I thought the article was garbage is because I've been only playing the first-party titles (Kameo, PDZ, and PGR3). Those games, especially PGR3, really showcase the system and how it is deserving of the "next gen" moniker. Ports? Not yet.

Got Yer Truth Right Here... (1)

ThankfulJosh (867278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195191)

Actually, I've played-seen small parts of 3 games: PGR3, Call of Duty 2, and King Kong (1).

PGR3: Now, this one I played on a HD projector with surround sound. Multiplayer looks OK, but when you do cockpit mode on single player, it becomes immersive. And I mean immersive. When my friend was driving through a small arch, and didn't take into account that he was sitting on the right of the car, not the left (it was an Atom 300), he hit the edge of the arch. Both of us, fairly hardcore 10+ year gamers, jumped back in our seats. 'nuff said.

Call of Duty 2: Played at the Wal-mart kiosk when waiting in line. I stood next to a locked door, and one of my AI allies started to kick it down. One kick...two kicks...he gets shot full of lead from behind the closed door, his blood turning my screen a smoky red, splinters of the door flying past my face. Holy crap, that was freaking immersive.

King Kong: There's a section of the game where you're two buds have to get a big wooden door open, and a T-rex is coming. You have to lure the T-rex away from them. You have no weapon. You walk about 6 miles per hour, the T-rex 7. There is an arch and some wall sections, and a cliff and some boulders. Otherwise, it's in the open. This thing is stomping toward you, roaring, with a pretty good musical score in the background. It was then that I noticed my heart was beating faster. And this was watching some kid play at the Target kiosk.

I'm no M$ fanboy, but this console should not be dismissed so easily. Especially if you're trying to judge it by the first round of games. Remember, it's a big learning curve with multiple processors. The 2nd round of games this summer and the 3rd round next fall (Halo 3) will be a more accurate measure of the system. Not that I have one. I got 4 and I'm selling them all. I'll buy one after the price cut and Halo 3 comes out.

Re:Got Yer Truth Right Here... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196615)

The question I have is why those "demo" units here only have videos on them? I'm certainly not buying a system just because of a pretty video (especially not a faked one like most of these obviously are) and the console is right there, why aren't there any games on it?

Re:Got Yer Truth Right Here... (1)

ThankfulJosh (867278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14207744)

These weren't videos. They were gameplay, by me or a friend.

To be expected... (2, Insightful)

pjh3000 (583652) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189019)

It's a known fact that "First Gen" titles usually don't take full advantage of the hardware. It takes a couple years or more to develop a title, so the devs haven't had enough time with the hardware to maximize it's potential. Same thing will happen with the PS3. It's not news.

And yet... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189074)

Jak & Daxter struck me as very well done, much more so than most of the steaming piles of EA crap and sequel orgies.

Super turbo turkey puncher 3!

Re:And yet... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189176)

The original was great (I haven't played the sequels because they decided to make it "dark"). However, it was released Dec 4th, 2001. The PS2 was released in the US in September 2000. That game came out a year after the system. Thus, it wasn't a first-gen title for the system.

Re:To be expected... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189207)

There is a difference between a first-gen title (like PGR3) and a port (like most of the 360 games). The games on the 360 are mostly developed for current-gen systems (the sports games), the PC (call of duty 2), or were previously in development for a current-gen system (Kameo was PS2 then XBox, PD0 was a GC title).

Those titles they are talking about aren't "first-gen". They are "last-gen". They are titles from a PS2 or Xbox with higher textures and AA turned on. This isn't a case of not using the hardware to its full potential. We expect that. This is a case of launching with almost no games designed originally for the hardware.

Re:To be expected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189820)

yup. try and find a picture from a launch title from ps2.. like midnight club and compare it to gt4. its like night and day.

its stupid to compare from screenshots anyways, next gen titles use lighting fx and other things you must see in motion. just take a screenshot of F.E.A.R. and u can say a whole lot of cr@p about it, seeing it in action on the other hand is another thing. esp with xbox titles on the big screen hdtvs, its amazing.

Re:To be expected... (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190023)

I thought Wave Racer and Mario 64 were really impressive.

Since when? (2, Interesting)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190278)

Before the PS1 came out, "First Gen" titles usually, and rightfully, became instant classics. NES? Super Mario Bros 1 is considered to be the first classic game after Pong. Sega Master System? Phantasy Star 1 for early RPG fans. SNES, Super Mario World was beautiful, entertaining and the hidden star worlds were a treat. Sega Genesis, Sonic 1 showed that hardware was no longer a limit for bright, good looking, speedy-looking 2D games. N64, Super Mario 64 was a tech demo, a giant playground for people new to 3D and showed developers and gamers how to use 3D worlds effectively, oh and it was fun. Sega Saturn, Panzer Dragoon was artistic for its time with a huge (looking) world when games like Super Mario 64 was limited to fairly small areas.

PS1 had... FFVII which is really second generation since it came out almost 2 years after the PS1 did. PS2 had... SSX, a good looking fun game but hardly took advantage of the hardware. Xbox had Halo and even the most supportive fanboys generally agree that the game wasn't quite finished let alone polished (The Library level anyone? All that backtracking through old levels?). Xbox360 has 2 PC ports (Call of Duty 2 and Quake 4), yet another subpar FPS (Perfect Dark Zero) and another wave of EA Sports games.

Re:Since when? (1)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192780)

Sega Genesis, Sonic 1 showed that hardware was no longer a limit for bright, good looking, speedy-looking 2D games.

Maybe it was just the crappy TV my family used to have back then, but aside from the Sonic games, I always found the color on Genesis games to be lacking a sort of vibrance and brightness that most SNES games had. And even the Sonic games looked pretty dull sometimes, especially the later ones.

Re:Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14192999)

IIRC, the Mega Drive (Genesis) could only show 64 different colours simultaneously, while the SNES could show 256 simultaneously.

OTOH, the Mega Drive was quite a bit faster than the SNES (3,58 MHz vs 7,61 MHz).

Re:Since when? (3, Informative)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192988)

I think you're looking back through some awfully rose-colored glasses. Sonic (1991) was NOT a 1st gen title for the Genesis (1989) and Phantasy Star (December 1987) was not a 1st gen title for the Master System (July 1986). They're both great games, but they each came out at least a year after the North American release of their respective console. Also, there are a TON of classic games that came out between Pong and Super Mario Brothers. Most of them were arcade titles (Pac-Man, Ms. Pac, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Joust, Defender, Centipede) but even the home releases of a lot of them were at least decent (as long as they weren't the 2600 versions).

The best early games for a console tend to come from in-house development. Microsoft did not release this console with a single game developed in-house from what I've seen.

First time I've heard this complaint (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190349)

It takes a couple of generations of games for the full potential to be unlocked, but first-gen titles are considered "showcases" for what is to come. The PS2 launched with SSX, Ridge Racer V, and a bunch of other titles that made people lust after the little machine. The Xbox ping pong videos were completely lickable. Mario 64 was light years ahead of the 16 bit era, as was Ridge Racer 1. NFL and NBA 2K on the Dreamcast were shocking. Panzeer Dragoon on the Saturn was light years ahead of the Genesis. Super Mario World on the SNES and Altered Beast on the Genesis both blew away the 8-bit offerings of the time.

This is the first system launch that I've ever heard of where people are seriously questioning whether or not this is any better than the previous generation. Microsoft has the unfortunate position of both having the last-released current generation system and the earliest-released next one, so that the inevitable comparisons won't find much gulf. But still... wow us now!

Even Fantavision on the PS2 showed off the system's power. Remember being stunned by the realistic water in Wave Racer? It looks like there was a rush to get the X360 into people's hands, and none of the potential of the system have been tapped. At least, I hope that is what happened. There just isn't much to get excited about currently besides potential, and potential as a satisfying gameplay experience doesn't last very long.

Re:To be expected... (1)

Sathias (884801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190441)

The game which had the most chance of being called a truly next gen title has been delayed somewhat, by that I mean The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. It takes advantage of the multi-core architecture and the graphics could truly be called next-gen IMHO. And that is without going into detail about the new Radiant AI system.

Re:To be expected... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14192026)

True the first batch don't tend to take full advantage of the system, but you do generally get a few gems in there. The Gamecube only launch list included: Luigi's Mansion Wave Race: Blue Storm Sonic Adventure 2 Battle Star Wars Rogue Leader Rogue Squadron II Super Monkey Ball Which wasn't at all bad for he time. I'd say Monkey Ball was one of the best games last gen, and a few of the others were, IMO, better than anything on 360. PS2 had Tekken Tag and Gran Turismo. I think even the original Xbox'x launch line-up was better than this one, with titles like Halo and PGR as exclusives. Maybe it's just me but there's nothing that excites me in the 360's line-up and it's looking like i'll skip MS consoles this time round, just as I did last time. As a non-American, I like more from my games than racing and FPS.

Ports (2, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189022)

Well... obviously they are ports, not new games specially designed for it.
Interesting to note, 50% of the games are (EA) sports games.

Let's get something straight (2, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189032)

'Next generation games will combine unprecedented audio and visual experiences to create worlds that are beyond real and they'll deliver storylines and game play so compelling that it will feel like living a lucid dream.'

This should read: 'Next generation games could blahblahblah...'
Fact of the matter is it will be a while before titles actually start looking and - more importantly - playing like true 'next generation' games most of us imagine. Is the power there in this next round of consoles? I think it is, there is definitely a lot of potential, but it's still a ways off. Developers will have to learn the platform and its nuances, and they will also have to create all that higher detailed art and better audio, just because you can render a bazillion pixels doesn't mean the pictures are automatically prettier, someone has to create all the high-res art first. Additionally gameplay itself, AI, multiple paths to completion etc are better supported with these consoles but it will take time for game designers to figure out how to take advantage of all that. And just as importantly, publishers are going to have to give those developers the leeway and the opportunity to take chances with new gaming experiences that push the boundaries of gameplay as well as the system. There's a lot of potential in this new round of consoles, but I think it will take a few years before it really feels like next-gen.

Re:Let's get something straight (1)

grimharvest (724023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189308)

No doubt. A lot of ridiculously high expectations out there. They're just video games. People take it way too serious, and at this stage in the evolution of games will anything less than absolute virtual reality or Shadowrun style BTL chips be good enough today's (or tomorrow's) overly critical gamer?

Re:Let's get something straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14198500)

While it's true that generally the best titles for a console come towards the end of its lifespan, generally at launch there are games that at least give you an idea of what the console will be capable of. Where is this generation's Mario 64?

This-Gen (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189044)

As the console and the games exist today, they are by definition not next-gen. They are this-gen.

Next Gen? (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189075)

Are any games ever "Next Gen"? If you ignore pre-3d platforms and concentrate on any from the PSX1/N64/Saturn/PC-with-decent-3d-card onwards, which game can't be ported to any other console without losing more than the odd polygon, or slightly smaller levels? Battlefield2 for the latest PC would play the same on a PSX, wouldn't it? Halo could be adequately ported to the N64, no?

Good gaming is about gameplay, and I don't see that being something that is improved with a few more polygons or an even-uglier-than-last-generation joypad. Perhaps with a 10,000X faster CPU we'll be able to have vaguely interesting AI from non-player characters rather than the useless or scripted crap we have today, but given that the best games are multi(human)player enabled anyway, who cares?

Re:Next Gen? (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189224)

Off-hand?

Actually I'm looking at a list of PS2 launch titles, and I pull a few out.

The big one, the one I say really is this generation, is Dynasty Warriors 2. WTF? you may say. Think of all the games out there featuring massive melee style battles. This is something that was only really possible with this generation. From Spartan:Total Warrior, to Shining Force Neo.

SSX:The level of detail in the levels...which yes, does affect gameplay a whole lot is only possible on the current gen, I believe.

As well, the jump from 30-FPS to 60FPS is a huge difference IMO when it comes to gameplay. Smoother gameplay makes timings more accurate, and movement less distracting.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189292)

> The level of detail in the levels...which yes, does affect gameplay a whole lot

The level of graphical details makes *no* difference to gameplay. A game will play the same at 320*256 in 32 colours to a game at 1280*1024 in 32 bit colour.

> As well, the jump from 30-FPS to 60FPS is a huge difference IMO when it comes to
> gameplay

I've played games in 50fps (I'm in the UK) on platforms prior to the ones I listed previously, so that's hardly only available now. In fact, modern games (such as Battlefield2) are so poorly written that you'll be lucky to get 60FPS without either crippling the effects or going without food for a year to pay for the graphics card that speed requires.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189496)

#1. I'm not talking about graphical detail. I'm talking about level detail. Being able to render outside of the main course, allowing for multiple ways down the course, getting the feeling of weaving between trees...how possible would have this stuff been done before this gen? #2. You're right. That's why I ratchet down the graphics in those type of games until I get fluid 60 FPS gameplay. It's THAT important to me. And if my computer can't render it? I don't play it.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189670)

> #1. I'm not talking about graphical detail. I'm talking about level detail.
> Being able to render outside of the main course, allowing for multiple ways down
> the course, getting the feeling of weaving between trees...how possible would
> have this stuff been done before this gen?

Sounds like you're talking about whether there's only one - or a small predefined number of - linear progression(s) through the level; like in a racing car game, where you're not allowed to leave the track or even turn around. This has always been true of some types of games though, and is due to the design of the game, and is not related to which generation of console the game is designed for - I don't see how this depends on the number of clock cycles or polygons available per frame. Would it be entertaining to go off-road in Ridge Racer? A sensible game design which allowed this would disqualify you immediately anyway, so what would be the point? Perhaps on some future generation you'd have a model of the whole of the planet Earth, so in any game in any genre set on modern Earth you could leave the boxing ring/racing track/building/plane etc and fly/walk/run/swim anywhere you wanted... I'm not sure that would be a step forward for game design, however.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195390)

so youre saying that grand theft auto is the model future games should all follow? lol.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190292)

The level of graphical details makes *no* difference to gameplay. A game will play the same at 320*256 in 32 colours to a game at 1280*1024 in 32 bit colour.

Tell that to the Counter Strike snipers that jack up their res in order to see (and head shot) people farther away from them.
I understand your point, but in certain cases resolution does add to gameplay. For strategy games it is particularly important.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192096)

> Tell that to the Counter Strike snipers that jack up their res in order to see
> (and head shot) people farther away from them.

Altering the resolution won't let you see people further away from you in Battlefield 2. If Counter Strike works in the way you describe then it's because the coders are combining two variables - the max plotting distance and the resolution. There's no reason why they can't - and shouldn't - be seperately configurable.

> I understand your point, but in certain cases resolution does add to gameplay.
> For strategy games it is particularly important.

Why?

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Richard A Lake (661369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192264)

In my experience strategy games often have far more scrolling and are more likely to zoom out when increaseing the resolution insead of increasing detail.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192446)

I'm sorry, what does your statement add to the discussion about whether or not games can be ported back to previous generations of consoles without affecting gameplay?

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Richard A Lake (661369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192614)

You said that
A game will play the same at 320*256 in 32 colours to a game at 1280*1024 in 32 bit colour.

While lowering the resolution can be a minor affect to the gameplay of some games.
In others a lower res can have a detrimental affect on gameplay in a by substantively limiting the playing area ,making scrolling far more necessary.

and you asked

> I understand your point, but in certain cases resolution does add to gameplay.
> For strategy games it is particularly important.
Why?

A factor that is more often seen in strategy games compared to fps is a tendency to use greater resolution to zoom out/increase the playing area while fps more often use it for greater detail.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14209139)

> While lowering the resolution can be a minor affect to the gameplay of some games.
> In others a lower res can have a detrimental affect on gameplay in a by substantively limiting
> the playing area ,making scrolling far more necessary.

As I've already said, lowering the resolution will have no impact on the size of the playing area, unless the programmers have decided that when you lower the resolution they'll also lower the size of the playing area. A playing area of 2 miles by 2 miles displayed in 1024x768 will be the same size if you choose to view it at 320*256.

> A factor that is more often seen in strategy games compared to fps is a tendency to use
> greater resolution to zoom out/increase the playing area while fps more often use it for
> greater detail.

See above.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196703)

"Altering the resolution won't let you see people further away from you in Battlefield 2."

True the draw distance is what determines that. However on a higher res display a character displayed at max draw distance is represented by more pixels with greater detail to differentiate body parts. It makes getting a headshot from a distance easier.
Resolution in strategy games allows you to see a greater amount of the playing field. This means you can monitor more troops/cities/locations without actively scrolling. Additionally, the increased resolution allows more information to be presented on the screen in a much clearer fashion. Compare the interface of the original Civilization (320x240) to the current Civilization 4. The interface in Civ 4 simply would not be possible in 320x240.
It isn't just strategy games, any fairly complex game benefits from enhanced resolution. RPGs and MMOs in particular need the space for action bars, inventory, notifications, chat windows etc. Interface completely affects game design which impacts gameplay. If you had to open a seperate window and page to select a spell in World of Warcraft, you would not be able to respond to threats in time. And if you were using a 320x240 screen that is exactly what you would need to do. WoW becomes somewhat crowded even running at 1280x1024 just because there are so many elements that you need to have access to and so many things you need to have up for notifications (party members, buffs, map, enemy target, chat window, action bars, inventory etc.).

Re:Next Gen? (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190429)

A game is not just the sum of its systems, but an aesthetic experience.

Power should help with that experience.

Battlefield 2 would be a much less satisfying experience on the PSX.

Re:Next Gen? (1)

shmmeee (934743) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192056)

I think the point is more, would PacMan be a better game on PS2? And the answer is most certainly no, it'd be worse, as would Tetris. The constant movement from one generation to the next, just as developers figure out how to get the best out of a console, seems to force developers to concentrate on improving the graphics first so the games look next-gen and they never have the time to create new experiences. Imagine an artist who's brushes and canvas change every couple of years, he's never going to progress as he never masters a particular medium.

Of course not (3, Interesting)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189082)

Come on now. Are the X-Box 360 titles truly "next gen?" Depends on what your definition of "next gen" is.

Improved graphics? Sure as hell.

Improved gameplay? Wellll... no. Consider that, of what are widely considered to be the two best non-sports games, one is a sequel to an N64 game, and the other was shown at previous E3s in an N64 incarnation. One could thus say, indeed, that the best X-Box 360 games are last gen.

But by the definition of improved gameplay, just how many games are next gen from their era? Not a whole lot. Indeed, the games with the most engaging gameplay (I'm thinking most especially of Katamari) seem to be those that purposely recall previous generations.

People Forget ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189241)

People often forget that the XBox is only 4 years old and was a pretty spiffy piece of hardware when it was released; performed in a similar range to a 1GHz+ Pentium 4 and Geforce 4 (much better than it's [similar to] Geforce 3 and Celeron would have you expect). The jump from XBox to XBox 360 is pretty meh because the XBox is still a decent machine; I suspect that the PS3 will look all that more impressive because it will be a year newer than the XBox 360 and be compared against a system that is a year older than the XBox.

Other factors are that developers are going to produce the level of visual effects that they can afford; no one is going to put 5-10 Million behind a game (Gun, King-Kong, etc.) when porting it to a system with a small userbase in order to make a couple early adopters feel better about their purchace.

Charging $10 more is simply because Microsoft has allowed the publishers to do so. Publishers (pretty much) abide by the price range that the console manufacturer sets for them, Microsoft put it in the 49.99-59.99 range so they choose ther price at 59.99 (most likely because, with the small user base, they need the extra money to recover porting costs.

Re:People Forget ... (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191150)

Microsoft put it in the 49.99-59.99 range so they choose ther price at 59.99 (most likely because, with the small user base, they need the extra money to recover porting costs.

I think you misspelled free profit.




P.S. (although I do wonder with MS losing $126 per machine leads to higher licensing costs for the game makers. That would quickly explain the higher prices on just about every game except MS-Studios titles.)

-1, Pedantic (0, Offtopic)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189286)

The article begs the question:

No, it does not [nizkor.org] .

Re:-1, Pedantic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189503)

I'd hate to dissappoint, so if I get some mod points, I'll make sure you get what you ask for.

funny enough, you are allowed to mod in discussions that you've posted in, at least anonymously..

wierd how that works.

That is not "begging the question" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189512)

That is raising the question. Just remember, 99.98% of the time you want to use "beg the question" [philosophypages.com] , you probably need to use "raise the question". Thank you.

Re:That is not "begging the question" (0, Offtopic)

fwitness (195565) | more than 8 years ago | (#14193419)

I'd love to call you a grammer nazi but unfortunately you are 100% correct. However, the connotation of "begging the question" has come to mean something entirely different than it's denotation, and their really isn't anything that can be done about it.

Re:That is not "begging the question" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14194637)

Actually, this is simply a case of misuse of the English language. Some people misusing a phrase does not make the misuse a connotation of the phrase. I also do not agree with your contention that "nothing can be done about it". Your parent commenter tried to do something about it, and if we all followed his/her lead, maybe there will be less misuse in the future.

Re:That is not "begging the question" (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196951)

Most english speakers would say "begs the question" therefore "begs the question" is correct in informal English.

sadly (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189801)

"The article begs the question: How many of the games ported to the Xbox 360"

It does not beg any question. It might raise a question though.

MOD THE DUDE UP!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14191105)

i like it when fellow slashdotters understand the real meaning of phrases...congrats!!!!

HD Era (2, Insightful)

Targon (17348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189826)

Considering that games on the PC tend to be intended to run at 1024x768 or above(1280x1024 or 1600x1200 are very common), that's the video level people want to see from a HD title. I don't think we will see this quality video for quite a while yet. Improved textures are easy enough to implement, but that doesn't mean that the graphics or feel of a game has improved much.

Now, companies CAN prepare well in advance for next generation computers and equipment by developing well beyond the current abilities of the consoles. Make it so the models use 5 million polygons each in the design of the game. Who cares that the game runs at 3 frames per second on current equipment. Then the developer can scale down the number of polygons in order to make it run on the target system. Rebuild for the next console, and porting will at least provide the graphics improvements people look for. A game like Jade Empire could be re-released with an XBOX 360 version with improved graphics if the original game was intended to be that much better than the original Xbox could handle.

Re:HD Era (1)

Kent Simon (760127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196190)

It has always been a practice for most game development houses, (in the modern era, and those who have the financial ability to design this way) to design games exactly like this. To use high res textures, with movie quality poly counts, then scale down for system requirements. This is nothing new, to me, the whole goal for getting on HD is just not at the time period where we should be focusing on it. I know very few people who have an HD screen, and even less willing to upgrade their TV just to get the latest games to play well on it. I think MS and Sony are trying to hit this market about 3 years too early. But, perhaps I'm wrong.

Re:HD Era (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197017)

Um, what? Definitely not because you pretty much have to rebuild a model from scratch when you're downrezzing from highpoly to ingame. Highpoly assets are only built if absolutely required (for movies, normalmaps or perhaps promotional purposes) because they are time-consuming as hell and follow different construction rules than ingame assets (e.g. on a hipoly model you'd model the belt, on an ingame model you'd paint it on). Textures are painted at the highest resolution that could occur in the game (but not always, severe downscaling might need some parts painted differently) but usually not that large if you're dealing with a PS2 game.

Re:HD Era (1)

Kent Simon (760127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14198087)

there are utilities built into many of the high end modellers (3ds max's optimizer utility) that will do alot of that.. regarding specific details, a good modeller often considers that when designing the high poly model, but you definitely aren't rebuilding anything from scratch there. Read some tutorials about modelling online, even mod developers use this approach nowadays.

Re:HD Era (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14200172)

I don't need tutorials, I'm doing 3d art for roughly five years now. Talked with plenty of industry folks. Never have I heard of anyone doing a highpoly first when they're working on something that's meant for ingame and doesn't use normalmaps (and some even make the lowpoly first when working with normalmaps!). The optimizer modifier is pretty useless when you're chopping off more than maybe 30% of the triangle count since it neither knows what details you consider necessary nor how you'd like the meshflow or where additional loops for deformation go, Silo's topology brush is probably the best way to generate a lowpoly from a highpoly without completely rebuilding from scratch. Never mind that it takes MUCH longer (maybe even ten times as long) to build a highpoly mesh than a lowpoly one. Not even promotional art always gets highpoly meshes, often it's an ingame asset with a meshsmooth slapped on and a few tweaks in Photoshop (I think most of the From Russia With Love promo material was made this way).

Normalmaps aside, Messiah is the only game I've heard of that actually uses highpoly assets and scales them down for ingame use.

Re:HD Era (1)

Kent Simon (760127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14200834)

i remember reading that doom3 did the same thing. but im too lazy to find a link

Re:HD Era (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14200872)

Doom 3 uses normalmaps (aka dot3 bumpmaps), textures that describe the difference between the interpolated vertex normals and the normals of the highpoly model surface. For that you need two different models, one at "movie resolution" (high poly) and one at game resolution. Many games either don't use normalmaps at all or use handpainted ones (Halo 2). For those there is no need for a high poly model of the ingame assets and normalmapping is a rather recent technology, while it'll be more common next gen (and is becoming standard with PC games), very few current gen console titles use it.

Either way, for normalmaps most people build the lowpoly mesh by hand because the end result is MUCH better than using a modifier for that (remember the complaints about Doom 3's triangle craniums?). And you'd have to clean up the modifier result anyway so it might even befaster to start from scratch.

Re:HD Era (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197029)

The thing is that we arn't seeing games re-released for the new consoles with the higher polygon count though. We only see the higher resolution textures without the other stuff that would make a "new port" seem like a good improvement.

HD (4, Insightful)

SteveX (5640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14189896)

The killer for me is HD. I have an HDTV, and the XBox 360 games look beautiful on it.

If you take away the HD advantage (ie, hook the XBox 360 up to a standard TV) then yeah, there's nothing advanced about the current generation of games. But on a good TV, nothing compares.

Re:HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189959)

theres still improvement no matter what. its like running cs source at 800x600, it will still blow cs 1.6 out of the water at the same resolution.

and this comparison site is just bogus. lighting and all the next generation fx do not show in stills, they are based on motion:P the crispness and full detail is not apparent in the low quality screenshots and pathetic videos. this idiot setup the xbox360 to fail in his little article to get attention. just another attention whore. very few people will actually bother to look at anything other than the thumbnails because its setup to waste your time, let alone the cheesy videos. no real ownsers of the console will probably be voting in such a poll, they are busy playing their games. just haters and spiteful little net trolls. you can do this bullsh*t to any new games. take low resolution screens from say... F.E.A.R. and it will look similar to any old fps. but anyone thats played it knows the lighting and fx are incredible. piss poor article.

Re:HD (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190784)

How about actual gameplay? Or are you one of those people who is simply satiated by eye-candy?

Re:HD (1)

bastion_xx (233612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14193223)

Gameplay is good (PGR3, CoD2, Kameo), and partly due to the eye candy. This is more true for Call of Duty than the other games IMO, but even the game menus being clean and sharp is pleasing too. It's also nice to go to then Live Marektplace and download 720p trailers and music videos too.

And the quality of the MCE content is quite nice (SD right now since I'm still up in the air over the HD solution.

It's the total integration of the 360 that makes it a pleasure to use. Drop on an iPod and have access to all non-DRM songs with only a single downlaod (iPod optional support for AAC). Access to photos and music on PC's and video content via MCE 2005.

The Live aspect is also quite nice with the common look and feel across all games.

So I can understand that there are few "next-gen" games out, just like any other console launch. But I'd rather work through the games that are there over the next few months while new "next-gen" games trickle out. Looking forward to Burnout Revenge, just wish I could copy over my Xbox profile to it!!!

Re:HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14194687)

CoD2 can be had for $10 less new in box, with a better control scheme, larger multiplayer, free online play and identical visuals, on the very thing you're typing this comment on.

Re:HD (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197050)

Make that 20 Euros if you live in Europe, the x360 game prices are outrageous. Same goes for Quake 4 and Gun, by the way.

Re:HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14202861)

Or are you one of those people who is simply satiated by eye-candy?

It must suck to have to suffer for your art all the time.

Re:HD (1)

jholland82 (936465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190892)

all the games stores have the XBOX360 playing on HD tv's. Plasmas or LCD's. If it isn't on an HDTV it isn't much of an upgrade over the Xbox. Like has been said before. There is no real advantage from this gen over next gen.

Re:HD (1)

Blaaguuu (886777) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191672)

"But on a good TV, nothing compares."

Oh yeah, 1600x1200 resolution on my PC doesn't compare to your HDTV...

One thing I find funny about xboxes view of "nex-gen" is that consoles are no longer less expensive alternatives to PC gaming... they are just becoming a more restricted version of PC gaming.

(BTW, not trying to start a PC vs console debate, just stating an observation... I happen to enjoy both)

Re:HD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14193486)

Do you have a 52" computer monitor and 600+ watt surround system on your PC?

Re:HD (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197079)

Does he have a 52" HDTV and a 600+ watt sound system on his TV? I have a TV that's very blurry (free antialiasing!), not significantly larger than my computer monitor and uses the built-in speakers. Can the x360 be plugged into a computer monitor? Does it do 72Hz?

Re:HD (1)

WebGangsta (717475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14196673)

The killer for me is HD. I have an HDTV, and the XBox 360 games look beautiful on it.

Did you have your original XBox connected to your HDTV and play any of the available 720 or 1080 games on it? If so, then what is the 360 offering that's any different from what you already had available?

I don't understand today's hype over the 360 offering improved HD graphics when the old box offered what should be seemingly the same thing. Don't get me wrong -- I'm thrilled that the 360 and PS3 are focusing on HD, but as others have said, it's the GAMEPLAY that's the thing, not the display. Especially for those folks who have had HD already.

what I think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14189946)

I've been very fortunate to be one of the few to experience the 360 from its nov.22nd launch! Let it be known that this is one nice piece of hardware and should be rewarded simply for its sleek design and grade A wireless controller! On the subject matter of are these Next GEneration Games or not, I would have to say NO even though I love XBOX! Im pretty sure that we will start seeing what we want after a year or two but it should not come as a surprise to anyone that these early but still nice looking games are not true next-gen games! I think we should all just be happy that MS raised the bar on what to expect in the future of gaming, and if it had been up to Sony or Nintendo the next-gen may have only been XBOX one status visuals or who knows! Why don't we talk about this more often I mean what do you guys think the future of games would have been if it were just Nintendo and Sony? My belief is that for one the Nex-gen would not of started until 2008 or even 10, and on top of that online gaming would have only been for PC's and the gaming industry would just suck raw meat balls! Let's just give it some time and all be happy were experiencing the new generation now instead of later and I mean years later!

Re:what I think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14196402)

shut up, tool.

the fact is the xbox 360 is shit, a johnny-come-lately with nothing new to offer.

Re:what I think! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197274)

Meet my friend Mister ., he'll gladly take over for that ! boy you're overworking there.

I think we should all just be happy that MS raised the bar on what to expect in the future of gaming, and if it had been up to Sony or Nintendo the next-gen may have only been XBOX one status visuals or who knows!

Nintendo? Perhaps. Sony? No. Freaking. Way. They rely on graphics just as much as Microsoft and they will not accept anything less than or even equal to the XCircle.

Why don't we talk about this more often I mean what do you guys think the future of games would have been if it were just Nintendo and Sony?

You mean like before the XBox was released? PS1/N64 gen, early PS2 gen? Seemed to work allright and I don't see anything big we'd have missed out on without Microsoft. Sure, there'd be no XBox Live but that doesn't seem to matter to many people as the low adoption rates show.

My belief is that for one the Nex-gen would not of started until 2008 or even 10

And? What's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with the current hardware and I don't see a reason to replace it yet. There's no compelling reason for a new console hardware generation right now because, as we can see from the x360's launch lineup, it doesn't offer much of an improvement upon the old hardware. Sure, prettier graphics and all but not a big step forward for gameplay.

And besides, Sony would have started the next gen when Blu-Ray comes out, no matter what happens. They want to use the PS3 to bring Bluray into more homes and win the format war against HDDVD.

Let's just give it some time and all be happy were experiencing the new generation now instead of later and I mean years later!

Why? I'm not happy that I have to buy new hardware within the next few years if I want to keep playing new console releases. Hardware is costy, takes up space and means another box plus controllers under my TV. If that new hardware brought any big advances, games that just wouldn't have been possible before (and I'm not talking about adding normalmaps or something), a reason for new hardware, I might appreciate the next generation. Maybe if the Revolution is all it's hyped up to be I'll welcome it.

Two things (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14190697)

There are two things in the 360's favor:
  • Launch titles ALWAYS look like shit. It was true this generation, it was true before, and it'll probably be true of the Revolution and PS3 also. But they always get better as developers get a handle on the platform. If you judged the PS2 based on Armored Core 2 or Tekken Tag Tournament, would you have ever guessed it could handle something like God of War?
  • Xbox Live. This is a truly next-generation feature in that it's never been done before, period. Downloadable demos for a console? An enforced shareware/demoware market for small developers? Live streams of tournament games being played, to thousands of users at a time? This is completely new and no other console is even considering it yet.


Everyone loves says "games aren't about graphics!" but this article is nothing but.

Re:Two things (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191184)

Except, launch titles don't always look like "shit", except in comparison to titles released after them.


People are complaining that 360 titles look like "shit" in comparison to titles that were released before them. That's what the concern is.


Sure, Ocarina of Time blew Mario 64 out of the water in every way (graphics, sound, control, world design), but when Mario 64 first came out, people's jaws dropped, because even with the PS1 having already released, people had never seen anything like it. Now it looks dated and simplistic, but if something already looks dated when it's brand new, people tend to complain.

Rewrites instead of backwards compatible (2, Insightful)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191195)

The thing which concerns me is that instead of just moving on with building the true next generation titles, some shops (EA I'm looking at you) seem to be content with re-writing existing titles again just for the 360 unit.

I was just reading an article about how EA is converting Burnout Revenge over to Xbox 360 format. Keep in mind this is a very recent title, and I would have expected an Xbox backwards-compatiblity "profile" for this game. EA seem to think people should buy it all over again. To me, this not undermines the whole backwards-compatible angle of the 360 (it shouldn't carry the Xbox name if it can't handle the Xbox games), but smells of extreme laziness on the part of the developer. A re-hash instead of a new gameplay, very this-gen instead of next. But you can bet it'll be sold at a new-game price.

It's these kind of things which make me, and I'm sure others, wait until next year to see what the competition brings.

Re:Rewrites instead of backwards compatible (2, Insightful)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14193083)

Keep in mind, EA has been doing this for years with almost all of their licenses. I'm surprised anyone thought they'd come up with something original for the next generation, instead of just doing incremental upgrades to their existing lineups. I mean, it's the company that releases 200x versions of practially everything they have, adding almost nothing new and even taking away things at the same time.

You're correct that it IS extreme laziness on the part of the developer, but if it's one thing gamers have shown is that they'll eat up the next version of Madden readily. And of course since EA's the only one who can develop NFL-based games, they pretty much don't have to compete with anyone.

Burout Revenge is a prime example of EA fracking up a license. Burnout 2 was probably the best of the series, because since then the games have gone so eXtreme that they're impossible to play. Revenge is an absolute assault on your senses, and there's little skill (more random luck) involved in actually racing. I know it's all about the crashing, but there's nothing new there either.

EA's not the only culprit of this of course. The entire first-person shooter genre is guilty of this, with very few games actually doing something interesting and innovative anymore at all.

Re:Rewrites instead of backwards compatible (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14194117)

I'll agree wholeheartedly with the Burnout line continuing to get worse, but Madden changes enough to keep me happy. I'd rather play Madden 2006 than Madden 2005 with a roster update. QB Vision, a slightly improved AI on defense, and some better handling of Hot Routes make it a good game that still sticks to a good formula but has changed for the better since 2005. This hasn't always been true of Madden games, but at least the last few years have been decent upgrades. And I am aware that they've taken away some features from the game, but I'd rather have a better football engine with only a few bells and whistles than a lesser football engine and a bunch of bells and whistles. I buy Madden to play football. Madden 06 still does that and does it better than Madden 2005.

EA doesn't have to compete with a particular company for NFL games anymore but if EA slacks off, the NFL will pull their license and grant it to someone else. The NFL is just treating EA like any of their exclusive merchandisers. If the merchandise gets shoddy, the NFL goes with someone else. I actually hope EA does screw this up so hopefully we'll see some more of Sega's superior IMHO football engine.

Oh, and they've dropped the 20 so now they just release 0x versions of practically every game, but you might be considering the lack of 20 one of the missing features. It's about as important as the other missing features.

Re:Rewrites instead of backwards compatible (1)

LilSerf (580945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14197368)

I don't understand the economics of what you're suggesting here.

You're saying that EA should be ashamed of converting their recent release on Xbox to Xbox360? That's the same as saying they're lazy because they made the same game for both PS2 and Xbox. It's a new platform. EA wants to deliver the Burnout title on every platform they possibly can, so they're porting it to the 360 as well as the current consoles.

If, instead, EA had said "We're not making it for 360, wait for MSFT to get it into their emulator" THAT would be derided as laziness. "Why do we only have the old Xbox version with its lower resolution and fewer shaders? Those bastards!"

Why in the world would EA rework the gameplay of a recent release when porting it between platforms?

Now if you'd said that EA was bringing Burnout3 over to the 360 with no gameplay changes, I'd be right there with you. But bringing "this year's games" to the 360 with the same basic feature set is just economics.

Where have I heard that before... (2, Interesting)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14191502)

"Next generation games will combine unprecedented audio and visual experiences to create worlds that are beyond real and they'll deliver storylines and game play so compelling that it will feel like living a lucid dream."

Hmmm... Oh yeah... I have a game here that says something very similar on the back. You know, along the lines of "unprecedented video and audio" and "beyond real" and "live the game". It's for the Commodore 64... on a casette.

It didn't live up to the hype then... I doubt this will now. It was, however... quite fun to play. Quick controls, good game progression, easy to learn, annoying music. Hmmm... I need to go dig something out of the basement again.

HD era? omg lol! I used a n'acronym! (-1, Troll)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192062)

Hard Disk? got one. High Definition? Please.

XBOX - selling people a second disabled PC in a different business model, making them buy games twice (sometimes with different titles and updated graphics) since 200whenever.

Crock of shit. too many xbox stories on /.

what the hell happened to good old fashioned boycotts?

Do you all need that shit in your house? Now we all hate sony, we can play our game cubes until the new nintendo comes out.

boyakkasha. still... cell processor shouldn't be punished for sony music's asshat decisions...

that sony ps3 boycott is whack y'all

Technological Triumphalism At Its Very Worst (2, Insightful)

NBarnes (586109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192494)

Blah blah blah better graphics blah blah.

Is there an Intel Twain-class chip in the 360 that'll offer hardware acceleration to game storylines? I hadn't heard about that feature, the one that offers support for a full megaGaiman's worth of plot processing with integrated character development support.

Or maybe the 360 won't do one single damn thing to help developers offer us better plotlines or story. Or gameplay, for that matter; feel free to count all the games that took the move to true physics engines and gave us truly novel gameplay experiences with them. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Any game designer that really wants to be Neil Gaiman when they grow up, or Sid Meier or Peter Molyneux for that matter, has already noticed that there's no place for them on the cutting edge of console development. That area is well and truly the domain of the very large, the very rich, and the very branded.

There's good gameplay and good story on consoles, but it's nothing the console makers are doing. And the 360 isn't doing anything except escalating the price of doing business on a console, pushing more creative thinkers onto other platforms.

Re:Technological Triumphalism At Its Very Worst (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192980)

I don't know how you only get modded 2, while some asshole above got modded +4 Insightful for suckling on MS's peepee because of HD. Microsoft bet on mindless fanboys to support and hype their new console even though they don't have the games to back it up. Sadly they bet right.

Peter Moore may be right. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14192877)

After all, the XBox 360 is not "next generation" any more, it's "current generation" now.

No release titles ever show off the system (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14193139)

Face it, developers only have a few months to really get a title ready for a new game console's release.

Even though they may have had development kits long before the actual hardware is ready, generally you have to be very conservative when releasing a new title for new hardware. You never know if specs will change, and if you focus too much on optimizing on the development platform, you may find the game unstable or unplayable on the release hardware. Developers were probably only given 3 - 6 months tops to actually test and tweak their games on the actual Xbox360 hardware, this is not enough time to truely create a game that takes advantage of everything the new console can offer.

2nd gen games for any new console are the ones developed entirely with the new hardware. These games are designed from the ground up to be optimized to run on actual release hardware. Game developers can then take months and even years to perfect a game on the system hardware, thus not cutting corners by trying to release a game in time of the game console release. 2nd gen games also benefit from the experience (and mistakes) made while developing the first round of games.

It isn't surprising that release titles are generally ports of previous-generation games, albeit with improved graphics and some showy features. But then, many release games are typically sports, 3rd person shooters and racing games because they are easy to develop quickly and generally never really need a lot of system specs to look good.

I would wait about 6 months for truely amazing games to be released for the Xbox360, I think the pre-holiday release was rushed, and game developers probably would have enjoyed at least 2 - 4 months of extra time to make their games really shine (instead of crashing).

This isn't flamebait... (1)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14194109)


But Gun looks like a PS2 game -- at best! There are moments when its vaguely reminiscent of the N64. What on earth is with the low-poly stuff???

I bought three titles when I got my 360: Gun, Condemned and Perfect Dark. All in all I have to say that Condemned is far and away the winner -- a very, very nice job by Monolith. Perfect Dark I give a low B, and Gun I give an F -- not for gameplay, but for the absolutely miserable job they did visually.

Noticing a trend (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14195208)

Page 1:
  Sports game
  Sports game
  Sports game
  Sports game

Page 2:
  Sports game
  Sports game
  Racing game
  First Person Shooter -- probably a mistake

This is a trend that caused me to lose interest in console gaming. Pretty happy with my DS now, especially for the 2D GBA platformers and shooters. And thank god for the PC and the eclectic selection of games available.

The article mentioned that some of the games had new features, and felt more immersive. But that should be expected with any version of any new game, no matter whether the graphics have tripple the resolution. I don't really see pixel-pushing as a revolutionary step, the way the PS was. It's just an upgrade.
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