Console space contribution in the evolution of gaming.

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Nesh, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Nesh


    Oct 2, 2005
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    Watching this years E3 game reveals and demonstrations, I believe it is worth discussing and pointing out how the console space contributes significantly and is pushing the boundaries of technology and artistic expression in gaming.

    It is evident that the existence of platform competition is an additional layer on top of game product competition that produces results that we wouldn't have seen possible.

    The XBOX in particular may have it's games released also on PC, but MS's need to make the XBOX a worthy competitor to the Playstation platform, pushes it's developers to produce results on a low spec hardware that surpass what was thought possible which later benefits the PC space as the product was designed around limitations and creative ways to by pass them

    Similarly the Playstation is a single platform that competes PCs and the XBOX. It is probably Sony's most significant and most powerful brand. Sony understands that they have to differentiate the platform against more powerful hardware. The fact that ports are an easier task these days (compared to PS2 days), multiplatform games are more common than ever, we have seen Sony's studios develop technologies and artistic expression that competes the best games visually even on PC as an effort to differentiate the platform to make it worth of purchase. A variable that is absent when the developer is multiplatform or making games only for PCs.

    A common gaming PC has surpassed in performance the console today. But the corresponding PC hardware to a PS4 (hardware now considered low to medium specs) certainly does not run games of the same fidelity as those developed with XBOX One S or a PS4 in mind (see exclusives).

    Gears of War 4, Forza Motorsport 4 and Forza Horizon 3 were large surprises for XBOX One S. Steady performance, super detailed visuals, running at 1080p. These games bridged the gap between PS4 and XBOX One. They set high visual standards even on PC and they are projects that started on XBOX One. I can say with certainty that such games and standards might not have existed if it wasn't for console competition.

    Also there are things that Uncharted 4, TLOU2, GoW, Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding etc do that compete the best on more powerful hardware.

    Surprisingly the PC space despite its huge market, its hardware flexibility, the availability of isgnificantly more powerful hardware and the bigger developer support, I think either lacks games with the same fidelity and polish, or it achieves similar or better quality on significantly more powerful hardware using the brute force approach. I think it is one of those reasons why many AAA games developed primarily on PC lack a wow factor on consoles, usually have more sacrifices on their console counterparts (compared to AAA games developed primarily or solely on consoles) or have some performance issues on console when more impressive looking console titles perform better.

    I feel that the console competition pushes for more efficient, innovative use of technology and artistic expression to compensate or differentiate itself producing surprising results that also benefit the PC space where it applies.

    Uncharted 4 still holds up well 2 years later and sits in many areas above what they demonstrated with Shadow of Tomb Raider, a recent game, which was probably running on an X or a high spec'ed PC.

    It is those skill-sets and workflows that help gaming development make jumps faster and produce experiences than if we had just the PC platform.

    Death Stranding is a prime example, with an engine developed specifically for PS4. When you thought Horizon Zero was a technical achievement hard to surpass on PS4 considering it's limitations, it is evolved farther between the collaboration of two studios. It's end result is mind blowing. It looks like nothing else on any platform and its running on hardware that was in the medium spec territory in 2013. But here we are. It just makes you wonder what can be achieved with such an engine and workflow on hardware with higher specs.

    Journalists were viewing the TLOU2 and Ghost of Tsushima in disbelief sometimes wondering if the former was scripted and the latter was actually planned for a PS5 release.

    #1 Nesh, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    mrcorbo likes this.
  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
    Legend Veteran Subscriber

    Nov 23, 2007
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    London, UK
    I've heard and read several journalists say they convinced that The Last of Us II gameplay sequence was heavily scripted and it reminds of when when Naughty Dog first showed substantive Uncharted 4 gameplay where Drake swung from a rock, landed on a slope, skidded down it and kicked a guy off the bottom and grabbed and his gun and immediately shot another guy. It did look hugely scripted and fake.

    Then you get the game and cool interactions like this happen all the time.
    temesgen, morphinapg and Nesh like this.
  3. Nesh


    Oct 2, 2005
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    Oh and I just noticed that I ommited Nintendo. Nintendo is another interesting case, where they lack in performance they compensate in specific art styles, innovative gameplay and spefic hardware designs for a particular type of gaming experience that other platforms do not provide. Yet they manage to win almost perfect scores, GOTY awards and often very successful hardware sales. These guys set new examples of gaming experiences which lead the industry. They are often unobserved but they are the ones that brought the videogaming industry out of the recession, they are the forfathers of the present controllers etc
    Often we see risky surprises and "unothodox" products that probably no one in the PC space would have ever dared like Labo. Nintendo is a testing ground for innovation and creativity in game design and interaction.
    #3 Nesh, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    milk likes this.
  4. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter

    Dec 8, 2004
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    There is a nice symbiotic relationship between the Console and PC gaming markets. The low barrier to entry for a developer to release a game on PC and the capability to extend and modify existing games creates a fertile ground for young creators to gain experience and a following which can then be used to support a move into console development. And the PC hardware ecosystem is the engine that's feeding console hardware development. Each market benefits from the strengths of the other and the success of either strengthens the gaming market as whole. It'll be interesting to see if mobile (phone) gaming can rise to be a third pillar. There's already a little bit of crossover now.
    Cyan, milk and Nesh like this.
  5. Cyan

    Cyan orange
    Legend Veteran

    Apr 24, 2007
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    the PC is the king, imho, and With the pervasiveness of games and the use of gamification in nearly every industry and the desire to discover how to use state-of-the-art development hardware and software has never been so great.

    The "dream" console -at least for me- is going to be a PC that you can carry around and play anywhere, powerful enough to run games at 4k or more... But that might take some time.

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