Wii U Forum

Topic: The "Next Gen Dilemma"

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Scollurio

1. Posted:

I’ve been reading through many of your posts about the Wii U, competitive systems and the gaming industry in general and I want to share my thoughts and my conclusions in some mature manner. If you’re afraid of long texts, you should probably leave now instead of leaving an inappropiate post later on.

The so famous „next generation“ in my eyes, will never come or - in a way - is a marketing lie. We all have different definitions about what the next gen truly is. Imagine a system (no matter who made it) thats sporting 4K resolution graphics and lets say 64 GB of ram, an insane amount of processors and incredible broadband connection. What kind of games will we get? Photo realistic? Stunning graphics and presentation rivaling big budget movies? Sure. But will this polish alone be enough to feel next gen if everything we’re getting feels „stale“ and „already used“? I mean annual franchises of famous games, always being generally the same just looking a tad better with every iteration. Aren’t we fed up with modern military shooters and off-the-mill jump and runs? The annual casual and unprecise racing games and the oh so hyped sportsgames?

There will be some small Indy developers - like there already are - that will have different ambitions but not the budget to deliver a fully immersive experience on such a „true graphical next gen“ behemoth. They will just not be able to fully utilize such a power.

This is, where my definition of next gen comes into play.

For me the definition of „next gen“ is not about technology alone because no matter how hard they try, what’s considered „next gen“ on console has been around on PC systems for years, and where are the great innovations? Where are the games on PC that even halfway-decently utilize the true power of 64bit multicore processors? Right. Nowhere.

The big studios are trapped in something that’s called „capitalism“. Earlier success lead to higher turnaround/year and thus in a climate where the success of a business is almost solely judged on its growth compared to last year (thank you shareholders) instead of its total value big studios are afraid to take risks or try things out. They have to push their developers to hard timelines and try to make games that are easily portable to other platforms and might appeal to the biggest demographic crowd possible.
Sure thats business, but when I think on early days of PC computing and consoles of the 16bit era, those games had innovation and fantastic gameplay because that was where they had to shine and had to seperate themselves from the competition. The limit of the hardware was quickly reached but the „ideas“ mattered. You wanted your game to stand out by ideas, innovation, gameplay and content. Things like that are almost completely gone in todays climate.

Except… of some Indy developers, financing their efforts with their own money or kickstarter campaigns.

I personally want back the awesome coop experiences of days past, regardless of system, games like the first Halo, Battlefield 1942, or even much older games like Double Dragon, X-Com, Syndicate… all those gems had soul.

So to completely rest the debate (for me!) who or what will have/is the next gen in gaming, it’s very much clear that the next gen is not about systems, not about hardware but about developers. It’s about ideas and creativity, doing things differently. It’s about new genres (think about tower defense or dota-like games, even if you don’t like them, they’re new genres that didn’t exist before and both of them were developed out of a user-community doing stuff with modding tools) and ambitious young people trying fresh ideas. It’s about games like minecraft, terraria and the-like.

So in short: Next generation will be a „rethinking“ in the games industry, the rise of the indy developers to heights where they can support better graphics, better features and appeal to a wider audience. We’re already seeing things like that with Games like „Trine“ and others in that vein. It’s not (at least not for us as gamers) about iOS VS Android VS Nintendo VS MS VS Sony… it is ALL OF US VS industrialized profit-grinding.

And this is the reasons why I believe in the Wii U(as much as in any other platform that has room for Indys and small studios), even if I dislike several things about it (mainly things like no headphone jack on gamepad, it’s battery life, 8GB internal memory on base model, … small things but still things that could have been done better) the true innovations and next gen in GAMING (not hardware) will come from the small studios and indy developers. Having a touch-enabled controller is genius considering the popularity of iOS devices with touch control and the easier porting process this ensures. It gives developers a choice about how they want to utilize different ways of controls, and YES the Wii U WILL be outpowered by Sony’s and MS’s next thing. By how much? I don’t know, probably quite a bit, but it won’t make any difference - for me personally - because if the big studios want to port triple AAA super-budget titles to the Wii U and they can’t because it’s not enough powerful for „ultrashiny mode“ - so what? I rather will have the innovative little games with multiplayer support by small studios that will at least „fill“ the capabilities of the Wii U with ideas instead with bells and whistles. Nintendo seems to be welcoming Indy studios on their eShop, which can only be a very good sign for the future.

And YES, I do like some of my triple A big budget titles like Halo 4, Borderlands 2 etc… but still. It has all been done before. My body is ready for bringing back the couch-tournaments of my childhood that I had with my SNES, Mortal Kombat, Bomberman and many other great games, and I fear that the big studios have to worry too much about profit to truly innovate or take risks.

Go Indy, support the small studios, support kickstarter campaigns with some money, even with something as little as 10 $, help the innovative minds that have a love for gaming bring their ideas to our system of choice and stop the system wars. No matter if PC, PS, XBOX, Wii/U, etc…
Stand behind the developers, their ideas and visions and not behind your SYSTEM that has been marketed to you as the end-of-all-solution to your gaming needs.

Thats just my opinion. Thank you to anyone who took the time to actually read all of this and thank you to everyone who decides to join my discussion here.

Scoll

No regrets.

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ReindeerDasher

2. Posted:

IMO, next gen is when there is a leap in technology, something big. Usually, it just happens to be when a company makes a new system. NES>SNES Leapt in graphics. SNES>N64 leapt HUGELY in graphics, with "real" 3D games. N64>GCN was mostly just graphics, GCN>Wii brought motion controls, Wii>Wii U brought a touchscreen to your remote. IMO, even if it's the small big, it a new gen. Maybe you don't understand what I mean, but it's a bit compicated if you think about it too long.

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Scollurio

3. Posted:

3Dash wrote:

IMO, next gen is when there is a leap in technology, something big. Usually, it just happens to be when a company makes a new system. NES>SNES Leapt in graphics. SNES>N64 leapt HUGELY in graphics, with "real" 3D games. N64>GCN was mostly just graphics, GCN>Wii brought motion controls, Wii>Wii U brought a touchscreen to your remote. IMO, even if it's the small big, it a new gen. Maybe you don't understand what I mean, but it's a bit compicated if you think about it too long.

Thanks for your input and yes I know where you're coming from. And yes you're right. But back in the day those leaps in technology affected how we play games. Suddenly we had THREE dimensions instead of just TWO to explore, suddenly we had motion controls that were mostly only used as a gimick (sadly) or even earlier suddenly we had 32.000 colors instead of just 16!! It all changed the way we played games. And yes in that regard "full HD" for Nintendo only is "classic next gen" by deifnition. But I have a 360, a 3DS, an iPhone and a more than capable PC, I have seen and had enough of "full HD" but I've been playing the same old shooters and action games the past 10 years easily and nothing new was brought to the table except sharper textures or things were even taken away form us by dumbing the experience down to streamline it more and more for casual gamers. I dont hate casual gamers, they have their right place in the industry we just so love, but I always think make "casual control theme" and things like that optional and never take away from ANY one of the gamers crowd just to serve the other.

Anyways I hope you see what I am getting at. Im sitting in front of a 32" Full HD 200 MHz Samsung LED, just half a metre away, Im as much "full HD" as there is. I want "good games" again. Boasting the resolution to a double of Full HD won't do anything for me. Look at my iPhone. It has higher resolution than my 3DS, even higher resolution than my Samsung LED (pixelwise) and what is it good for? There's not one thing I still enjoy playing on my iPhone... (love it otherwise though).

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OracleOfTruth

4. Posted:

I thought a lot of this went without saying. While it's developers that ultimately need to do the innovating, new consoles are often the first step into the next generation. New consoles offer new ways to control/show games and ideas. It encourages new developments.

I foresee what you'll do there.
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ReindeerDasher

5. Posted:

I see where you're coming from with graphics... but graphics aren't going to stop until 1 of 2 things happens.

1) Games cost too much because developing them cost too much, or that resolution isn't supported.
2) It is physically impossible to get better graphics.

And hey, maybe there'll be a big tech breakthrough so that neither happens. I want good graphics. I just don't want that to be the sole thing that defines a generation.

Whether you like it or not, this is now the 8th generation. Maybe one or two gens shouldn't exist, but that's how it's classified.

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ReindeerDasher

6. Posted:

True_Hero wrote:

I thought a lot of this went without saying. While it's developers that ultimately need to do the innovating, new consoles are often the first step into the next generation. New consoles offer new ways to control/show games and ideas. It encourages new developments.

This too. Development does not encourage consoles, consoles encourage development.

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6ch6ris6

7. Posted:

next generation = new consoles (no redesigns)

it really is that simple. it doesnt matter what someone defines as innovative. a company wont release a new console if there is nothing better about it than the last console. graphics can get better, physics, AI, online, controls, etc. no company ever released a new console without something "new".

NES - SNES - N64- Gamecube - Wii - WiiU
... - ... - Playstation - Playstation 2 - Playstation 3 - "Orbis / Playstation 4"

got it?

Edited on by 6ch6ris6

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ReindeerDasher

8. Posted:

Really, I only half agree with you @6ch6ris6. Yes, it's a new console and yes, no redesigns, but it has to bring something new to gaming, no matter how small, like better graphics, motion, touchscreen, etc.

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6ch6ris6

9. Posted:

i edited my post while you were already typing i guess. maybe now you agree with me 3Dash ;)

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ReindeerDasher

10. Posted:

Somewhat more. As I said, it gets confusing if you think too much on it..

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Scollurio

11. Posted:

I have a gaming PC now.
I had a gaming PC two years ago.
I had a gaming PC five years ago.
Its always new hardware, but nothing much changed.

And when you say new console = new generation then you bought the marketing. Yes it IS the new generation in hardware. But there will be not many changes. Maybe some more on Wii U because of the gamepad concept (which still has to prove being worthwile and convince developers to fully utilize it). But lets take my PC example with graphics.

I played Quake 1 in SVGA
then I played Quake 1 with my 3dfx card and the first ever hardware accellerated rendering
I played Quake 2 on 1024x768 with 2x antialiasing
I played Quake 3 on 1400xsomething with 4x antialiasing
and I played Doom 3 in Full HD with all bells and whistles.
I don't need to play Doom 4 in 2x Full HD with all bells and whistles to see that there is nothing new.

I perfectly understand you people and where you're coming from,
but just more capable hardware doesn't mean the industry will change around it. The "big" industry will always go the way of the least resistance with the chance of most profit. Thats why I think - FOR ME - it will be the small innovators that might spawn a new trend in gaming.

As long as a console can put out FULL HD graphics, im fine, from then on I expect the games to be GOOD.

So per definition just raising power and and graphics makes it the "stronger generation" but not "the next generation" in the sense of being advanced, because no matter the hardware, the experience might not differ much.

If the upped power is used for bigger levels, new concepts, better AI and more environmental options, THEN yes, then it's "next gen" for ME.
Don't forget, Im just talking about my personal preferences! ;)
Of course everyone is free to think or enjoy what you think is best for you!

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ReindeerDasher

12. Posted:

Ok, I'm just saying if you say that something isn't next gen when technically it is, you'll look stupid.

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V8_Ninja

13. Posted:

While I believe that there will be a true "Independent Revolution" for console gaming for many of the reasons you stated, the current problem with that revolution happening right now is that game consoles still haven't hit a graphics plateau. Many triple-A games can only muster a solid 30 FPS and are using medium-quality graphics when compared to high-quality graphics on PCs. I believe the consoles after the Playstation 4 and the Xbox 720 will be the ones which acquire this game consistency, at which point the revolution will occur.

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Scollurio

14. Posted:

I would even say it's arguable how much "technically" Wii U IS next gen and compared to what.
For me there is no next gen and no system wars.
There's just good games or bad games. I don't care anymore for specs and promises.
Been following that shit too long already...

And I disagree to your signature, but I'd sign the bit about your (and mine) wallet... :D

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6ch6ris6

15. Posted:

maybe you should make a difference between next gen and new gen

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Scollurio

16. Posted:

V8_Ninja wrote:

While I believe that there will be a true "Independent Revolution" for console gaming for many of the reasons you stated, the current problem with that revolution happening right now is that game consoles still haven't hit a graphics plateau. Many triple-A games can only muster a solid 30 FPS and are using medium-quality graphics when compared to high-quality graphics on PCs. I believe the consoles after the Playstation 4 and the Xbox 720 will be the ones which acquire this game consistency, at which point the revolution will occur.

Nice thought really. I think there will be a problem with that "plateu" because if not someone is saying "THIS IS IT, 1080p, 4x AA, 60fps is our gaming standard like PAL and NTSC was our TV standard for many years" there will be an ongoing development and rise in system specs until the ceiling is hit. The ceiling will be development costs and profitability of gaming projects imho. Thats why I believe this revolution will come sooner. People will realize that the higher the graphics, the higher the development costs, the higher the price of the games and the LESS regular releases.

What do you think, if all indy devs would jump ship to Wii U eShop and work in the environment the Wii U offers (power wise) and just say: "Ok this is waht we got, so lets work with it" don't you think we'd see some awesome innovative games that would even convince "core" gamers to jump ship to Wii U?
I like to think about this like I thought about SEGA GAMEGEAR vs NINTENDO GAMEBOY. We know how that ended. Why? Because the Gameboy simply had the better games that got released more frequently.

Anyways, there is no right or wrong opinion about all of this, just opinions. And I enjoy reading yours. And all I am saying is don't wait for hardware companies to innovate or start the next gen, support the Indy Developers and let THEM start this trend! ;)

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Scollurio

17. Posted:

6ch6ris6 wrote:

maybe you should make a difference between next gen and new gen

How would you define it?

New Gen: Better then the last gen, still does the same though.
Next Gen: Radically changes the way games are experienced/played by offering new gameplay and/or control options and/or more content.

Like that?
What is Wii U then?

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ReindeerDasher

18. Posted:

If you think next gen is only next gen games, then why do you think there are new systems? The Wii U offers a new way to play. Would you prefer the NES still being sold? Even if you tried, the NES can not play a 16 bit game. Or a 32 bit. Or a 64 bit. Etc. There has to be next-gen systems for there to be next gen games. The system is not made for the games, the games are made for the system. Wii U offers a new way to play, with a touchscreen remote. It opens up possibilities that no other system has ever been able to do before. If you deny this, you are incorrect.

Edited on by ReindeerDasher

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3DS_excel

19. Posted:

Scollurio wrote:

6ch6ris6 wrote:

maybe you should make a difference between next gen and new gen

How would you define it?

New Gen: Better then the last gen, still does the same though.
Next Gen: Radically changes the way games are experienced/played by offering new gameplay and/or control options and/or more content.

Like that?
What is Wii U then?

Newxt gen?

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OracleOfTruth

20. Posted:

I agree with @3Dash. That's why I said that consoles are the first step into a new generation. How many steps are taken after that depends on the developers.

I foresee what you'll do there.
-The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is. ~Winston Churchill

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