Have Next Generation Consoles Reached The Pinnacle Of Realism? – Opinion Piece
Have Next Generation Consoles Reached The Pinnacle Of Realism?
It has been the topic of much discussion on social platforms and around the internet. With the teases of what’s to come, provided by the most recent Inside Xbox, Epic Games unveiling of the new Unreal 5 engine and Sony’s State of Play, it’s hard to see where gaming can go next.
Being a child of the ‘80’s myself, it’s fair to say I’ve witnessed my fair share of technical leaps first hand. From the Nintendo NES, my first real home console (I don’t think Commodores count, do they?) all the way to current consoles, It’s clear to see the progression in graphics are becoming more and more marginal.
Whether It was the “Bit Wars” of the late 1980s, the “Polygon Wars” of the late 1990s to the “Resolution Wars” of current consoles, there’s surely only so much realism you can expect a video game to provide. As console manufacturers continue to one-up each other by pushing 4k to the forefront and Microsoft in particular, hinting at 8k! The differences between 1080p and 4k are very slight and I’m sure 4k to 8k will be a similar affair.
It’s certainly disconcerting then, at least for me, that this has resulted in a major lack of innovation from a practical standpoint. Now that’s not to say that what Sony and Microsoft have achieved over the last couple of decades or so isn’t short of superb, but it is becoming increasingly noticeable that the console generations are getting a bit samey.
At some point or another throughout my life, I have owned at least one console from each of the “big three.” But whilst Sony and Microsoft push for innovation on a silicon and chipset level, console technology is edging closer to the “uncanny valley.” It is slowly catching up with PC gaming and thus it usually falls to Nintendo, as the last true innovator to reinvigorate the industry going forward.
Nintendo, being the most traditional of the three tech giants, certainly stand behind their own ideology of what video games should be like, and how they play. Ever since they bowed out of the power struggle, post Gamecube, they’ve continued to create some of the wackiest consoles on the market.
With Nintendo off on their own path, creating and perfecting their own ecosystem, the competition continues to push the envelope of what is achievable in computer-generated graphics. Utilising all the latest hardware and software techniques, combining full-body motion-capture and facial-capture magic lifted straight from Hollywood blockbusters. Even going as far as to employ Hollywood talent to map straight into the game, as seen with Norman Reedus owing his likeness to Kojima Productions PS4 hit, Death Stranding.
For me, personally, I feel a little disappointed with this emphasis towards pixel-count and HDR. Growing up through the console generations, there was usually something wrong with most games I played. Framerate! It didn’t really matter what system it was on either, but most games couldn’t run above 30 frames-per-second. Things have improved slightly over this recent generation, however, there are still titles on the market that fail to maintain a constant framerate, or just simply can’t reach a silky-smooth 60FPS. This really is something that should’ve been ironed out with the last generation. However, most of the big-budget developers seem more concerned with pushing the visuals front and centre.
Here’s hoping the next-gen consoles can finally achieve higher framerates to go along with the latest visual techniques. Just hearing about the newest and fastest NVMe SSD hard drives that are going into them should really help to eradicate load-times too.
But these are just my opinions on the matter. What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my concerns of diminishing returns on graphical fidelity, or do like the direction that gaming is heading?
What not leave a comment down below.
Did you enjoy this article? Why not take a look at our reviews of Ion Fury and Jet Lancer! Do you enjoy what we do? Check out our Ko-Fi, and consider dropping us a coffee! If you want to do what we do, we’re looking for new writers and editors! Fill out the form here if you’re interested. Thanks!
This opinion piece was written by Micramanic.