Next generation to arrive in 2012

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  • eld
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    Exactly, just the specs of a modern computer is insane if you compare it the consoles, but imagine a game specifically built for a very specific set of carefully put together hardware, magic could be made there.
  • Bigjohn
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    But the complaint is that moving to a new console now, won't be as huge a leap as it was going from Xbox to 360, or PS2 to PS3. If that's the case, then production value can't skyrocket.

    So which is it? Either moving to a new console will change things drastically, and production costs will skyrocket to reflect that, or it will be a higher-def version of what we already have, and production costs will only increase slightly, if at all?

    It can't be both of those things.

    It seems to me like right now we're already making high-def assets, and high-def worlds. We just can't see them in the final product. The detail gets lost when you bake a high-rez sculpt down to a 256, or when they decide to cull the viewing distance to gain some fps. So we'll get basically the same game, but maybe in 1080, maybe 30fps games will go 60fps, maybe with higher resolution textures, better view distance, fancier shaders maybe, but that's about it.

    So all that would happen really, is that the stuff we're already making will look closer to what it should look, if we had the firepower to make it so.
  • EarthQuake
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    To some extent the art content being produces for your average game is already way overdetailed for console spec. Just look at the high resolution sub-d and sculpted meshes for characters, weapons, etc for most games. Then come to the realization that these are being sized down to 512x512 to fit on consoles. This is excess on the source pipeline in the first place, but when we consider this its not going to be all that crazy to simply pump out models with higher poly budgets and texture resolutions.

    Personally for me, I have to do a lot more work when I know I have a low polygon budget and texture resolution, attention to detail and scale, as well as complexity of silhouette has much more work go into it. Oh you may think creating a 2000 poly model vs a 4000 is easier, but its not really the case.

    In addition to all of that, better spec'd consoles can help automate and just generally improve a lot of visual aspects without much or any need for extra content. Realtime radiosity, reflections, better dynamic animations, better shaders, etc etc etc.

    Not to mention the VAST potential for improvement in allof that stuff that you know, makes games fun, like AI, gameplay systems and physics that are incredibly processor intense.
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO veteran polycounter
    Bigjohn wrote: »
    So all that would happen really, is that the stuff we're already making will look closer to what it should look, if we had the firepower to make it so.

    maybe but i think we will need more maps...IE ambient occlusion maps, translucency maps, etc etc which will take a bit extra work... but not massive...

    im hoping for a better image quality... really good filtering really good AA and less compression...
  • eld
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    Enforced 1080p and 60fps!
  • EarthQuake
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    SHEPEIRO wrote: »
    maybe but i think we will need more maps...IE ambient occlusion maps, translucency maps, etc etc which will take a bit extra work... but not massive...

    im hoping for a better image quality... really good filtering really good AA and less compression...

    We're already backing AO maps, what is new? Translucency/fake SSS maps are already being used for skin shaders in games today, and that accounts for like 0.001% of the art content in a game anyway. I wouldn't really worry about it.

    Doing unique environment work, as has generally been the case, will be the biggest place resources are spent and the biggest challenge to overcome. Tools can make the biggest improvement here, if you look at rage as an example.

    Characters art... Really I wouldn't worry about that at all. Quality and resources for characters in most games generally heavily outweighs the environment, If we can bring up the quality of enviros that of characters, we'll have much better looking games.
  • SHEPEIRO
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    SHEPEIRO veteran polycounter
    Nah not 60fps...some games dont need it and you get half the time to render everything an slower adventure game id want twice the fillrate etc... maybe enforced 60 or 30 if thats possible.
  • eld
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    SHEPEIRO wrote: »
    Nah not 60fps...some games dont need it and you get half the time to render everything an slower adventure game id want twice the fillrate etc... maybe enforced 60 or 30 if thats possible.

    True, but then maybe they don't need the 1080p either, they could get so much more fidelity with 720p

    On one side this generation of hardware is said to have enough to give us great looking games, on the other side we have to squeeze resolutions down to 600p levels to then upscale it to 720, and push framerates that are closer to 20 and struggling to 30.

    Every game could benefit from 60fps, both from visual fidelity and input-latency.

    On top of that, the higher resolutions and sizes of tv's get, the more one will notice a low framerate.
  • dr jekyll
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    While PCs are more powerful than consoles it's also a smaller market. Consoles are where you make the most money so a multiplatform game will have it's PC port restricted by console limitations while on the other hand nobody wants to invest console sized budgets on a PC only game. Even John Carmack agrees - Consoles are the leading platform despite PC's being 10x more powerful

    Even if the next gen consoles came out with all off the shelf PC parts we would see a huge leap.


    Looking at numbers lately ( and the lack of numbers )...
    I am actually surprised when PC sales are notoriously under-reported How Huge of a market exists for PC games.
    And as unhappy and dedicated that market is, How hard could it be to see a viable markets needs and developing to them?

    ( unless the actual numbers are wrong )

    I think the dismal reputation the PC market gets comes from initial releases of games.
    Take Bioshock for instance.
    Unlike the consoles ( where initial sales from "direct" customers are strong and suffer from used sales after ) The PC market seems to suffer Piracy demo-ing first ( even though initial sales will still represent a large chunk of those sales ) trickling to it's full level slowly like water.
    As of now PC users represent over a quarter of Bioshock sales. In a 3 horse race Thats a huge chunk of change to dismiss.
    You could say that PC Dominance with Bad company 2 ( Almost tied with Xbox and beating ps3 ) is only because it was never a popular console game to begin with and more of a PC cult hit. Which doesn't make sense as Bioshock which was "simply" touted upon sales success as a "success" moved what? 5 million units? Which I am pretty sure is the exactly half of the Bad Company 2 numbers?
    And I am willing to bet ( although it couldn't be proven ) that the majority of players giving Andrew Ryan his club back today are on the PC. If BCstats is true... More PC players are online this afternoon playing BC2
    PC 9,485
    xbox 360 2,369
    PS3 3,557

    Which goes a long way in giving the impression of a dedicated market with long term legs.
    Even though Battlefield 3 PC Digital downloads were excluded from statistics I have no illusions that they come close to the XBOX numbers But even in this case as I am writing this:
    PC online 105 472
    PS3 online 90 320
    360 online 62 955

    Even if these statistics lie, I can't see how one can not conclude that the PC market Although 3rd in stature is far from a "dismal" market place?
    You could make the argument that I am making targeted references to bolster that view... And Bingo u would be right on the money ( there are vast deserts of pc Dismal-ity I am sweeping under the rug! ).
    However, playing the game by competing against call of duty this x-mas with Carmack levels of consolitic PC insult will tend to do that. ( Remember when Carmack dumped on the PC and called it a trivial market on the fringe? There was no fair warning before Rage was released. It wasn't until after the backlash that his views surfaced. )

    Now given this current attitude towards PC games I can't imagine it could be to hard to Make millions, hundreds of millions by Simply being
    "that PC company" that championed PC graphic's superiority with graphics unrenderable on a console ( thumbing their virtual noses at the consoles ) As a marketing Stunt: They could release badly ported console versions anyway :poly142:. Like World of Warcraft I imagine there would be a huge market to corner in this way. ( one that simply moves/builds slower than todays climate of initial sales drama )
  • Andreas
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    dr jekyll wrote: »
    And I am willing to bet ( although it couldn't be proven ) that the majority of players giving Andrew Ryan his club back today are on the PC. If BCstats is true... More PC players are online this afternoon playing BC2
    PC 9,485
    xbox 360 2,369
    PS3 3,557

    Which goes a long way in giving the impression of a dedicated market with long term legs.
    Even though Battlefield 3 PC Digital downloads were excluded from statistics I have no illusions that they come close to the XBOX numbers But even in this case as I am writing this:
    PC online 105 472
    PS3 online 90 320
    360 online 62 955


    Erm... try going for a multi-platform release, not a purpose built for PC game, and look at those numbers.
  • dr jekyll
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher dedicated polycounter
    EarthQuake wrote: »
    To some extent the art content being produces for your average game is already way overdetailed for console spec...

    In addition to all of that, better spec'd consoles can help automate and just generally improve a lot of visual aspects without much or any need for extra content. Realtime radiosity, reflections, better dynamic animations, better shaders, etc etc etc.

    Not to mention the VAST potential for improvement in allof that stuff that you know, makes games fun, like AI, gameplay systems and physics that are incredibly processor intense.

    <3 what you said

    I expect less "compression" (i.e. texture downsizing...) to happen with more power, therefore stuff looking more detailed on those HD screens we have today. Similar to how some PC versions have the higher-res textures, have additional PhysX effects...

    I don't think we get another cost explosion, given the hi-poly modelling revolution already happened. You can't go beyond that level of detail, but technology can help to preserve more of that.

    Hopefully with things like more GI effects, we do get nicer looks (remember the days when everyone started using GI, and even boxes looked awesome), with more shading power, we do get higher fidelity material shading as in movies. But all that can be seen as evolutionary steps to what we have (just looking at research papers on graphics and seeing how things evolved over the last years). And if you look at PC high/ultra detail modes, what do you mostly get, more detail objects, more grass, more particles, more secondary animation (cloth, hair)... (things that didn't actually "cost", well to a degree of parameter tweaking and such, but not in sense of asset production)

    Maybe we actually do get better AI some day again, we have so many hero games where AI is no match, simply as with all the physics going on, it becomes a hard problem to solve.

    Someone said that Sony and MS will not do the mistake and make crazy expensive hardware again, and I agree with that, it would be stupid. If we can get a high-end PC like hardware at a fraction of the cost simply due to mass production, it should work out fine. Consoles are still liked for "DRM" reasons ;) And the low-level hardware access typically means you can squeeze a lot more out of the same hardware (the PS3 has a Geforce7, yet we have all tons of effects on it, we certainly didn't have in PC games during those days)

    Imo a retail release by end of 2012 still seems quite soon, They would have to have the hardware ready well in advance.

    I wonder how they deal with backwards compatibility, I somewhat think they should have it
  • ambershee
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    PC isn't the smaller market. It's been demonstrated in plenty of statistics time and time again, and usually those stats don't take into account a lot of the digital market. PC is a smaller market than 'console'. It is however a bigger market than any one console - that's a good thing to remember.

    Some games however just don't sell well on PC. Fable 3 is a good example of this, it didn't do all that well off the Xbox to my knowledge - but it still didn't sell badly - indeed the number of copies numbers into the hundreds of thousands and isn't to be sniffed at.


    I think the bigger issue is coming from development houses and especially publishers needing a scapegoat to cut the PC market out. Take a look at Crysis as an incredible example - they cried PIRACY STOLE OUR SALES!!1, bitched and moaned about it, but still sold nearly four million copies on said single platform. Ironically, Cevat Yerli went on to make the announcement that they would never favour the PC platform again because of it, only to develop Crysis 2 which went on to sell only 3 million copies across ALL platforms.
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