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CliffyB: Next-Gen Graphics Should Pass The "Mom Test"

Sure, games like Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception can wow the pants off us now, but they should pale in comparison to next-generation productions.

At least that's what guys like Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski say. In speaking with GameSpot, CliffyB says he wants next-gen machines to pass the "Mom test." It really makes perfect sense, too:

"I really want our next-generation consoles to pass what I call the 'Mom Test.' So that if you were to show this console and games to your mom, she would be like, 'Wow, that clearly looks better than your last console,' and it's an essential step that needs to be taken by both Sony and Microsoft."

Basically, he's looking for "face-melting" visuals and really, those unfamiliar with gaming won't spot minor improvements. Furthermore, Bleszinski says he wants "always-connected consoles" that require an Internet connection, and "streaming gaming from the cloud" would also be a nice touch. He also wants to see gesture-based controls built in (the rumor is that the new Xbox may come with Kinect technology included out of the box).

But the "Mom test" is perfect. I've always said that unless you can show two games to any random person off the street and have that person say, "Yes, that one obviously looks better," than the advancements are minor. We're all just so used to looking at games that we can spot smaller incremental progressions. But for a new generation, even though it's difficult to imagine, we're gonna need significantly better visuals to warrant an expensive new hardware purchase.

Tags: next-gen, next generation, next gen consoles, ps4, xbox 720

4/13/2012 9:59:37 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

Underdog15
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:14:18 AM
Reply

I'm trying to think of a funny and applicable mom joke, but nothing's coming. Anything that relates to CliffyB in some way is what I'm looking for...

Anyone?

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Highlander
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:31:10 AM

Well, CliffyB is the kind of name that a 9-year old thinks is kewl, so I guess he would know all about the Mom test...

"But Mooooooommm..... It's so kewl, just look, it runs at 60 frames a second, and it has 16 million colors. Look at those partical affects Mom. Can't you see how kewl they are? Please buy it for me mom..."

"Cliff, if I've told you once, I've told you a 1,000 times, no new games until you clean off that 'tag' you painted on the garage door. Get it gone before your dad (Clifford Sr) get's home. One more word about that ridiculous Nintendo game of yours and the whole lot goes in the trash!"

"But Mooooooommmmmmmmm...."


Last edited by Highlander on 4/13/2012 10:31:21 AM

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Underdog15
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:37:40 AM

I saw him on Jimmy Fallon once. He's a bit of a goof.

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Beamboom
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 12:54:17 PM

You do deserve cred for at least trying, Highlander. :D

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Highlander
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 2:56:54 PM

I should have added that the voices for CliffyB and his mom should sound like Cartman (CliffyB) and Cartman's Mom, from South Park. That's what it sounded like in my head when I was writing it.

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Killa Tequilla
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 7:09:41 PM

The Mom Test is easy. The Dad test on the other hand...

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GoldenShadow
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:17:23 AM
Reply

I don't give the "mom test" all that much credit, but then again my mom calls anything to do with video games "Nintendos"

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BikerSaint
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:20:43 AM
Reply

Hey Cliffy,

Mom said....
"OH, I see that their now trying to sneak DLC on the disc, how unfortunate because that's not the real reality".

"Oh wait, didn't you just try to BS us"?????

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Highlander
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:27:13 AM
Reply

This 'always on' crap is really beginning to annoy me. It's not possible or practical to demand that a game console that will be sold universally be always on. Not everyone has Internet, not all consumers want to connect their console.

Apart from that, the Mom test isn't going to happen. Moms are not going to look at Uncharted 5 running in full 1080p60 and notice a difference to Uncharted 3 running at 720p. They just are not going to see it.

As for gesture based controls, no thank you. I saw a commercial for a Samsung (I think) TV with gesture controls, it looked ridiculous. Press a button or wave your hand...which one are you gonna do when laying on the couch after a long day? Sounds to me like Mr CliffyB (oh come on, grow up and get a grown up name please Cliff) has swallowed the MS Kinect playbook and is regurgitating it verbatim.

Streaming games from the cloud is an idea that will disenfranchise millions of gamers and should not be done. You are at a stroke eliminating millions of consumers from your market if you go that route. I have several friends who's internet is sufficient to support online gaming, but not streaming. That's not going to change for them any time soon. So CliffyB can keep his kewl name, and his kewl MS propaganda and his oh so very kewl always on cloud based mentality and shove it in the exhaust vent of a 360 that's overheating.

</rant>

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xenris
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 10:47:34 AM

I agree Highlander, point for point. Even with my gaming PC my parents can hardly tell the difference in high end graphics when I show them say the witcher 2 and then uncharted 2 on my ps3. There comes a point where you can't really add anything that changes too much to the scene. Mind you I'm sure the most noticable change will actually be animations of characters bodies and faces and perhaps hair and cloth physics. But polygon wise most people really cant see the difference.

Streaming games is not practical especially if your ISP is a jerk like mine, it gets really expensive once you get over your data limit. Also the lag wouldn't be great. Also why stream when you have this new beast of a machine?

I think motion controls need to die UNLESS it is some crazy motion control suit that is an exoskeleton and say you swing a sword and it hits a wall the suit provides proper resistance and force feedback to your body. I can also see this being a huge problem if it had a glitch, it could snap peoples limbs the wrong way >.<

3D needs to get out as well, I know he didn't mention this but seriously it doesn't had anything to games. Its such a gimmick the only cool thing to come from 3D tech is the sony dual display glasses and tv. THAT should be a feature for all next gen. No more split screen aspect ratios but you can still play couch co-op, beautiful.

They would be wise to keep building on current consoles and just focus on the artistic aspects and storytelling. Look how amazing journey looks, yet its not really polygon intense just has amazing art direction and is really smooth around the edges.

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Nerull
Sunday, April 15, 2012 @ 6:37:40 PM

The only ISP I know of that isn't an extraordinary pain in the ass... isn't available in Canada. *shakes fist futiley*

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Beamboom
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 12:58:10 PM
Reply

"CliffyB", "Suda51"... What's going on here? Since when was it cool with an artist name that sounds like some 80s rap act? And when did developers need artist names anyway?

Tsk... Grown ups today...

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/13/2012 1:01:54 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 3:36:33 PM

Hey, Suda 51 is off limits. He is completely insane so he is free to make his name into numbers. Unlike Mr. Ochocinco.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 3:35:36 PM
Reply

What a douchebag.

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 3:54:14 PM
Reply

I'd really like to see more realistic flowing hair and clothing and skin that never looks like plastic from the next-gen. I think It'd be pretty happy for that.

As for Cliffy, yeah, way to be a product of MS. I can't read a thing he says without knowing implicitly, he's propagating MS's agenda. And MS's agenda with KINECT is really not what dedicated gamers want. I have little doubt Moleneux fled from MS in part because of MS's efforts in trying to shovel garbage down their base's throats.

Really, if the quality of games and sales ever become a gulf in distance, I'm sure it'd be through MS's hand to have influenced that outcome. Both Nintendo and Sony knew the KINECT sensor wasn't a viable device for gaming. MS won't see it that way. They want us taking their device, like it or not, even at the expense of quality entertainment. Case and point: Star Wars. It's own Xbox. It's own multimillion dollar marketing campaign, and it's own hype machine to persuade the masses that people want to play their games this way. Sooner or later I could imagine the drones will become so disconnected from what is quality and what is popularized by sensationalized propaganda that appeals to our basest of instincts and not to a higher order of appreciation.

Basically,I really think it's just a matter of time and maturation that mainstream, biggest selling, gaming reaches this point.

And CLiffy B's million dollars in the back pocket nod of approval to gesture interfaces says to me he doesn't give a crap about where gaming could be going with MS at the helm.

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Highlander
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:25:35 PM

And with that the Emperor stepped forward to present his new clothes to the masses.

Silence.

The emperor began to worry that he was somehow too fashion forward in his new clothes, but then the crowd began to cheer.

In the crowd, people were murmuring to each other, "Look at his clothes!", "I know, how can he not know?", "He's the Emperor we better do something, let's clap."...

And as each person began to clap another heard that clap and joined in. Soon the applause was like thunder, and as people realized that the Emperor really thought he looked great in his new clothes, they wanted to be seen to cheer him. So the crowd grew ever more enthusiastic ad cheered the Emperor in his new clothes.

Now of course we all know the story that the Emperor was told that these new clothes used invisible fabric, and got carried away with it all and even though he could not see the clothes either, he did not wish to be seen to have made a stupid mistake, and so carried on as if they were there.

Sony and others can point out the fallacy here all they want, but as the competition they are expected to, and so their words hold no weight with the adoring masses. Therefore Kinect is the greatest innovation ever because Microsoft said so, and the commercials say so, and the only people saying otherwise are those nasty guys at Sony. So let's keep clapping and cheering, after all we wouldn't want our Xbox friends to think we were no longer part of the herd...

Last edited by Highlander on 4/13/2012 4:29:15 PM

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Palpatations911
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:42:48 PM

Temjin,

BRO I HEAR YOU ABOUT THE HAIR IN GAMES!!!

Ever year I am frustrated to no end when I create a My Player in NBA 2K and I try on 394723947 different types of hair and each one looks ridiculous and I have to go with a shaved head.

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 5:53:23 PM

Yeah, Palp, some games can do short hair real well, like Uncharted games. Even Uncharted's long hair looks good, though, delicately designed to form the illusion that it's more detailed than it really is.
But for the most part, we just don't see flowing, naturally handled hair. It is expensive to produce, but I think it'd make for a fairly striking experience when we actually see it in our games. WE're so used to and basically programmed to expect seeing hair as very static and very limited in physics, same with clothing(tons of progress here as well). I think our minds will be blown when we actually see these things working very dynamically in our games. It'll happen, in time. DOn't know if it'll be the next-gen, but I can only hope.

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:02:30 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOK1L0Uo8KM

Here's an example of what we should be looking forward to in the coming rounds of hardware.

Pretty cool, eh?

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:08:15 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cECnvJeXXE8&feature=related

this one is a bit more advanced. The simulation above was running on hardware that the PS4 should be able to handle just fine.

This video here, though. probably not. but you never know!

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 11:30:08 PM

That was intense Highlander. Dang those Sith Lords!

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BigBoss4ever
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:04:45 PM
Reply

but "to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than what we have the best on PS3" is hard, like Uncharted 2/3, I don't even know how that will look like, at least from what I heard so far, nothing is close to that.

said before, unless we are close to the phasing out of blu-ray media and the so called 16 times sharper Ultra HD TV came out on the market, I don't see anything we have now can be any "significantly" better in visuals that warrant a whole new console.

the key word here is "significantly better", of course I expect some minor improvement on visuals, I do not deny that.


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 4/13/2012 4:06:26 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:15:58 PM

Unless we go all Ray Bradberry with wall sized TV's, 16x sharper than 1080p is ridiculous and hopefully no manufacturer sees fit to reset the TV and media player industry to accommodate it.

And lets hope we don't go wall sized with our TV's anytime soon ;)

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Highlander
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:28:47 PM

Thank you Temjin. When HDTV came out, this argument was had in reverse with people saying that there was no value to HDTV. Except now we all know differently. Looking to 4K output and UltraHD, the resolution of such screens is so high that the screen would be (as you say) wall sized, and you'd view it from at least 10 feet away. Even then, you would not be able to resolve the individual pixels. But if you got close enough to the screen you could, but by then you could no longer watch the whole screen.

Good grief, people need to realize that 1080p screens are more or less retina grade at a normal size/viewing distance. There's not only no need to go higher, there is no benefit to going higher.

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BigBoss4ever
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 5:28:15 PM

agree with the both above, but then the next question to ask is: how is possible to get significantly better visuals and if not, why is there even need to have a whole new generation consoles?

at least I will be happy with my PS3, say, till 2020 if not later.

in this age, it is upsetting or frustrating to see manufactures upgrade the hardware for the sake of upgrade, even when there is no imminent need for it.

best example, iphone 4 - iphone 4s. ipad 1 - ipad 2 - ipad 3 now in less than 2 years. what is the point for that..... i am not a fan of this type of bandwagon jumper.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 4/13/2012 5:30:58 PM

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 5:34:54 PM

Yeah, it blows me away. I really feel the whole 720, 1080, 4K method of selling isn't really to the benefit of the consumer. I think most consumers just don't really know enough about optics to really understand and logically make purchase decisions from it: pixel densities, horizonal pixel counts, hz, and full frame progressive signals are all besides the point of watching televisions.
I think TV's needed and should be be marketed more sensisbly to the end user, otherwise we're just given a tech term, like 8, 16, 32-bit, that sounds like it's important but few really understand how, and overtime it's significance becomes meaningless with the majority of consumers.
If this 4k tv thing is to become a reality I really hope people get the message that these TV's aren't for most people. 4k and wallsized TV's in huge rooms is only where they'd see an appreciable difference.

But judging by how Apple's iPad 3's sales piled in even though the added processesing was in large part there only to drive the insane amount of pixels, the consumer really isn't gaining much in the end other than, "Hey! when I bring my eyes 1 inch from the screen and zoom into this text letter I can't see the PIXELS!!" woopie-doo, $500 down the drain =p

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Temjin001
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 6:09:43 PM

oh, and that would assume the text character wasn't rasterized to begin with.

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Drake_RB3
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:24:10 PM
Reply

I thought the mom test was your mom thinking you were watching a movie, not an in game cut-scene as it was in my case for AC: Revelations.

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Palpatations911
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 4:38:55 PM
Reply

Who cares if mom approves of the graphics. My mom thinks Farmville is great and Journey was 'boring and pointless'. Her opinion is useless.



Last edited by Palpatations911 on 4/13/2012 4:39:31 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Friday, April 13, 2012 @ 7:52:27 PM
Reply

Errr not to be rude to my Mom but she doesn't even see the difference between the PS2 and PS3 (apart from now playing on a bigger screen...)

So I just think the new consoles should just be a good update on current tech that can last another 10yrs with some new and uncommon technologies on board so that they can adapt with the time.

The PS3 did a very good job at that! I can say it was one of the best entertainment purchases I made. I was laughing when my buddy had to re-buy an xbox because MS at first deemed HD to be * unnecessary LOL*

But now when your gaming console that was made for *supposed HD* can't output to the norm (1080p) it is about time they upgrade it. Just for the sake of it at least using my TV to it's full capacity. I would also like 240hz motion. There is no point in having an *amateur* (mom) who does not care one bit for games (in general, I mean I know gaming moms :D lol) tell you there is or not a difference in the clarity and fluidity of your image lol.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 4/13/2012 7:54:37 PM

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Crabba
Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 6:23:10 AM
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Major visual improvements, Yes! All that other stuff - Hell NO!!

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___________
Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 7:29:34 AM
Reply

thats always been the point of new hardware, and its not oh this looks better it has to blow you away!
if it doesnt then there is no point!
thats one thing im really struggling with the need for new consoles.
every time we have had a new console release it has offered so much more then better graphics!
so besides better graphics, AI and physics effects what else will next gen offer that makes a leap worthwhile?
problem is were in a recession people dont have enough money to purchase what they need, let alone luxuries, let alone new highly expensive luxuries!
last thing the industry needs is manufactures to spend a arm and a leg manufacturing the devices, then there so lacklustre and expensive no one buys them.
exactly why i dont want new consoles yet, your better off waiting till theres some new amazing advanced tech we can use.
better off waiting another year and double the advancement then release a year earlier and have the advancement lessen.
i just dont believe new consoles are needed just yet, im perfectly happy with todays games thank you very much!

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