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Are You Impressed By What You've Seen Of PS4 Tech Demos?

Everyone has been arguing about the PlayStation 4 specifications; i.e., what is the PS4 really capable of based on those statistics?

But what about the tech demos we've seen thus far? Activision, Epic Games, Quantic Dream and other studios have produced examples of what we might see in the new generation. Next to actual PS4 gameplay we've seen, these offer our most reliable peeks at the future of interactive entertainment. So have you been impressed by these presentations?

It's actually pretty hard for me to gauge. Thing is, I've reached a point where fancy graphics don't mean anywhere near as much as they used to. They will always play a significant role in this hobby; after all, this is a very visual form of entertainment and very often, superior visuals enhance the overall immersion. There's no denying this. But as I get older, I'm more interested in originality and great storytelling, none of which I can determine in tech demos. I can hope the more artistic and dramatic aspects of the industry progress in the next generation, but there's no way to be sure of that based on a graphics showcase.

On top of which, I'm not sure if I'm merely looking at the expected evolution of video game graphics, which by default isn't exactly mind-blowing. In other words, it's almost as if what I see is what I would've predicted; the tech demos made me go- "Yeah, that seems about right." Better visuals than what we have now, of course, but not to the level of virtual reality or something like that, and I didn't expect such a massive leap, anyway. I guess what I'm really asking is this: Are those tech demos in any way disappointing as they didn't live up to whatever lofty expectations you may have had...?

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, ps4 tech demo, ue4, unreal engine 4

3/31/2013 10:06:03 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (26 posts)

Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:30:13 PM

yes but not enough, i was hoping for photo realism, not just more explosions and higher polycounts
who knows maybe they got more up their sleeves

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Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:44:18 PM

They are about what I figured as well, and maybe a little better when you consider those in-game Killzone shots.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 10:59:13 PM

Yes I though they looks awesome! Not quite the graphics jump I was hoping for but definitely a noticeable jump.

I can't wait to see what the developers are able to do with the ps4 3+ years after it is released!

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Sunday, March 31, 2013 @ 11:00:03 PM

There are only three reasons I can think of for someone not to be impressed with these presentations:

1 - If they were compared to some high end PC and not current consoles. I lived on Killzone 2, and based on the gameplay we saw of Killzone PS4, it's a marked improvement.

2 - Your expectations weren't curbed with reality. IE - Not everyone has over $500 dollars to spend on a console. You must understand that the gaming industry is not as strong as it used to be.

3 - It is time for you to move your hobby from all things "Playstation" since obviously Sony can no longer meet your entertainment needs.

Last edited by maxpontiac on 3/31/2013 11:00:29 PM

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 6:20:21 AM

The most impressive engine I have seen so far is the Unreal 4 engine.

It was originally shown off using a high-end PC, but then they showed it running on the PS4, looking just as good.

Being a high-end PC doesn't seem to mean much in reality these days. Graphics and software cannot keep up.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 12:02:29 AM

If the BF4 demo from that high end PC will run at 60 fps and look as good on the PS4, plus be able to play 60+ peeps online, like the pc, then I be impressed. Afterall, the BF maps were made for 60+ peeps. If you ever played it on the PC you would realize how limited the console versions reaally are.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 1:37:28 AM

I think what we've seen has been as expected. Impressive but not surprising. Much visual bling, flash and bang. But that's fine, it's how it has to be. Easy to see, easy to understand. Eye candy for the masses.

What I'm much more interested in is what *else* other than better graphics we can expect once the developers has explored the new boundaries offered by the new generation consoles. Stuff that's not so flashy to demonstrate but will have a broader impact on our everyday gaming.

What will the new powers mean in regards to AI and NPC individuality, player options and storytelling? What kind of worlds can the developers build around their characters now? What kind of life can they inject into their characters?
That's the kind of stuff that makes me *really* excited for the next generation. Not frame rates, polygons, textures and resolutions.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/1/2013 7:44:19 AM

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 3:45:46 AM

only thing ive seen so far that even slightly impressed me were epics samaritan demo they showed a while ago.
or even squares luminous engine.
this relies far too much on particle effects, it lacks intricate detail and the lighting effects the samaritan demo offered.
not to mention the texture detail!
everything else has been pretty eh, been there done that, nothing worth going and spending 5,6,7,8,9 hundred bucks on a new console for!
wake me up when we start building games with soft body physics, implement new types of engines like the voxel driven unlimited detail engine, and of course ray tracing.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:21:25 AM

Professionally speaking, Ray Tracing is a serious feature that might have to wait until next console generation.

I only state this because I run Chief Architect on my computer and without even including the PC I had to buy the software and tech-service has cost me nearly $3,000.

By all means, please explain (open question for all) how this ability can be made affordable for a video game system.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:39:41 AM

Thing is, the global illumination system Epic showed to us last year isn't being implemented for PS4.. at least yet anyway.
This was the 'breakthrough' leap in graphics Tim Sweeney talked about at last year's GDC. Anyone notice how the PS4 Elemental demo lacked the vibrant and more dynamic lighting from the demo a year ago?

Essentially, this type of lighting obeyed principles along the lines of ray tracing in tracking true direct and indirect lighting from a light bounce.

If the PS4 had the 2.5Tflops Sweeney asked for we would've seen it. As it stands now we're seeing stuff that look a lot like this gen just on hyper steroids. That's not bad of course. And it'll be impressive but it won't be the leap some devs had in mind.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 9:54:14 AM

and exactly why people are so disappointed!
epic started showing off so many cool demos of what they could do with more powerful hardware, then in they come with the tech demo they had shown at E3 the year before and it looked WORSE!
1 years worth of work, you would think it would look better not worse!
go google nvidias garage tech demo, that is souly built off ray tracing!

thing that pisses me off is we have the technology to use these things, there are engines out there already built for them.
but were never going to see them because no one is going to spend that amount of money making a pc exclusive!
whole point of bringing in next gen consoles was so PC would stop being held back by crappy consoles, and that has not happened its still going to be held back by crappy consoles!

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 5:49:16 AM

It may be pretty PC, but at least there's no Windows. ;-) I think it will be a wait and see kinda thing, but I'm glad they're not pushing digital downloads and always-online crap.

By the way, I seem to recall seeing many Sony haters (who are Xbox 360 owners) over the past several years saying they would boycott Blu-ray since it gives licensing money to Sony. I wonder if that means they'll avoid the new Xbox if it has a BD drive?

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 6:17:20 AM

Particle effects and higher polygon counts are necessary to improve the graphics quality.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 7:51:58 AM

I am impressed by Quantic Dreams character model demonstration. Especially how they demonstrated it through the polygon structure of all the previous games character models. It was impressive to see the amount of detail put into it.

But much like the Vita, none of the games captured my interest. I am not pressing on that matter too much yet as it is still early days, but I am hoping E3 will reveal a lot more for what the PS4 has in store.

For me it is up against the Wii-U, Which will have a new Zelda & Mario announced at E3. But already the idea of another Xenoblade has me hooked and I will buy the console day one as I consider that to be the titan JRPG of this age (Which is heartbreaking for me to say as before FFXII I was devoted to Final Fantasy.) But it also has the HD version of Zelda's Wind Waker, which I am also very interested in.

I have yet to see the PS4 offer anything even remotely close to that. A new Final Fantasy is to be announced at E3 Apparently and Now that I know Metal Gear Solid V is set for the PS3 a new Final Fantasy is really the only thing which could save the PS4 for me - & by new I to not mean Final Fantasy Versus XIII re-labeled as Final Fantasy XV.

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Norrin Radd
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 9:01:21 AM

1. Windwaker is one of the best video games ever. Period. And the HD version is making passing on the WiiU very difficult for me.

2. It's difficult for me, at this point, to compare the PS4 to anything currently released. How can we know what it has or even will have at this point in it's life cycle?

3. Unlike others, I am unashamedly a graphics whore. I expect each successive generation to offer improved A.I. and all the rest ALONG WITH fantastic graphics. I just don't buy into the either/or paradigm. You CAN have it all!!

4. WiiU is not considered a Next Gen system by developers (see comments of various developers on the web including the most recent by Epic games). It will not run UE4 and that does trouble me. The end of life rapid decline of Wii sales should have been a big red flag for Nintendo. The missed it and have released a console far less powerful than it probably ought to have been. This makes me sad - I am a also a Nintendo fan (still have and very occasionally play my Wii - yeah okay - mostly to revisit Windwaker, I admit). I was hoping for more from them this gen.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:47:49 AM

Oh as I said it is still early days yet and looking at the Wii-U's current line up it is utterly bare. But now that I am hearing of things to come I am getting excited.

I can understand the perspective of looking at Nintendos consoles as a generation behind. I thought like that about the Wii through this gen in gaming. But then at the end of it's lifecycle it got 3 magical games Xenoblade/ The Last Story & Pandora's Tower. Which delivered the JRPG experience that neither the PS3 or 360 had to offer within the last 5/6 years. I bought a Wii dirt cheap and got each one of them games and felt absolutely satisfied.

At first the PS2 presentation did bother me, but Xenoblade kept me hooked for 100 hours without pulling the strings with trophies. I was engrossed with the character and the world. the world as so detailed and vast that I got over the lower quality in graphics as it really made up for it in gameplay.I look at most of my PS3 games in my collection and they don't suit me as a gamer, most are very violent or shooters. Which I have gotten bored of now. I want games to be fun again, it seems as this gen has focused on realism it has lost the focus of enjoyment. I'm getting tired of every game I come across being dark and gritty. Which is why if Nintendo can deliver with this new Zelda, Mario and Xenoblade, I can be won over.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 7:54:17 AM

I'm agreeing with you on this one an "older gamer", what I'm looking forward to on the next gen console isn't necessarily "WOW" graphics. While upgraded graphics mean my screen can be "busier" without slow down, I'm more interested in improved AI and better storytelling which will more fully immerse me in the single player aspects. Yes, during MP these aren't as important, but I like the immersion of a good SP experience.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 8:41:00 AM

The idea of building a new console is to improve the following aspects: Graphics, Speed, Endurance, Connectivity, Capacity, Software and Interactivity. There is no point at all building a new console when the same game can be done on the current one.
From what I've seen, there was slight improvement in these things, especially when we all know that the level of technology in the world at this moment is so much higher than what we are getting in these supposed to be Next-Generation Consoles.
Console Game companies should make games like their PC counterparts; that means two consoles; a high-end one and a cheaper one. The same game (on the same disk) could work on both machines with difference in quality of course. And everybody's happy.

Last edited by Dante399 on 4/1/2013 8:41:45 AM

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Norrin Radd
Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 8:51:58 AM

Yes. Because doubling development costs is what all console game developers were hoping for!

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 6:37:03 PM

Norrin Radd: what are you talking about doubling development costs? Having two console skus with one for higher-end tech and a cheaper sku would hardly make a difference at all on development costs, since the highest-end sku is the full PC-version which already has the most detail of all versions, then they just scale down from that. That's simply a checkbox type thing where developers can choose what to enable/disable based on the power available on the system.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:17:39 AM

being an older gamer has nothing to do with graphics. that is entirely subjective. for me...being an older gamer means looking for originality in a myriad of sequels. our pop culture is over run with sequels. as a kid, that was part of the fun. there was always something fresh. there was no earthworm jim part 5. obviously successful franchises made sequels but nowadays even the ones that are marginal successes keep cranking out sequels. IMO its the same in the theaters. even if a direct to dvd does not sell all that well but it has a great redbox ranking, it will get a sequel.
as a gamer, i long for new expeiences. now do not confuse this, i do not want extemporaneous add ons such as the webcam or motion sensing; i want new IP games.

i have seen glimpes of the new PS4. quite frankly it feels like a slightly upped gaming engine i see it more as a jump from WII to WII u and quite frankly i am not on board with that. from what i have seen it is a jump in detail, not a jump in performance. maybe when the system it goes under 300 i will pick one up. for the short term future, i am going to test out Nvidia project shield. IMO that is the true future of the industry. and if it is a success, perhaps they could make a true in home console. all i have seen from sony is tons of peripheral and extra features. they are going the nintendo route and i for one am emphatically disappointed.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 1:21:36 PM

The tech demos looked good, but graphics aren't the only thing that matter to me.

Gameplay and story factor in more heavily in my book, and pretty visuals are just the icing on top of the cake.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 6:44:19 PM

Some tech demos I've seen looked pretty impressive, like the original Unreal Engine 4 tech demo, but they were run on high-end PCs. The scaled down versions we've seen for the PS4 look far less impressive...

Besides you can't really tell much from these tech demos since they are basically just engine rendered cut-scenes which always look a lot more advanced than what we get in actual gameplay graphics.

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 9:16:21 PM

I think this new generation is less about insanely real graphics, but more on running more things on screen and the overall playability. The graphics are a touch higher than what we have now, but that doesn't seem to be the main focus. Although that could be attributed to keeping costs down. But yes, I have been impressed with what has been shown so far.

Last edited by Reccaman18 on 4/1/2013 9:19:57 PM

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Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:40:34 PM

its not all about graphics but its definitely a selling point. i dont want immersion gameplay as much as i want high end visuals. they do not necessarily go hand in hand. the titles i enjoy most are usually artsy; catherine, persona 4, KOF 13, blazblue, rayman origins, El Shaddai...i feel these types of games have reached their ps3 limit. id rather go to a console that has a concept of power but at the same time offers me a choice in terms of OS. i love the ps3 but Sony has let me down twice as a manunfacturer. twice my ps3 has died. if the ps4 is keeping costs know what that means? cheaper parts and more service costs. no fucking thanks. i have an AMD phenom II black edition tower and let me tell you AMD is NOT what i hoped they would be. if i could go back i would get an intel. my AMD clone tower (non brand name build) crashes for no apparent reason all the time for the simpiest reasons like a cold room. faulty hardware and wiring and unstable motherboard. sorry but this is how i feel no amount of Ben Dutka spin can change that. also even the controllers are going to have more functions and thus will be more expensive and more breakable than ever.

what mainstream sites and PSX extreme do well is hype up the new systems. the more they sell the more advertising space is sold on this site.

what i want more than anything is a console that is ready for the future of gaming. what i see in the ps4 is something that looks like it shouldve been birthed in 2009. instead its a bloated plastic fetus made in mexico and with second rate labor no less.

i do not want to drive the stake into the heart of Sony as a consumer. As a consumer however, i have felt the sting of betrayal that every person loves to accuse Microsoft of doing. my original xbox never had a single issue. maybe that has changed with the 360, i never had any interest in finding out.

i feel Project shield represents true innovation:

a portable console that can be made into a home console with a single HDMI cable.
android and steam and other streaming gaming. memory that can be bought and upgraded by you the consumer via SD card slots. and also, the cutting edge Nvidia Tegra 4 chip. 72 cores of power. its like my toshiba excite tablet on acid power wise. if games i play come to android or steam i will be all over this. i think we will see a change. i want to believe in in the shield!

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013 @ 2:13:05 AM

Day 1 for me.

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