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Could Next-Gen Gameplay Look Like...Say, Advent Children?

These days, I'm about more than graphics. But let's face it; when it comes to new game consoles, everyone wants to know: Just how realistic - or maybe in this case, photorealistic - will next-gen visuals really be?

Oh, we can look back at the history of the industry and come up with some outlandish claims. I think everyone remembers the "Toy Story-like graphics" statement that raced through the community like wildfire; that quote pertained to the PS2, and I think we all know that it wasn't quite accurate. Some will argue we still haven't reached that point, but it's obvious that we've come a ways.

I also remember hearing something about next-gen technology capable of rendering the CGI we saw in "Final Fantasy: Spirits Within" in real-time. I'm not sure if that was ever actually said and if it was, I forget who said it. But with the new era of gaming machines looming large on the horizon, maybe it's time to start asking graphical questions...what about "Advent Children?" Could the PS4 manage that? I'm not referring to non-interactive portions of games; hell, we can do pretty amazing things with that already. I'm talking in-game visuals. What's next...? How much power can we realistically expect? The "realistically" part is difficult.

We've heard EA dole out some early praise for the next-gen consoles, but those descriptive terms, while encouraging, were pretty damn vague. Would it make sense to simply look at the graphical leaps in past generations; for instance, from the PS2 to the PS3? Or are we in the process of breaking new ground? Is it just a fool's errand to even guess? We're always surprised at what developers are capable of producing, so maybe it's better not to take stabs in the dark. Still, one can't help but wonder...

Tags: next generation, next gen consoles, next gen games, next generation graphics

9/26/2012 10:16:23 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (38 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 11:03:16 PM
Reply

No because no matter how much better they look once things are up close you can always pick out straight lines and polygons. That's why I think it was a mistake to move to in-game cut scenes over CGI for certain franchises. God of War III looks good but it's no moving painting.

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 1:45:43 AM

I disagree, a seamless experience to me is more important which is what ingame cinematics give. You still get some sequences in a impressionistic style in GOW anyway which I think is great.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 2:29:56 AM

I agree with you World but only because the tech isn't quite there yet. The advancements in graphics just over the past 20 years has been remarkable.

Compare the visuals of Megaman4 with Uncharted3.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 3:09:33 AM

I agree with Smokey, I appreciate the seamless experience too.
Pre-rendered scenes rather pulls me out of it. To have your avatar turn into a living being and back to a wooden doll over and over is only discouraging to me. It only rubs it in.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/27/2012 3:10:46 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:42:22 AM

If you played FFXIII-2 you'd know what I mean, the lack of pretty cut scenes was a big step backward. It isn't for all franchises like I said, but due to framerates and such you'll notice cut scenes have far less action and a far more standing around and executing pre-animated stances and wiggles while the action takes place far away from the uninteresting camera angles.

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 3:52:06 PM

@World
You are, of course, absolutely correct. Remember the cinematics in FFXIII or the ending in FFXIII-2 (even though it was a sucky ending)? The quality of those added greatly. Way more than today's "interactive" BS.

I do agree with LV, though, too. A big part of it is because our tech just isn't good enough to push through that kind of quality in real time. If it could, my tune might change. But until then, interactive cut scenes are only second best.

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fatelementality
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 11:40:21 PM
Reply

I think the shift will be so gradual that it won't be noticeable until it's already upon us. I remember buying Armored Core 2 (I think it was 2) & SF EX plus alpha before the PS2 was even released. I was severely under impressed with the graphics. I had late PS1 games that looked almost this good. Same thing goes with Gran Turismo HD when I downloaded it onto my new PS3. "This doesn't look much better than GT4" I said to myself. After developers get some adjustment time with a new system, then bam, something like GT5 happens. Look at Uncharted vs UC3, Oblivion vs Skyrim, etc.

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Condemnedsoul23
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:02:31 AM
Reply

I say yes. I mean look at Final Fantasy 13. That's not an incredible leap in graphics in my opinion but I also feel the hardware is only as good as the games made for it so with that in mind I believe only Square-Enix would be capable of pushing a game to that limit visually. No one else really has topped FF visually in my opinion.

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Ludakriss
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 4:40:21 AM

Pain and suffering comes with my next comment.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Grinds my gears though. Thinking about a FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUU....dreary game that pushed something so beautiful to the forefront of gaming.

Sigh. The hell with it. At least the sound track and visuals were divine!

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Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:06:41 AM
Reply

I hope so, I want there to be a definite boost in graphics for next gen. and with how good Ground Zeroes looked Advent Children quality is really the next step. Mind you you look at Spirits Within (As a visual reference and nothing else...) which was 2001? Do you think the PS3 matched that quality 5 years later... No neither do I.

So maybe hoping for AC visuals might be a bit much, but If the hardware and graphics for the next console don't take the leap what's the point. We have the Wii-U in a few months time. In my opinion it has only just caught up with with the PS3... Only soon to be taken over by the next Playstation 2014....

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homura
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:45:45 AM
Reply

Take a look at Agni's Philosophy tech demo. It will be amazing if they can achieve that.

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daus26
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 3:46:22 AM

Yup.. at least that's what Square Enix promised us. They claim that demo was running real time.

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xenris
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:05:44 AM

I saw them pause the demo, and play with graphics in it like the mans bear, and certain filters. They also moved the camera around. I'm pretty certain that it was indeed real time. They went through great lengths to prove it lol.

When games look like that I will know I'm in the future.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:44:00 AM

It won't matter if it's another crap game though.

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xenris
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:29:39 PM

touche

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SmokeyPSD
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 1:43:01 AM
Reply

I'm more excited about what games will be able to do behind the scenes more. In terms of environment processing, AI dynamics and organic processes so that games can almost be an entirely different experience each time you play. I remember Kojima wanting explosions in MGS4 to cause shockwaves to nearby structures due to soundwaves and have that read in the engine. They didn't succeed but the drive was there.

I'm over the wow of visual fidelity as in my opinion it has destroyed creativity of a lot of developers out there that have lost sight of what it means to truly be creative and utilize technology in powerful ways.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 3:19:32 AM

Wow - this is *exactly* what I am excited about too, Smokey. It's real cool to find others with that same perspective. It's really like you wrote straight off my mind in your post there.

I think what we want can be summarized in one world: Persistence.
Persistent AI, persistent "environment processing" as you so elegantly put it, persistent cause-and-effect, simply an overall more persistent game world. A world where pedestrians don't reset to default behaviour five seconds after they've had a friggin' *massacre* right in front of their eyes, where everything in the world is highly temporary and stuff just magically disappear or reappear the moment you turn your back on it.
Not to mention how everything in the world, from the tiniest little bush to the puniest roadblocks appears to be made by indestructible, unmovable *cryptonite*.

To give the developers the opportunity to add persistance to their games is what I am *dying* to see in regards to the next gen. Not the number of pixels or coats of eye candy. Not even the frame rate is that essential to me.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/27/2012 3:49:23 AM

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Ludakriss
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 4:45:07 AM

Wow, Smokey.

That was almost poetic. And yes, of course I agree completely. That's why borderlads is the only contender to match up to Time Splitter in any real sense.

Everyone else is so obsessed about realistic, simulation, blah, blah.

I only want to see "amazing" graphics if, the concept truly calls for it.

There is no reason to used Unreal Engine 4 on a Beavis & Butthead video game, you dig?

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Underdog15
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 4:04:24 PM

There's no reason for a Bevis and Butthead video game, period! :p

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Ludakriss
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 6:29:49 AM

Touche, Underdog. Touche.

Still the one on Sega console was quite fun if not crushingly difficult.

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SmokeyPSD
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 8:19:52 AM

Thanks guys

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 2:31:06 AM
Reply

Eventually we will get there but I don't believe it will be in the next few years. I think it can create a problem when a developer puts so many man hours into a game engine. Look at how much time SE spent making XIII look great only to skimp on the gameplay and storyline.

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Ludakriss
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 4:47:18 AM

*hat off*

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Ludakriss
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 4:36:13 AM
Reply

In short - doesn't matter.

Creed, God of War, Battlefield and finally Dark/Demon's Souls.

Only one of these games attempted to do an RPG. Everyone else is an action game with "elements" added. Annoyed & giving up I am.

What I'm saying is simple. Come back to some interesting, intriguing, FANTASY designs and if you can make 'em look LIKE Advent Children I'll bite.

Otherwise. No next-gen transfer for me.

Got the hint? Did ya? Mm?

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Zeronoz
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 5:21:35 AM
Reply

Still waiting for VR!

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Nynja
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 9:35:38 AM
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Real time gameplay will be able to achieve results near Advent Children quality by the end of the generation. I don't think the consoles will be powerful enough to render all the dynamic effects on the character models and environment simultaneously along with AI processing.

At the start, I expect games to be on the same level as Battlefield 3 on PC at 1080p running 60fps with maximum settings (possibly slightly better). By the second and third year we will see games appearing to rival the GTAIV enb series mod.

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Amnesiac
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 10:17:16 AM
Reply

Nope. They won't. Shadowing will get better maybe the environments will look more detailed but seriously look at the FOX Engine promo that gives you clear picture right there.
The buzz around that was displayed transparent clothing in a video game. That tells me that we aren't anywhere close to Advent Children in game graphics.

I heard all of this before as (pointed out) with the PS2 release and years later with the PS3. I'm done we aren't there yet-
False Advertising on anyone who says so.

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Comic Shaman
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:39:03 PM
Reply

The real question to me is less "can it be done" and more "can it be done cheaply."

There's a strange dynamic that goes on with dedicated gamers (I prefer to avoid the term "hardcore"). It goes something like this:

1) I want awesome graphics
2) I want more new and innovative IPs
3) I think games are too expensive at $60
4) I hate it when a developer I like says they're going to switch focus to (mobile gaming/Facebook games/free to play web games/etc.)

The thread connecting those factors is profit. The cutting edge of gaming is becoming increasingly expensive, and the lure of the oft-profitable casual market is huge.

The best way out of this I can see for the preservation of the cutting-edge game market is if the development tools get a lot better, so a handful of artists & developers can create graphics that it currently takes a much larger team to generate now.

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Comic Shaman
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 12:39:03 PM
Reply

I seem to have double-posted the above comment by accident, so instead I'll just edit this to say something else here. Something really controversial and off-topic, maybe. Here goes...

There are not enough good dinosaur games.

There. I said it. I stand by it.

Last edited by Comic Shaman on 9/27/2012 12:40:44 PM

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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 2:00:10 PM

I used to love dinosours that I would mimic Velociraptors!

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Comic Shaman
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 2:51:55 PM

So... clever girl, then.

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 2:18:59 PM
Reply

I am thinking the same as Shaman above me in the sense that "can it be done in a cost effective way". I believe a couple devs could possibly get those graphics from the PS3, however the game would probably only be an hour long(if that) and would cost a fortune to make. So, in short I believe the next gen consoles will be able to do it, but we probably won''t see them till later in the consoles life cycle.

The only drawback I see to having graphics that good are the devs that only focus on making games look pretty. Gamers by large want substance i.e. story, gameplay, fluidity, persitant worlds most can look past the graphics when the games have at least a few of those things in them.

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Knightzane
Thursday, September 27, 2012 @ 6:34:00 PM
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I wont lie and say FF13 was ugly, because it was gorgeous. That didn't change the fact the game caused brain damage and possible homicidal thoughts. I watched this LP'er on youtube and with each video of his lets play FF13, you could slowly hear him losing his mind. Kmaelstrom is his name, its hilarious and sad at the same time.

I still own FF7 AC and i think FF13 looked close to it. Of course it wasn't exactly the same but i think square will be the ones to deliver the graphics because as far as they know, thats all that matters anymore.

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Underdog15
Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 1:07:57 PM

Yeah, I think the CG in FFXIII looked close to it. But the in-game cutscenes, and especially the playable sections, didn't have that kind of fluidity.

Do you have the Blu-ray version of FFVII AC? It's like a completely new experience to the DVD. Highly recommended. Especially with the extra 20-30 mins of movie time. Fills in MANY blanks. -AND- it's actually watchable for people that didn't play FFVII. The DVD version makes no sense to someone that never played it.

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Caanimal
Monday, October 01, 2012 @ 2:09:03 PM
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Something I have yet to see anyone mention is the one other thing NEEDED to make graphics viewable.... The TELEVISION... Graphics are great, but if you don't have something to display them on then you have nothing. The next gen of TVs are out there, 4K TVs have already hit the market but at prices that make them out of reach for 99% of the human population, the cheapest I've been able to find was a 55" TV from Toshiba for roughly US$11,500, and a 84" from Sony for about US$25,000. What good is a console that can produce the type of graphics everyone is talking about if you can't display them? For the first 3 years of having my PS3 I had to play on an SD TV cause I couldn't afford a new HDTV.

I myself am more interested in an fun game than a beautiful game. IMO, everyone is focusing on "realistic" graphics when we need more FUN games...

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Cravit8
Monday, October 01, 2012 @ 3:08:08 PM

I think you are greatly confusing 4K ability with the difference between finally seeing on consoles what Battlefield 3 PC ultra settings are. I can confidently say what you think you want is 4K ability, but what you really want is 1080P at supreme fidelity.

The console vs PC is the same as a $200 compact point-and-shoot camera (with 4K sensor) vs a $600 DSLR (with 4K sensor) but a $2700 Leica lens on it . It's all about the lens, and in console vs PC, it's all about the graphic rendering.

Seriously, I watched a 1080p60fps Battlefield 3 and was immediately disgusted with how much AWESOMENESS I am missing on my xbox 360.
Search youtube for "EY0zmsEsBAM", then I recommend actually just downloading his high res video file (oddly wmv). It is simply unbelievable.

Our PS3 and xbox may do 1080, but it's crap 1080, and from what I think I've read many of the "effects" aren't even 1080, many are weird upscaled ~670pixel stuff.

What I DON'T understand is why can't Sony take that next step in hardware upgrade-ability? They let us do it with the HDD, why can't we have a box that with vacant slots for Sony proprietary additional graphcics cards? Like the default 1 card equals 1080/60, but 2 cards boost to 1080/120.

That way, the end user can decide what he is willing to pay for what graphic fidelity.

I don't think it would affect multiplayer anymore than me playing on 1080p vs the guy on 720p...the CPU and OS would still be exactly the same.

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Caanimal
Monday, October 01, 2012 @ 3:26:34 PM

Sorry Cravit, meant to say I've only done a LITTLE reading into the new 4K TVs, I don't know a whole lot about them and honestly don't much care about them until the price becomes more reasonable for me. What I DO know is the difference in video quality going from a SDTV to a HDTV, and what I said still holds, it doesn't matter what the console can do if you don't have a TV that can display it...

I know the difference between console and PC capabilities, I just built my new desktop and can play anything out there on the highest setting w/o batting an eye, or experiencing a drop in fps. But again, my screen is just 1080p and that's the most it will ever be able to display, even if a game/video/movie is made in a higher res...

Something produced at a higher res will still needs a higher res viewing device to display it properly.

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Widow Maker
Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 8:17:39 PM
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I'm tired of the "Oooooh! WOW!" Graphics, I'm older than most here, hardcore gamer since PONG...yeah...talk about pixels then! All these systems are a marvel, the graphics far out, groovy, and trippin the lights, but the stories lately? SUCK. Point blank, end of story, SUCK. I play RPGs, loads of them, if I suffered through Bard's Tale on the NES, to see that crap ending, I expect better from these next gen consoles, which, alas; still suck just as bad almost. Don't get me wrong here peeps, there ARE some good ones, BioShock, that was a helluva ride, and Dragon Age was epic, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was Epic, as was all the Skyrim series. Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, (yes, I beat those) were awesome in their rendering, and their storylines. I am slipping when it comes to SE though, Final Fantasy is getting to be, well; a joke. FFVIII Was wicked cool and hard to beat, and yes, even the copycat that is needed it's due...Legend of Dragoon. That rendered in HD would just suit me right down to the ground! Well, one can wish and hope....peace.

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