The lights are on
One of the biggest questions we've gotten from readers is whether upgrading to next-generation hardware will be worth the investment at launch. Unsurprisingly, publishers didn't take up valuable booth space to give us the answer.
Across the expanse of the Los Angeles Convention Center, we only found one game running on different sets of hardware: DC Universe Online. That title has seen a significant visual boost on the PlayStation 4, but the feature sets are identical across platforms.
We know that graphics aren't the only improvement we'll be seeing come this holiday season, as both platform holders and developers have been touting the opportunity provided by the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to create new gameplay experiences. Without knowing how features in different versions of titles like Watch Dogs, Titanfall, and Call of Duty: Ghosts will be differentiated, it's hard to know whether making the leap to next-generation consoles will offer more than just an improved aesthetic experience.
In other words, until developers and publishers let us see the feature sets and gameplay of both versions, side-by-side, we won't be able to let you know how much of an improvement the new hardware will make. Comparisons aside, next-generation titles look fantastic (though they offer nothing visually that PC gamers don't already expect). The case for investment in new hardware needs to be about more than graphics, though.
Will the increased power result in simple cosmetic enhancements or will gameplay experiences truly break new ground? This remains one of our biggest questions as we take our first steps into the next generation.