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Has this Generation of Consoles overstayed its welcome?

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  • I was listening to last weeks GI Show Podcast and Reiner made an interesting comment.  He claimed that this current console generation has gone on for way too long.  If I remember correctly, I have heard this same sentiment echoed by others, including developers.

    What exactly is Reiner (and others) getting at with this claim?  Is it purely a matter of technology stagnation?  Or does the industry just need an influx of money and enthusiasm that would come from major new console releases?  Maybe I am way off base or only scratching the surface here.  I would love to hear anyone's theory on this.

  • All I think  that means is, the systems where around way to long and new consoles should have came out months, or even a year ago. Thats what I am getting from it.

  • Thanks, Dawson, I really appreciate your comment, especially since it was the first time I ever posted in a forum!   I think you are 100% correct in your assessment.  

    Why do you think some people feel new consoles should have come out much sooner?  Some of the newer games coming out now look gorgeous, even while using this "old" technology.  Don"t get me wrong, it feels like its about time now to see brand new systems coming out, but I don't feel like Microsoft/Sony waited TOO long.  What am I missing?

  • Right now for me consoles are holding back what game developers can do.  They are stuck using 500mb or memory on 360 and 256mb on PS3.  Most smart phones out right now are using 1gig of ram.  Yes there are some amazing looking games coming out on consoles, and we should not expect a huge jump right out the gate with new consoles.  

    What we dont see though is how much time and money is being spent to get those graphics to run on the current hardware.  It is a huge reason for how extreme some of the game budgets have become, it takes a team of 15-25 people 2 years to get those graphics to run smoothly.  Where as if they had modern hardware to work with they could get the same results in 8 months since they would not need to constantly rework the code.  

    Beyond the graphics new hardware also brings greater processing power allowing for many more things.  We will get improved AI (both friendly and enemy) larger zones, better hit detection (bullet and environment), better physics, and so much more.  If you watch the industry you will see there is roughly a dozen new game engines in the works or ready to go that will give developers a huge selection of new tools to play with.  But these engines are not going to run on current hardware.  

    We're sorta like 7-Eleven. We're not always doing business, but we're always open.

    Steam - palor700   XBL - LooneyPilot   paxgaming.com

  • Your welcome john, You arent missing anything! Its just your opinion and you just have to realize that people have other opinions. I cant help you with what you are missing because so far, it doesnt seem like you are missing anything. Just think about it and you will understand. (: But if you got another question, Im up for it.

  • Thanks, Palor, brilliant answer, and a perfect illustration (for me) of the dilemma facing developers at the close of a console generation.  I had no idea of the inefficiency involved in programming on and for outdated tech.  

    Also, it now makes sense to me why you see the dearth of new IP at the twilight of a system's lifespan.  Based on what you said, I can only imagine the amount of resources sunk into R&D for new console hardware at this time.

    Thanks for the enlightenment; it was like finding a missing puzzle piece that helps you grasp the big picture.   It also has me stoked to see all of the benefits that come with new, advanced engines.  

  • Thanks for the reassuring words, Dawson, you are a good soul!  I really am thankful that you are so willing to interact with a newcomer.  I am sure we will cross paths again.

  • Ha, yup, your a newcomer? Well welcome! HaHa if you need help with anything such as blog's or forums, or just plain out anything... Ask me about it. Oh, and once your level 5 maybe you want to do a blog or two and see if you life it. Welcome to the site and I hope you have a good long stay!

  • If ya  asked me last year if these consoles were over the hill i would have said not,but new consoles have to happen this year.it's now year 8 and that seems the perfect time to move on up.Have a ten year life cycle, release in year eight and then support for an additional 2.

    Most of , if not all journalist  are asking for new consoles as it around the web as there would be knew stuff to cover and such.I'm sure their tired of covering the same things and the industry also need  a shot in the arm.

  • Good call, Chris.  After hearing what you and others have chimed in with regarding this topic. I am definitely in the same camp.  The industry really NEEDS the bump that would come with new consoles...as it is now things are getting a bit stifled and the console market has ceded a lot of ground to the phone/tablet demographic.  

    On the bright side, a 10 year life cycle proves that this generation of consoles was a runaway success.  Also, it should be a blast to see the new hardware take shape in this era of the Internet (I am looking at the Twitters and the tech blogs of the world).

  • What Palor said.

    Let them hate, so long as they fear.

  • I feel like consumers get ripped off in the console market so I am glad they have been here this long. It keeps the industry on the same page, unlike of gaming which is so broken up because of the need to constantly purchase new hardware.

    A long console life is how companies return on their investment and consumers get the most from their money and games.

  • Bustin:

    I feel like consumers get ripped off in the console market so I am glad they have been here this long. It keeps the industry on the same page, unlike of gaming which is so broken up because of the need to constantly purchase new hardware.

    A long console life is how companies return on their investment and consumers get the most from their money and games.

     

    Are you trying to say unlike PC gaming?  See this is a common misconception about PC gaming.  Sure if you want to continue to run every game at max settings with 60fps you will need to upgrade every 2 years or so.  Yet if you are willing to turn of AA, cut back on some of the textures an $800 computer can easily last you 6-8 years and it will still be on par with consoles graphics wise.  That sounds like a lot of money till you break it down.  Many PC games are $10 cheaper, through steam and desora you can pick up many great games for under $5,  plus the F2P market is actually starting to have some great games where you can essentially game forever without spending a dime.  The cost of PC gaming is front loaded, but once you buy in it can in fact be cheaper than consoles in the long run.

     

    Something else to keep in mind is moore's law and how computer processing power doubles roughly every 2 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law

    So if Sony and Msoft invest an equivalent amount of money in hardware as they did with the current generation we are looking at roughly 4X more powerful consoles.  That is a big step up, that we may not directly see in graphics but it gives developers so much more power to play with.  I understand the people that don't want to invest in new consoles every 6 or 8 years, but I don't think they should hold up the industry because of those people.  Perhaps they could find a decent middle ground and continue to support 2 generations of consoles.  Naughty Dog could say release Uncharted 4 on both PS3 and PS4.  The PS3 version would be a stripped down version of the game.  It would be similar to how developers would make a special version of a game for the Wii in this current generation.  This way a single console could last 10 maybe 12 years and at the same time we could get new hardware out there in a timely manner.

    We're sorta like 7-Eleven. We're not always doing business, but we're always open.

    Steam - palor700   XBL - LooneyPilot   paxgaming.com

  • Pretty valid point.  Due to the rise of Indie Gaming and the whole Steam phenomenon, PC gaming is becoming a very viable option for myself, especially at the reasonable prices that come with building your own conservative rig these days.  I know that I will have an interesting choice to make when it comes time to choose the next hardware that I will invest in with my limited gaming budget.

    Palor, since your last post, some Durango specs have allegedly leaked.  If these are genuine, do they represent the 4x increase in power that you speculated might come with the next generation?

  • The 360, has a 3 core processor running at 1.06ghz a core or 3.2ghz overall, Durango apparently has 8 cores each at 1.6ghz or 12.8ghz of combined power

    the 360 GPU is capable of 240 GFLOP where as Durango is at 1.2 TeraFlops (1000 GFLOPs = 1 TeraFLOP)

    And of course 512MB or Ram compared to 8 gigs.

    So on paper it is scary how close to exactly 4X more powerful Durango is other than Ram which is 16x more.  Of course 512 was actually low for when the 360 released.  It is hard to tell from a spec sheet just how powerful a console, or even a PC would be.  Depending on the bridges and how they do all the interfacing a 4X performance increase seems very reasonable, possibly even closer to 5X.  

    We're sorta like 7-Eleven. We're not always doing business, but we're always open.

    Steam - palor700   XBL - LooneyPilot   paxgaming.com

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