Looking Forward to the Transition to Next Gen Consoles: Part 4


PS4 controller

The week before E3 seems like the it is the perfect time to write a piece as to why I am excited to get my hands on these new consoles. As you saw in the first three parts of this series we did a look back, and a look forward to E3 so now lets look forward at what we will have about a 6 months with the next generation consoles assuming that the ps4 comes out in November and is the first one out. And while that may seem like a long time, it isn’t really that long at all.

Xbox One

Xbox One

First off if we’re going to talk about the excitement of the consoles that will be new for the next generation of video games, we need to look at the specs that we know. The consoles to no ones surprise will be much more powerful than current generation consoles which to be clear would be the PS3 and Xbox 360. The Playstation 4 is sixteen times more powerful than the Playstation 3 with 8 GB of DDR5 ram than the 512MB of DDR3 ram on the PS3. And the Xbox One has 8 GB DDR3 RAM over the Xbox 360’s 512 MB DDR 3 RAM. The Xbox One will also has double the memory space and cloud storage so space should never become an issue for the mandatory game installs that Microsoft seems to like now. If you have no idea what any of the above really means then don’t feel bad, I am not entirely sure either. What I am sure of is that video games moving forward should be much more advanced than it is now because the developers have more room to work with on the RAM and have more hard drive space to use up for in game saves should they need it.

And if you really start looking back to where you come from in video games we’ve come a long way. Consider the old Atari console and compare it to Playstation 3 and you can see which console is benefiting from years of technology advancement. And now we’re at a point to where the Playstation 4 and Xbox One will change video games again compared to Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Battlfield 4

Battlfield 4

So what can we hope this extra power does? Well from the looks of it, it already is making the games more advanced visually, for further proof of that check out the screen above for a recent Battlefield 4 screen and within the screen it shows the sun, a realistic explosion at looks like it could be some type of oil refinery, and if you look to the left you’ll see the sun hitting a wet surface and glowing off of a set of tires and the rubble from the explosion off towards the right near the bottom of the screen. You just would never get that level of detail in this generation because of the limits.

But that is what I expect from these consoles, in terms of sandbox games it should lead to more visual evidence of the carnage that you cause, such as bullet casings littered on the ground, the bodies of the victims stay in the same spot where they were gunned down or run over, with the expansion of the ram things like this should be doable. I expect to see a lot more as more games get deeper into the console cycle and developers can start taking full advantage of the hardware and they start to really push the next generations limits. Other visuals would be realistic damage to cars in racing games and games like Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto.

For sports games I don’t think it is overkill to expect surface deterioration in sports games, such as shoddy ice conditions in hockey and ripped up field conditions in football, soccer and baseball during the course of the season if it goes untreated. There is no reason these visual improvements cannot be done, they have a lot more power to add these small but important visual improvements. I think the important thing for sports games in terms of visuals is a nice looking presentation during the game and a good looking and responsive menu screens throughout the game. 

Another thing that I am excited about is the 1080p, I expect games to be running smoothly in 1080p resolution on the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Which means the game setting on your TV might become useless. The thing I find interesting is Sony is not trying to push the 4k with the PS4 with it’s line of 4k TV’s coming out. But I think once the PS5 comes out it will be there if not with even more advances in television technology.

Anyway moving on, it isn’t only scratches, dents, and explosions that I am looking for in terms of visuals, along with visuals need to have proper gameplay. For example if you’re playing a game with it raining or snowing, not only does it have to look good, but the gameplay also needs to be there otherwise it is all meaningless substance without any actual reward for playing through the game.

Watch_Dogs

Watch_Dogs

In terms of gameplay for sandbox and war games, I hope this means bigger levels that you can get into and out of. To further elaborate, in current generation consoles you can only enter certain buildings and it is typically not a high amount of buildings. So I hope that we can enter more buildings and make the most of the open world that it gives you. Who doesn’t want to be in one apartment and having a shootout with someone in the complex across the street? It would make for some interesting stuff I think. Along with more areas to go in and raise a little hell, I hope they give us more assets to do it with, such as new guns, and more capacity for holding bullets. Speaking of bullets and weapons, we should be able to see the main character changing clips and magazines on his weapon. I don’t think that is in any of the sandbox games I have played, so adding that would add an element of realism to a game that could benefit from the little things.

I would also like it to have realistic explosions. For example, if I blow up an oil rig or oil tank (which should be possible with the right weapons) I want it to have massive fires and have the fire departments go out to the scene but stay on that situation for a long time putting it out and you can see it slowly get put out over the course of time say 8 minutes (1 hour per minute of gametime like in Grand Theft Auto). And once it is put out there should be burn spots in that location, this would really add to the replay value of the game because it would let you go back and see the carnage afterwards.

I just covered weapons, I didn’t even touch the topics of cars or any other topic that could have been covered here. So lets get into cars real quick, I want to see an improvement in realism in driving for sandbox games on the next generation of consoles. I feel like driving is to easy in sandbox games, granted like in real life I suck at driving in them but still, there seems to be no risk/reward factor for ruining your car. If you car looks like the middle of an accordion then you probably should not be able to 1. operate the vehicle 2. outrun the police, so adding a risk/reward factor would make the game more enjoyable and challenging.

Need for Speed Rivals

Need for Speed Rivals

Also in sandbox games, I feel like the police are to easy to shake off in police chases. I feel more adrenaline when I am being chased on Need for Speed Most Wanted then I do when I am being chased in Grand Theft Auto IV, and it shouldn’t be such a stark contrast. However, maybe sandbox games can take a page from Criterion Games book and add road blocks and spike strips to sandbox games, it would add a new element and it would make the chases a little less predictable. Also missing is proper PIT maneuvers, that or they flat out miss them completely. Surely I think in Grand Theft Auto’s case they do this to add a little humor to their game, but the real laugh is at them. At least it should be.

I would also like to see more on the screen, I would love to be able to play online with hundreds if not thousands of players on the same map, for example, can you imagine playing Saints Row or Grand Theft Auto and having the ability to have a huge number of people on the same map either dressed as police, or as robbers it would be fun and enjoyable to play.

In terms of sports, it isn’t as difficult, they need to add better player physics, for example, if you tap someone from behind by tapping someone in the back on a tackle in football, he should not fall down on his face, he might be slowed down but should be able to regain his footing and keep running. In hockey player physics is going for a hit on a player that is bigger than you and what should happen is a slight bump especially if it is someone like Martin St. Louis hitting a Zdeno Chara, the contact should be light. But what about if Chara is off balance, then St. Louis should be able to at least knock him off his skates. In terms of baseball, one instance is having to players collide if they are both going for the same baseball and don’t make the effort to avoid one another.

I would also like to see realistic bounces of the balls or pucks on the playing surface, this is most prominent in baseball and hockey. In baseball anything can happen to the baseball, it can hit a bag, hit the pitcher, or roll down the line, hit a lip of grass and roll foul. It would be nice if this was better represented. Same can be said for hockey though with the pucks being deflected, blocked, and shot all the time, bounces and flipping in the puck is bound to be happen so I’d like to see it better represented in video games.

Along with ball and puck physics I hope that they can get rid of clipping, which is what happens when an object goes through a human in unnatural ways suck as hockey sticks through hockey players. Really this should be considered minor, but with the consoles new power it would be nice to see this addressed because it isn’t just that, this also happens when pucks hit the post, it hits an invisible space and it bounces out. So it isn’t just a little thing, it can be rather major in some games.

This is just some ideas I’ve had, if I had seen any gameplay in any next generation game I am sure I would have more to add to the list, but I think I did a good job scratching the surface on this issue for now. I am going to do a follow up after E3 to see if these have been implemented in any game and to what capacity, and which games.

Tomorrow is the last part of this series where we will look at the total overall picture of what games I am looking forward to not only for next generation, but this current console generation to.

Can you add to this list? If so what would you add to make the leap from the PS3/Xbox360 to PS4/Xbox One more organic (for a lack of better words) and enjoyable for you moving forward?

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Posted on June 6, 2013, in News, Special Features, Technology, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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