Game Developer magazine joins the next-gen hate train (Wii > *.*, Blu-ray sucks, etc)

Zombie James

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From the recent issue of said magazine, the editorial by a Mr. Brandon Sheffield:

Metal gear Solid 4 was a big console mover for Sony, and the game sold over a million copies worldwide. But how integral were the graphics and tech to that experience, really? If MGS4 had been released on the PS2, how many copies would it have sold? Certainly not less, and quite possible more.
Would anyone have complained if GTA IV had been released on the PS2 or a machine with similar graphic fidelity? I doubt it - everyone would have been able to like or dislike it as much as they did the next-gen versions. Graphgics don't make a game fun, and it is not nearly the best looking game on either the 360 or PS3 - yet nobody minds. The fact that Rockstar is releasing a GTA on the DS only pushes the idea further.
Sony has effectively won a war that is no longer being fought. It's been demonstrated time and again that the mainstream user is willing to watch streamed videos and movies on YouTube, or torrent them on The Pirate Bay, or even download them at only slightly lower quality from legitimate portals like the Xbox 360 or Netflix.
The PC is the place where this postulate holds the most water. The majority of gamers on PC these days do not need the highest-level graphics. World of Warcraft is a great example, and the multitudinous casual games only put mortar on the bricks.
Who is pushing this graphics and tech thing anyway? Isn't it just the people who want to sell tech? I don't think it's the average consumer. The average consumer doesn't complain about the graphics on the Wii, because they know what to expect, and understand the approach.
While the tech of the PS3 and 360 can make streaming and seamless worlds much easier, a lot of this can be done to users' satisfaction on the lower-end.
He ends the article by making a car comparison.

So, in short:

- Last-gen graphics are all we'll ever need.
- Developers should port-down their games because no one will care or notice.
- GTA IV on a PS2 would have been just as great.
- Blu-ray sucks because YouTube is popular.
- Casuals don't care about graphics, so neither should anyone else.

Of course, the funniest thing about this is that it's coming from Game Developer magazine, where every other page is an ad for new technologies and engines. In fact, the page on the immediate right of this editorial is an ad for NaturalMotion, which apparently didn't add anything to GTA IV.

:|
 

chandoog

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If MGS4 had been released on the PS2, how many copies would it have sold? Certainly not less, and quite possible more.
but hasn't MGS4 outperformed MGS3 ?
The average consumer doesn't complain about the graphics on the Wii, because they know what to expect, and understand the approach.
The average consumer needs to browse GAF more often :p
 

NumberTwo

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You hear that people? The Wii and PS3 can't co exist on the same plane of reality. We MUST choose.

I guess between the Wii and PS3 setting on my table one of them must be a figment of my imagination, because clearly a person can't enjoy both. That would be outrageous.
 

FightyF

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It's not a dumb mag, but that was a dumb editorial.

Not as dumb as that Malstrom stuff though, I have to say.

All I have to say in regard to this article...why didn't we have the same outlook when Sony announced the PS2? The PSX sold amazingly well, why did we need to move on?

The PS2 in turn sold like hotcakes when it hit mass market prices.

If the PS3 and 360 don't sell like crazy when they hit mass market prices, THEN there is an issue. We saw that with the GameCube and to an extent, the Xbox. But all indications are that both the PS3 and 360 are selling steadily well, and that when a price drop hits, many more adopt these consoles.
 

larvi

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I don't really see a lot of hate in those comments (other than the OP's reaction to it). It's a developer stating his opinion that gameplay trumps graphics for a lot of consumers. I share the same opinion and I don't think it breaks down along hardcore/casual lines. There are plenty of hardcore gamers who could care less about the graphics and plenty of casuals who just go for whatever is flashier without regards to gameplay.
 

Amir0x

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"The fact that Rockstar is releasing a GTA on the DS only pushes the idea further."

Stupid point. GBA had a GTA too. So did earlier consoles, but they certainly didn't sell as well as the PS2 originals.

The DS GTA is a top down GTA like the old games, according to the details we got.
 

Narcosis

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Topher said:
You hear that people? The Wii and PS3 can't co exist on the same plane of reality. We MUST choose.

This console war shall be settled in Thunderdome, only one can survive!
3 console enter, one console leave!
 
Who is pushing this graphics and tech thing anyway? Isn't it just the people who want to sell tech? I don't think it's the average consumer. The average consumer doesn't complain about the graphics on the Wii, because they know what to expect, and understand the approach.
This is actually truth though, Marc at EPIC has said as much.

He does not hate the Wii for what it is, but their revenue comes from selling a graphics and game engine that was never designed to run on the Wii, therefore their revenue stream comes from licensing their "tech" to the developers of the 360 and PS3

Regular consumers do not care what engine the game runs on (and therefore do not care as much about graphics or AI, etc) but developing a lower quality engine for the Wii would obviously hurt U3 engine "tech" sales.

Its an interesting read and brings up a lot of good points, but each one can be refuted or debated just as easily
 

Onemic

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Yes, because the PS2 would be able to easily have Havok physics plus euphoria.

Fuck no.

Anyone that says technology doesn't matter in gaming development is an idiot. Everyone might as well develop on PS1 SKU's because of the lowered costs then.
 

grandjedi6

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McBacon said:
I wouldn't watch a movie at YouTube quality, thats for sure.
To be fair, alot of people do and don't care about the lack of quality
 

ItAintEasyBeinCheesy

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Theres some truly retarded shit in that.

Would people complain if GTA looked like a PS2 game............ fuck yes.

Would MGS4 have sold more on PS2........... MGS3 says no, but hey maybe its got a larger install base so its always possible.

And the rest.
 

Kilrogg

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Wow, as much as I'm a Wii/DS fan and absolutely uninterested in the other current-gen consoles, I completely disagree with the guy (well, at least, the bolded parts). The arguments are poor, or phrased in a way that makes them false.

Embarrassing.
 

hauton

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Seriously, even if you reduced MGS4 to PS1 graphics, it would not have been possible on the PS2.

Not in any meaningful capability. You'd lose out on almost the entire experience.

Same with GTA4. That's not how those games worked.

You could say that for something like Genji, and many other "half-assed" games. But those two were truly "next-generation", regardless of what you actually felt about them.

In other words, that's a dumb argument and this guy is dumb for making it.
 

Vinci

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charlequin said:
This generation does suck, though I'm not sure why Wii should be exempted from that statement.
With the exception of Mario Galaxy? I agree with you. Again, the DS is the damn savior of this industry as far as I'm concerned.
 

Onemic

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hauton said:
Seriously, even if you reduced MGS4 to PS1 graphics, it would not have been possible on the PS2.

Not in any meaningful capability. You'd lose out on almost the entire experience.

Same with GTA4. That's not how those games worked.

You could say that for something like Genji, and many other "half-assed" games. But those two were truly "next-generation", regardless of what you actually felt about them.

In other words, that's a dumb argument and this guy is dumb for making it.
THIS
 

Culex

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onemic said:
Yes, because the PS2 would be able to easily have Havok physics plus euphoria.

Fuck no.

Anyone that says technology doesn't matter in gaming development is an idiot. Everyone might as well develop on PS1 SKU's because of the lowered costs then.
Reread the article! He says GRAPHICS don't matter, not technology.
 

sonicmj1

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There are certainly exaggerations here, and in many cases, the gameplay improvements to some of these sequels made possible by current-gen tech are glossed over as irrelevant. But the fundamental point is basically accurate, IMO. The returns from higher tech are increasingly irrelevant, and consumers have shown that they are satisfied with lower graphics fidelity.

Especially as development costs rise drastically, it's an important revelation, and more companies should keep it in mind.
 

MisterHero

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onemic said:
Yes, because the PS2 would be able to easily have Havok physics plus euphoria.

Fuck no.

Anyone that says technology doesn't matter in gaming development is an idiot. Everyone might as well develop on PS1 SKU's because of the lowered costs then.
They aren't saying that. They are saying that technology might become too much of a focus in making games. Indeed, production costs are getting higher and so is the price of the consoles themselves. They could have waited 2-3 more years so that costs could come down, but the high costs got them where they are, so nuts to them.

This is Game Developer magazine, not "tech that can enhance your games" magazine.

Congratulations to those who manage to sell lots of games though.
 
Sep 11, 2007
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Hey look at that, a dev that's stuck in time.

Would MGS2 sold as much as MGS1 if it was on PS1?~?!?!?!?@!#@@!#$%$%%^@ hur wut?
 

monchi-kun

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Who is pushing this graphics and tech thing anyway? Isn't it just the people who want to sell tech? I don't think it's the average consumer. The average consumer doesn't complain about the graphics on the Wii, because they know what to expect, and understand the approach.
Show the same consumer near CG-quality visuals posible on a more powerful console and their jaws will drop. This line makes it seem like "average" people lack the ability to appreciate high quality visuals.

Sure, they're not complaining...but that doesn't mean high fidelity visuals are not enticing to this set of players.
 

MisterHero

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Rapping Granny said:
Hey look at that, a dev that's stuck in time.

Would MGS2 sold as much as MGS1 if it was on PS1?~?!?!?!?@!#@@!#$%$%%^@ hur wut?
Would MGS2 have sold if it weren't called MGS and Raiden was the main character the whole time? :lol

Obviously there are other issues that go into game development, so this article shouldn't be taken so literally.
 

Andrex

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Game Developer is awesome, sucks they went to digital-only though. :(
 

Onemic

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MisterHero said:
They aren't saying that. They are saying that technology might become too much of a focus in making games. Indeed, production costs are getting higher and so is the price of the consoles themselves. They could have waited 2-3 more years so that costs could come down, but the high costs got them where they are, so nuts to them.

This is Game Developer magazine, not "tech that can enhance your games" magazine.

Congratulations to those who manage to sell lots of games though.
And he uses MGS4 and GTA IV as examples? Those are by far the worst examples you could use in proving a point about technology. If he wanted to prove a point aobut devs focusing too much on technology he should have used games like Alone in the Dark or The Bouncer. He just ended up making himself look like an idiot.
 

Omar Ismail

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It's so obvious what Nintendo did.

And the genius of it all is that it's all about honest-to-God good solid GAME DESIGN. Not any kind of revolution or crap like that. Just going back to basics.

Nintendo designs games with no assumption that they've ever played a game before. In EVERY game.

Designers have to go back to that kind of thinking. BAH. Stupid game developers.
 

AstroLad

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no way you could do a game like gears or LBP on anything below a top-quality system. reason being? it would look like shit.

/thread
 

tiddles

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The Wii has been successful because of the motion controller and the games designed to make the most of it... it sells in spite of the quality of the graphics, not because of them. If the Wii didn't have the Wiimote it would just be another Gamecube, and we all know how that turned out.
 

farnham

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FightyF said:
:lol Where you do you get your sports games fix? :lol :lol :lol


tiddles said:
The Wii has been successful because of the motion controller and the games designed to make the most of it... it sells in spite of the quality of the graphics, not because of them. If the Wii didn't have the Wiimote it would just be another Gamecube, and we all know how that turned out.

Whats the point of this statement

Without its fancy graphics and higher specs the PS3 is just a PS2 with an inferior lineup and the 360 is just another xbox
 

Starchasing

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monchi-kun said:
Show the same consumer near CG-quality visuals posible on a more powerful console and their jaws will drop. This line makes it seem like "average" people lack the ability to appreciate high quality visuals.

Sure, they're not complaining...but that doesn't mean high fidelity visuals are not enticing to this set of players.
Not really...

people like pretty graphics... thats all

most of them wont admit it and some of them think pretty=hd
 
Feb 3, 2007
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How this gens playing out;


Denial: - "Yeah, the Wii is a third pillar, wii60 / PSthwii ftw!"

Anger: - "Fucking casuals are killing real gaming"

Bargaining: - "Well as long as we get some of the big AAA titles, I don't really mind I guess"

Depression: - "If this gen belongs to the Wii I'm going to quit gaming. No, for reals."

Acceptance: - "Looks like graphics aren't the be all and end all of gaming after all. Huh."


OP articles at stage 5. Most of you posters are at 2.
 

MisterHero

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onemic said:
And he uses MGS4 and GTA IV as examples? Those are by far the worst examples you could use in proving a point about technology. If he wanted to prove a point aobut devs focusing too much on technology he should have used games like Alone in the Dark or The Bouncer. He just ended up making himself look like an idiot.
Fair enough, but how much would GTAIV have lost (technical-wise) had the PS3 started off at $350 and not $500-600?

Does the PS3 GTAIV benefit from being on Blu-ray? The 360 version seems to have done well for itself.

MGS4 is a bad example as it is more about stylistic choices, and maybe someone would dare to make a "360-
or even Wii-
compliant port" and it would still be very playable, just not with an equal level of texture-, model-, or sound quality the PS3 version had.

Online-wise, the games have progressed very well. But would that require the consoles to cost $400-500?
 

itxaka

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It has some valid points. The powerful hardware one is true, people don´t give a shit about graphics, they are drived to consume by different things. I believe this is a software problem as we haven´t seen too much advance in anything beyond graphics. Euphoria sure fixed some of the problems but there is much more in a game than just graphics and that is were all developers are concentrating.

The other points...well some stupid some kind of true. Torrents > BD is a given but there is more factors to that like money spent.

but hasn't MGS4 outperformed MGS3 ?
IMO MGS2 was the reason MGS3 selled that low plus ps3 owners were expecting a big ass budget triple A game which finish the history of Solid Snake, so not the same.
 

Cdammen

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Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Let's stop progress.

No but seriously. There's always another way of doings things and all three companies are trying out something new :)
 

Vinci

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tiddles said:
The Wii has been successful because of the motion controller and the games designed to make the most of it... it sells in spite of the quality of the graphics, not because of them. If the Wii didn't have the Wiimote it would just be another Gamecube, and we all know how that turned out.
WII CONFUSION FORCE
Population +1
 

hauton

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To everyone whining that GTA4/MGS4/*insert next-gen game here* would've worked, albeit with compromises, on the Wii/PS2/Xbox/GC/whatever:

Red Steel/Twilight Princess/Super Mario Galaxy would've all worked fine if they were hamfisted into normal controls. Except you'd lose the point of them.

Which is exactly the same thing with a game like MGS4.

It's a cinematic experience. It's not meant to be something visually and aurally average. You're supposed to be taken in and WOWED. Of course it would be possible on another console. So would GTA4. But at what loss?
 

Starchasing

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Cdammen said:
Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. Let's stop progress.

No but seriously. There's always another way of doings things and all three companies are trying out something new :)
so whats sony doing that is so new?