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Opinion Community Gen 7 & 8 - did we just live through gamings "dark age"?

Inviusx

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At the end of Gen 6 we had games that (for the most) were high performing, respected the user experience, were content complete at launch and were advanced enough graphically to not look like polygon soup (Gen 5, PS1, N64).

We also didn't have game companies that were corrupted by the pursuit of money over everything (brought about by the rise of internet connected consoles and the explosion of mobile gaming).

While Gen 7 and 8 brought about brand new experiences through online gaming, new lasting franchises with rich worlds to explore the rise of indies and the ability to recieve post launch improvements to enhance our existing experiences. It cannot be denied that we also lost a lot of what made the previous generations so memorable.

We lost games that performed well, we lost experience's that respected our time, we lost (for the most part) couch coop and split screen gaming. We lost our confidence in studios to deliver a complete experience to us. We had to survive a period were our experience was dictated by loot boxes and shady gambling practices that were always sold to us as "optional". We saw the rise of pay to win, subscriptions on top of subscriptions, always online being forced upon us.

While our games looked "better", it came at the cost of low frame rates, long load times and high input latency.

As we move into the next generation, we unfortunately have to drag some of these negatives with us however in my humble opinion we are starting to regain aspects of gaming that we praised Gen 6 for. Games will run better, our experiences will be snappy, fast. Our time will be respected by consoles that seek to elevate high speed over everything else. Were steering away from loot boxes and pay to win, we are starting to turn the magnifying glass back onto studios and publishers that don't respect their player base.

On the dawn of this new generation I invite you to think about the last 15 years of gaming and wonder if we actually lost more than we gained? Will the gamers of the far flung future look back at this period as a dark age?

If so well, congrats. You survived!
 
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Stiflers Mom

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I have been around since gen 1, and for me the switch over to 3d graphics were the dark ages.
Means, PS1, N64 and Saturn.

You had all these glorious 2d 16 bit graphics, which still look amazing today, and then were suddenly supposed to play jaggy or filtered beyond recognition shit with 7 to 12 frames per second that looked mostly like someone had puked on your tv.

3D Games started to look kind of okay in PS3/360 gen, and started to look great in PS4/Xbone gen.
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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I don’t think so. In such a tech-driven medium, every generation brings something new and exciting while losing something good.

Time loss from loading will be mitigated, but there’s no solution to the time loss intrinsic to bad game design that wants you to feel that the money you spent on a game is “justified”. Even with no load times, padding, filler and repetitive game design will still “not respect your time” for a long time from now. MTX and lootboxes will continue to make a lot of money.

Also, the majority of games never performed “well”, and back in the day there were no patches or DLC.
Your game was buggy and ran like shit, there would be no revision.
You paid full price for Street Fighter II, you’d pay it again for Turbo. And Super. And Super Turbo.

I think a problem with today’s market is that there’s simply too many games. Literally impossible to be an “expert of video games”, no way you can play even half of what’s out there, even if you didn’t have to pay for it. No way to know in advance if that little game ignored by review outlets could be a hidden gem or just another shovelware.
 
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ZywyPL

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Gen 7 brought an amazing opportunity that was the Internet, and it started pretty well, but sadly the more time passed it became exploited against the end users, with games being released unfinished, full of bugs and crashes, and the content being chopped out in order to be sold separately later on. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not completely against GaaS, I'm actually all into supporting the games months or even years after their release, but as always it all comes down to the execution, and there's simply a point where you know well something just isn't right, which is sadly the case with majority of modern games. Gen 7 brought MP to the consoles tho, as oppose to the "good old times" where it was just nothing SP or couch co-op experience, so that's a good thing.
 
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Humdinger

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Nah, I think you're just focusing on the negatives and complaints. There will always be those. There will always be pluses and minuses. It's not good to just focus on the downsides.

There have been many good games created this generation -- many masterpieces -- and two all-time great consoles (PS4 and Switch). Even the weakest link, Xbox One, had some good games and made huge investment in the future of their platform.

I'd say that's a pretty good generation, certainly not a dark age. Were there problems? Sure. Personally, I would point to the increased homogenization of games at the AAA level, rather than the issues you pointed to (MTs, technical shortcomings), but we all have our own complaints.

I think that overall, it was a pretty good generation.
 
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SkylineRKR

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I dislike Gen 7.

I do appreciate the online push, playing the majority of games online on console finally. But it was still gimped, Battlefield, bar BC2, was a joke on those systems (yeah its also been a joke now but not limited to like 24 players on huge ass maps). PS3 online play was free which was awesome. Was it worse than Live? yeah, but I could play MW1, SFIV etc on it rather decently.

The IQ was terrible, sub 720p smeared messes accompanied by a framerate that more often than not didn't even hold 30. It was seriously bad. These systems pushed HDTV's which were in a shitty state still. Updates while I wanted to try something out meaning I would shut the console off and do something else instead. I didn't like this gen. Some great games and franchises spawned from it, but those generally appear every generation. Not to mention how many long running franchises were burned to the ground because these publishers felt the need to CoDify everything. Japanese console output was generally mediocre on PS3 and 360. The likes of Front Mission were absolutely bastardized. Even DMC, which saw a good game early on, felt the need to go all useless with DmC.

Gen 8 has been solid for me. I'm still not sick of my PS4, while I already wanted to throw my PS3 out in 2011 or so. There are MTX issues, but I generally don't buy those games.
 
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ReBurn

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I don't think there was a dark age. I think there just weren't many new ideas so most games felt like some other game. It's getting tougher for me to find things that I'm excited to play because it feels like I have played it all before. That's why I play mostly single player cinematic games. At least with those I have the narrative to keep me entertained.

The dark age was back in the 80's when we were digging up scraps in the lead up to the NES launch.
 

Stilton Disco

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I'd call gen 7 the "dark age" in that everything went a bit grey-green-brown, overly serious or were trying too hard to appeal to the new Dudebro or casual market, especially with the motion controls fad.

Even then, there were still some absolute bangers.
 
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I'd say Gen 7 was like a "dark age" (though nothing compared to the Atari gen) because:

- Japanese games tried to become Western and became shit and lost identity (Mind Jack, Quantum Theory)
- Everything tried to be FPS-ish because of the rise of Call of Duty
- Lack of quality JRPGs (or even Japanese games) on home consoles
 

SirTerry-T

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I have been around since gen 1, and for me the switch over to 3d graphics were the dark ages.
Means, PS1, N64 and Saturn.

You had all these glorious 2d 16 bit graphics, which still look amazing today, and then were suddenly supposed to play jaggy or filtered beyond recognition shit with 7 to 12 frames per second that looked mostly like someone had puked on your tv.

3D Games started to look kind of okay in PS3/360 gen, and started to look great in PS4/Xbone gen.


Yep, the 5th(??) Gen was definitely gaming's "difficult teenage years" period.
 
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We also didn't have game companies that were corrupted by the pursuit of money over everything

This is just a flat out lie since this is all what companies are about (and everybody should be, but that is another topic). Are you too young or not too interested in gaming history to remember the ET fiasco in the 80s that almost singlehandedly killed gaming for the sake of a quick buck? Not that it was wrong (gping for the quick buck always is a valid option) but to say with a straight face that those tactics only came to be with the advent of mass use of internet is just a lie and seems like a heavy overdose on memberberries.
 
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Inviusx

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This is just a flat out lie since this is all what companies are about (and everybody should be, but that is another topic). Are you too young or not too interested in gaming history to remember the ET fiasco in the 80s that almost singlehandedly killed gaming for the sake of a quick buck? Not that it was wrong (gping for the quick buck always is a valid option) but to say with a straight face that those tactics only came to be with the advent of mass use of internet is just a lie and seems like a heavy overdose on memberberries.

Im not suggesting that companies of the past weren't also greedy, in fact there are far worse cases than ET from that era. I am of the opinion though that from the SNES era up to some time around 2005, publishers still felt like they had to offer a quality product to make a return, rather than relying on the weakness of man and his wallet.
 
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Im not suggesting that companies of the past weren't also greedy, in fact there are far worse cases than ET from that era. I am of the opinion though that from the SNES era up to some time around 2005, publishers still felt like they had to offer a quality product to make a return, rather than relying on the weakness of man and his wallet.

first of all: men were, are and will always be weak, it´s called human nature. Second: their wallet is the only thing of interest about them.

On the topic: the reason games of the cartridge era (implying no possibility to patch after launch) were "more quality" came because there was no possibility to change it after release. That meant (alongside the machine specific limits of the times of course) that games were proper tested on the one hand, on the other hand lots of games were jsut safe bets without risking too much. The ones that really changed the game, they are still out there in about the same frequency as always, the instant classics, the masterpieces etc.

What changed though is how people interact with shit games. If a game was shit (be it via review or, some might remember) you tried it at a store, you didn´t buy it and went on. Today, when reviews and such are much more available and it is as easy as never before to get a good impression, people still buy shit games and complain they are shit for the sake of complaining, because they get virtual reactions on their opinions, which seems enough for lots of people to trigger dopamin spillage. So in that way internet is a bad thing, it makes the consumer even more stupid than he already is. And that of course gets exploited by corporations and very rightfully so. Every day stupid people wake up ready to lose all their money, you just need to find them.
 
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GHG

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Gen 7 was the dark age.

Brown filters, bloom coming out of characters arses, diabolical performance on certain games on consoles, introduction of microtransactions, dude bro, online multiplayer inexplicably in every game, focus on achievements/trophies over organic discovery and reward, press a to win, dumbed down kiddy shit, 2 hour long tutorials, AAA, AAA, AAA, qte qte qte, etc, etc, etc.

Only time in my life where I took a multi year break from gaming, I thought I was done for good at one stage. Then I went back to PC gaming for good, discovered dark souls and my enthusiasm and hope were restored.
 
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Breakage

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Gen 7 felt as if the tech was struggling to keep up. It just had an aura of “we're trying to figure this stuff out”.
 

ZywyPL

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What changed though is how people interact with shit games. If a game was shit (be it via review or, some might remember) you tried it at a store, you didn´t buy it and went on. Today, when reviews and such are much more available and it is as easy as never before to get a good impression, people still buy shit games and complain they are shit for the sake of complaining, because they get virtual reactions on their opinions, which seems enough for lots of people to trigger dopamin spillage. So in that way internet is a bad thing, it makes the consumer even more stupid than he already is. And that of course gets exploited by corporations and very rightfully so. Every day stupid people wake up ready to lose all their money, you just need to find them.

I see it the other way around - back in the days (pre-PS360 era) we had demos, so everyone could try out the games before deciding whether to buy them or not, I mean, that was basically the only way the publishers could get to the consumers, and on top of that the press (because there was no other media) was made of nothing but real gamers, and nowadays there's no way to try out a game unless you already bought it (one of the main reasons F2P titles are so damn popular), and we can only rely on journalists, youtubers etc. who are giving 9's and 10's left and right and will do everything the big companies want them to do, so they won't get cut out from the content which gives them all the clicks and views in the first place, so as a result, people do have the right be pissed that they've been fooled into a crappy game, but on the other hand - it's nobody's fault that people are too dumb to judge the gameplay videos on their own, the popular "how can you tell, have you played the game already??" crowd you can often see even on this very forum, so I can hardly blame the corporates and the media for exploiting those dumb masses, those people basically put their pants down, stick out their asses, and expect not to be fucked... Companies are using all the available tools to their advantage, and will continue to do so, only because people allow them to, that's all it comes down to, we would never have day-1 patches if people wouldn't buy/pre-order games until they are actually completed, but the publishers saw they can easily get away with it, so it is what it is.
 
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reptilex

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This Dark Age is not finished it's Gen 7, 8 and 9.

Gen 1, 2 and 3 is considered the Bronze Age.

Gen 4, 5 and 6 is considered the Golden Age.
 

manfestival

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I think the performance issues were something that lingered more from Gen 5 but persisted till Gen 8. However, I did find that performance felt more consistent in gen 8 vs previous ones. Maybe this is coming from having Sony from Gen 6 on and have n64 during gen 5(those low frames baby).
 
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I see it the other way around - back in the days (pre-PS360 era) we had demos, so everyone could try out the games before deciding whether to buy them or not, I mean, that was basically the only way the publishers could get to the consumers, and on top of that the press (because there was no other media) was made of nothing but real gamers, and nowadays there's no way to try out a game unless you already bought it (one of the main reasons F2P titles are so damn popular), and we can only rely on journalists, youtubers etc. who are giving 9's and 10's left and right and will do everything the big companies want them to do, so they won't get cut out from the content which gives them all the clicks and views in the first place, so as a result, people do have the right be pissed that they've been fooled into a crappy game, but on the other hand - it's nobody's fault that people are too dumb to judge the gameplay videos on their own, the popular "how can you tell, have you played the game already??" crowd you can often see even on this very forum, so I can hardly blame the corporates and the media for exploiting those dumb masses, those people basically put their pants down, stick out their asses, and expect not to be fucked... Companies are using all the available tools to their advantage, and will continue to do so, only because people allow them to, that's all it comes down to, we would never have day-1 patches if people wouldn't buy/pre-order games until they are actually completed, but the publishers saw they can easily get away with it, so it is what it is.

Journalists were by very large numbers talentfree corpo shills in the 80s, the 90s, the 00s and are now as well. Only thing that came new into this was that it was easier for the common idio... i mean person to become a corpo shill as well, just call yourself influencer and talk clueless crap about games. And that is not even related to gaming, that is with every field of journalism, with consumer product/pop culture journalism even more so, because the dependence on the big players always was, is and will be there (although it comes through differently, for example the music industry does not throw too many huge cocaine induced listening sessions - the last one might´ve been the kanye one in wyoming. instead they sent you all kinds of merch shit and if you don´t perform in their interest they cut you off stream and throw sticks between your legs if you trying to cover stuff anyway). Nonetheless you´ll find a much bigger variety in opinions than back then, thus making an opinion for yourself got easier. it´s "work" nonetheless, a work lots of people just aren´t capable of doing (anymore). And for the very lazy there is metacritic, but even that seems to be too much to handle for lots of people.

The Demo portion, yeah that´s true, magazines don´t do that anymore. like the "teststations" dissapeared in large department stores, small video game specific stores disappeared almost entirely and if they exist they hardly play any games anymore (not considering the rona circumstances). Nintendo brings it a bit back with downloadable demos for some games on the switch.


And make no mistake, i don´t talk about the very very very small amount of people who show interest in the subject and hang out around forums like this and are engaged in discussions. I talk about the general audience and the "mass market", that is where the bread and butter for those corporations lies anyway and they take advantage where they can, rightfully so.
 
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ZywyPL

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I think the performance issues were something that lingered more from Gen 5 but persisted till Gen 8. However, I did find that performance felt more consistent in gen 8 vs previous ones. Maybe this is coming from having Sony from Gen 6 on and have n64 during gen 5(those low frames baby).

It's hard to judge, because now we have all the upscaling/dynamic resolutions, whereas back in Gen 7 there was no way to avoid frame drops in intensive scenes, because the resolution was fixed, and now we have more stable framerates, but at the cost od dropping down the picture quality, so I'd say it's even, but with Gen 8 having so much better results on teh gameplay.
 

manfestival

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It's hard to judge, because now we have all the upscaling/dynamic resolutions, whereas back in Gen 7 there was no way to avoid frame drops in intensive scenes, because the resolution was fixed, and now we have more stable framerates, but at the cost od dropping down the picture quality, so I'd say it's even, but with Gen 8 having so much better results on teh gameplay.
Picture fidelity is another issue all together. Though it is far more complicated and nuanced than framerates. Your post just further affirms my thoughts on this generation having better frame rates(which is what I was referring to) than those in the past. Gen 7 was so bad.
 

Andodalf

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I'd say when gaming almost died was the Dark Age, not the period of time that saw it grow more than ever into the mainstream.
 

Insolent

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7 is the worst (ps3 and xbox 360)
so much shit laggy games with boring game design

8 is a little bit better, but still meh
not a lot of good games

I think 9 will be better
10 gonna be like good ol times
 
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Fbh

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Some of my favorite games from all time were on Gen 7 and 8 so I disagree.

Not to mention bad framerates and performance issues have been a thing since the jump to 3D.
Just look at some of the most beloved PS2 games:
God of War 2 had an awful unlocked framerate constantly jumping around from everything between the mid 20's to the mid 30's.
Shadow of the colossus runs at like 15fps
San Andreas runs in the mid to low 20's and only seems to reach 30fps when looking at a wall or during some cutscenes.
MGS3: Consistent and fairly frequent drops below 30
 
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losslessFlac

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I wish split screen gaming made a comeback. This gen, there's even larger TVs and enough console power to render multiple high quality screens.
Look at that single player horror game with 2 screens.
 

Bonfires Down

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N64 was the Dark Ages. Blur filters out the ass and sub 20 fps galore. But still worth it for Ocarina and Star Fox 64.
 

SkylineRKR

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Some of my favorite games from all time were on Gen 7 and 8 so I disagree.

Not to mention bad framerates and performance issues have been a thing since the jump to 3D.
Just look at some of the most beloved PS2 games:
God of War 2 had an awful unlocked framerate constantly jumping around from everything between the mid 20's to the mid 30's.
Shadow of the colossus runs at like 15fps
San Andreas runs in the mid to low 20's and only seems to reach 30fps when looking at a wall or during some cutscenes.
MGS3: Consistent and fairly frequent drops below 30

I think 3 ran a bit like 4 on PS3 tbh.

MGS2 on the other hand ran excellent. The PS2 actually had quite a bit of 60fps games. I think much more than the PS3 did. Also RPG's like Star Ocean and Vallkyrie Profile, or games like Onimusha, Castlevania, ZoE etc. Pretty much all platform games too. And most of the racing games.

As for GTA, I think 4 didn't run that great as well and it had a fuzzy IQ.
 
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Belmonte

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First half of Gen 7 was the dark ages for me.

Because of the dev cost everyone was trying to be the new COD/ Gears of War, Japan didn't transition well into new hardware (heartbreaking stuff after the insane high quality from PSX and PS2 days), indies were only beginning and lots of AA studios dead since they were bound to sell their games at $60 because digital distribution was in its infancy.
 
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Arcadia88

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I don't remember what gen number is with what machine. But one thing is for sure. The Xbox one Jaguar was a bottleneck. More like the cap on a bottle of squeeze jelly. Squeeze hard enough and jelly will squirt all over the table.
 

SafeOrAlone

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Yeah, this gen was pretty dark for me. Some of my absolute favorite games come out every generation, and this was no exception, but slime oozed in nearly every pore, in the form of micro-transactions, loot boxes, "games as a service", etc.
 

Fbh

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I think 3 ran a bit like 4 on PS3 tbh.

MGS2 on the other hand ran excellent. The PS2 actually had quite a bit of 60fps games. I think much more than the PS3 did. Also RPG's like Star Ocean and Vallkyrie Profile, or games like Onimusha, Castlevania, ZoE etc. Pretty much all platform games too. And most of the racing games.

As for GTA, I think 4 didn't run that great as well and it had a fuzzy IQ.

I know. I'm not saying Ps3/360 didn't have framerate issues.
I'm just saying it was in no way the gen where "We lost games that performed well " as OP is claiming it to be. A lot of big games having bad framerates has been a thing since at least the early 3D era.
 

SaturnSaturn

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no, this gen will be the dark ages, mark my words. (in terms of mechanics, fun gameplay and stories, not performance)
 

Moogle11

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Nah. I started gaming seriously with the NES, with a little bit of Atari when I was too young to really get into it. These past two generations are among my favorites. Right up there with the 16 bit generation as the eras I've played and enjoyed the most games. My tastes shifted to easier, more story-driven things so AAA gaming trends have moved in ways that have meshed with me--MT driven service games aside, but I'm drowning in things I want to play even avoiding most of those. I'm not that fussy about frame rates, graphics etc. I like when games look and run well of course, but few AAA games have issues on those fronts that really hurt the experience for me.
 

Amiga

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At the end of Gen 6 we had games that (for the most) were high performing, respected the user experience, were content complete at launch and were advanced enough graphically to not look like polygon soup (Gen 5, PS1, N64).

We also didn't have game companies that were corrupted by the pursuit of money over everything (brought about by the rise of internet connected consoles and the explosion of mobile gaming).

While Gen 7 and 8 brought about brand new experiences through online gaming, new lasting franchises with rich worlds to explore the rise of indies and the ability to recieve post launch improvements to enhance our existing experiences. It cannot be denied that we also lost a lot of what made the previous generations so memorable.

We lost games that performed well, we lost experience's that respected our time, we lost (for the most part) couch coop and split screen gaming. We lost our confidence in studios to deliver a complete experience to us. We had to survive a period were our experience was dictated by loot boxes and shady gambling practices that were always sold to us as "optional". We saw the rise of pay to win, subscriptions on top of subscriptions, always online being forced upon us.

While our games looked "better", it came at the cost of low frame rates, long load times and high input latency.

As we move into the next generation, we unfortunately have to drag some of these negatives with us however in my humble opinion we are starting to regain aspects of gaming that we praised Gen 6 for. Games will run better, our experiences will be snappy, fast. Our time will be respected by consoles that seek to elevate high speed over everything else. Were steering away from loot boxes and pay to win, we are starting to turn the magnifying glass back onto studios and publishers that don't respect their player base.

On the dawn of this new generation I invite you to think about the last 15 years of gaming and wonder if we actually lost more than we gained? Will the gamers of the far flung future look back at this period as a dark age?

If so well, congrats. You survived!

Gen 8 made self publishing viable. studios can go direct to the consumer with no need for publisher. small studios can grow to midsize to multi-billion like CDPR. Bungie now can self-publish. if this was possible in earlier Gen 7 studios like DICE/BioWare/Respawn would be independent. so I see gen 8 as a great rebirth for the industry.
 
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PSlayer

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Gen 7 was really bad overall:

1)Japanse developers went to shit trying to be EA(fuck capcom)
2)Weird console designs that were hard to dev to resulted in bad ports and linear corridors
3)Western games were generic dudebro shooters
4)Awful piss filter and washed out colors everywhere.

It did give us the souls games tho
 
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Nickolaidas

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I have been around since gen 1, and for me the switch over to 3d graphics were the dark ages.
Means, PS1, N64 and Saturn.

You had all these glorious 2d 16 bit graphics, which still look amazing today, and then were suddenly supposed to play jaggy or filtered beyond recognition shit with 7 to 12 frames per second that looked mostly like someone had puked on your tv.

3D Games started to look kind of okay in PS3/360 gen, and started to look great in PS4/Xbone gen.

My only objection is that 3D started looking acceptable since the PS2 era. PS1, N64, Saturn and half of the Dreamcast were shit.
 
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Old_and_Slow

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Gen 7 was the second dark age for consoles overall.

Too many big budget games with big problems across the generation. Development costs went up quickly. Cost cutting by the publishers and developers really showed itself. Hardware from companies not named Nintendo had problems for years, finally fixed but not excusable.

Gen 8 and the upcoming 9 are a dark age for software ownership and rights to access that software.

Subscription service? Great! All the games for $15 a month! For the platform holder it's $15 a month from everyone you can get on the service. Weather they play all the games or none of them. For the consumer to watch for: Games can be removed at any time and made un-playable. Even if it's loaded on your device. You could purchase and finish your playthrough, unless the game has left the service altogether, then ??? Worst case to be sure but it has already happened and will continue. Amazon Prime is currently in a lawsuit for removing digital content that has been purchased to own. Amazon argues their customers purchased a license, not any actual content. Amazon's licenses for content can expire at any time, says it all in the EULA that you agree to when you make your "purchase".

I'm sad to see gaming heading down the same path as the music industry- no one owns any of the songs, everything is streaming and thrown away when the next set of content comes along. Just to keep that steady $15 a month rolling in.
 

yurinka

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It wasn't a dark age, there were tons of great games on both 7th and 8th generation. Very likely they both had more excellent games than any previous generation simply because now they got way more games, which means more crap but also more games for the specific niches that may appeal to each player.

7th generation saw the best selling home console ever for both MS and Nintendo, while the 8th had the PS4 which is on track of beating (or already did) many gaming history records and also saw the DS as the best selling portable ever.

Plus they had the best portables ever made too: PSP and Vita.

These generations also saw important innovations that are important now or will be in the future like achievements/trophies, game streaming (borh Remote Play and from the cloud), online multiplayer going mainstream, VR or motion controls, self published indie games on console, download only games, game subscriptions and so on.
 
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