The future of consol gaming

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by eagle33199, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    I'm getting a little tired of all this political talk (not that i won't still participate :))... so i figured i'd see what people's thoughts on the previous next gen gaming consoles are, and how it'll effect future next-gen products. A quick recap:

    x-box 360 - sold something like 600,000 units in its first 2 months, and something like 3.5 million in the first 6 months before supply caught up to demand.

    PS3 - sold about 600,000 in the first 2 months, and you can regularly find them on shelves already, indicating that supply is equal to (or greater than) demand only 3 months after launch.

    Wii - shipped 4 million in the first 2 months, with supposedly all of them being sold (no one is really sure on ship dates versus sales dates), but even given that, we're sitting here 3 months later and people are still lining up hours before store openings to get their hands on one.

    So, does this mean that the innovative controller on the Wii will become standard for consoles in the future?

    Just interested in peoples thoughts... to date i haven't played a PS3 or a Wii, but do plan on buying a Wii when i can (PS3 is just too expensive to justify right now...) - according to iTracker, there are none on shelves in my area.
     
  2. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Member

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    Spew from a computer science guy who has worked primarily in human-machine interaction R&D companies most of my career:

    You are seeing more and more products that incorporate accelerometers (like the Wii controller). Not because of the Wii, but because accelerometers are useful tools in the areas of "contextual computing" (making devices more aware of their surroundings). Personally, when I see game console output move away from stationary TV screens and more integrated with the environment, I would consider that a breakthrough. Think wearable computers.

    Personally, I bought a PS3 as a tool and platform to hack around in. I have some work I do where I have about half-a-million+ processes that could all run in parallel (some genetic algorithm stuff). I think the cell processor in the PS3 has potential to help me with this, but it means I've got to learn a set of nascent tools to do this. I think the payoff is there though.

    In my mind the Wii and xBox are simply dedicated game consoles and don't excite me at all. The PS3 has a lot more potential for having an impact on advancing the state of computing in general.

    Also, Linux capable devices like the PS3 have a history of attracting lots of talented & eager folks who do marvelously geeky things with it. I am betting that a hacked PS3 shows up on the cover of Make magazine within the next 12 months.

    At $599 for my purposes it is a great bargain. I also get free BluRay from it. But of course, people buy these things for gaming, so my reasons for purchase have nothing to do with what the masses desire. For the simple reason you mentioned above (price) you are seeing a lot more people gravitate to the Wii.
     
  3. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    I considered the PS3 as a cheap powerful compute engine as well, but it has far to little HD and memory to be a real work horse. I've seen people running linux on it but they only have access to something like 128MB of ram. i don't think it will work well for anything else but gaming/multi-media (which is does great). I would like to hear what you think you can run on it that will run faster then on a DELL? For $599 you can get quite a bit of DELL machine as well!

    The WII hit a sweet spot in price. It is mainly aimed at kids and they make the price low to draw in the parents. I think it has some cool ideas with the controler, BUT microsoft and other have tried this before and it gets old quickly. The graphics on the WII is far behind what PC/XBOX360 and PS3 can do. It's actually less powerful then the old XBOX (I heard). I think the casual gamer will be drawn in by the wii but quickly get bored. I think gamers will go for a more powerful box. I think Nintendo is executing their strategy well!

    I like the XBOX360 mainly because it has built in Media Center Extender. This allows be to only have one box (the 360) next to my TV and I get all the functionality of a TIVO and a game console and music center. That is attractive to me as it frees up my living room. This requires a PC running Media Center and so far there is no good solution for HD TV recording but Vista should solve that (and this is the only reason I'm not buying a HD yet). I think Microsoft is executing their plan ok.

    I like(d) the PS3 as it seemed more powerful then the XBOX360 and Sony is the consol leader. From games I have seen they are only on par with the 360. It will be interesting to see if they actually are able to break away from the 360. I think sony did a mistake with the Blu-Day player. They might win the next gen DVD war, but I actually don't think people will care much as I think we will be downloading movies soon. Adding the blu ray made the consol more expensive. It also don't seem like the PS3 has any TIVO functionality though it handles pcitures and music "cooler" then the XBOX. I'm not sure Sony is executing their plan well.

    It will be interesting to watch.
     
  4. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    honestly, i think Nintendo's ploy to intentionally ignore graphics is the way to go. There's a lot of hype about "life-like" graphics, but from a gaming perspective, what does that really get you? just a prettier interface. The old standards - GTA, Halo, etc - are starting to get old and wear on people, IMO - it's all just the same thing, over and over again. and even the newer games like GOW are just the same old games with new interfaces. Tell me one significant difference between Goldeneye multiplayer and Halo multiplayer other than online connectivity - they're pretty much the same game concept.

    How long can people go playing the same old tired games? I know i've already gotten bored with most of them. racing games are racing games, FPS are FPS. What is the personal benefit of having better graphics for a game? after a while, it just doesn't matter.

    Then comes the Wii - we get a different way to control it. Suddenly, playing the games becomes less about the game itself and more about the interaction with the game. You can dredge up the same old FPS or racing game that is on one of the other consoles, but with the Wiimote, the interaction with the game is so much more enhanced.
     
  5. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    I don't see how a controller changes a game drastically. I think it's fun for the first few games but then it will be "the same thing over and over" as well.

    Computer games are what they are, new ideas are rare, a new controller will not really make the game world that more "interactive" by itself. I wouldn't trade a new controller for graphics. I would trade some graphics for a better controller. The question is if the wii is "good enough" for now. I think so for anyone that doesn't have a HD tv (i.e most people). I think Nintendo was smart and realized that HD adoption is slow and most people still have old CRT (including me)

    That said looking at 360 games in HD is pretty sweet. The imerssion in the game goes up, I'm a little jealous of my friend with a HD tv.

    And if the controller scheme works out I'm sure both PS3 and XBOX360 will come out with something similar.
     
  6. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SomervillePrius @ Jan 26 2007, 10:31 AM) [snapback]381082[/snapback]</div>
    Cell architecture is not a general purpose machine and is apples and oranges for some of the work I do (simulators). I've benchmarked my code running on a new $1500 dell vs the PS3. Using only the PPE on the PS3's cell (all that your standard out-of-the-box Linux environment can reach), my code on the PS3 only runs about 1/18th the speed of the dell. However, the code I am running is highly parallel and is made primarily up of floating point operations and has little memory requirements. After my rewrite, having the PPE serve these to this code to the cell's other special purpose processing units, I am guessing at worst case a 4x increase in speed for my app, crossing my fingers for a 25x increase in speed.

    Also, check out [email protected] client for PS3. To be released in sometime in March, folks over on the folding boards are guessing a 20x+ speed increase with PS3.

    I agree. The PS3 is a dog if you stick the wrong code on it. The PS3's linux environment is really just a stepping stone to the development toolkits you can use to write code for it.
     
  7. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    the new controller completely changes the interaction, and does more to make a game novel and interesting than anything else. Just look at some of the best games on the PS2 - DDR and guitar heros. They used new interfaces that got the players more involved, and involved the spectators as well. The graphics of the games weren't particularly spectacular for the times - in fact, the major graphics were just arrows or dots scrolling on a screen.

    Graphics are important, to a point. Just like computer power is important, too a point. The jump to 3D graphics was huge. the jump to controlling the environment (like the destructible environment in Halo 2) was huge - but it's not quite all the way there yet. IMO, the jump to a more interactive interface is just as huge as the above. Graphics that may not be as life-like don't matter so much when you aren't expecting life-like graphics.
     
  8. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 What's the catch?

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    I have played all three, albeit not for very long. Here are my initial opinions:

    XBox 360 - Not bad. Some improvements over the XBox, but overall nothing that special.

    PS3 - It's very shiny. That's about it.

    Wii - Completely different than anything I've ever seen. And it's small. The novelty might wear out, but it sure is fun.

    Keep in mind that I have only limited experience with the systems and most of my opinions are based on the games that I played. I haven't seen the XBox 360 or the PS3 on an HDTV, so I'm sure that would make a difference. I honestly don't care about the graphics (they're all good enough at this point). The games are what I care about. I probably won't buy an XBox or a PS3 until the price comes down, or HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray is settled. I (and my wife) are happy with our two-day-old Wii.

    I agree with what others have said about Nintendo being spot-on with the Wii. It is a completely new gaming environment. XBox 360 and PS3 are getting more and more like a computer (I know they technically are computers).

    Overall, I have a Wii because of the price. It was the least expensive and completely different. I will continue playing my XBox and PS2 because I can't justify upgrading for better graphics at this point. (OK, a bit of honesty, I would upgrade, but my wife would kill me.)


    Note: As I reread my post, it almost doesn't make any sense. I am hungry and it's time for lunch, so I'll blame it on that.
     
  9. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Jan 26 2007, 11:54 AM) [snapback]381154[/snapback]</div>
    You bring up good points, but guitar hero's controller works for exactly one game, I'm not convinced that wii's controller would do "guitar hero" or most any game (apart from sport games) that well. I might be, and hope I am, wrong on this one.
    For games that rely on novel controller schemes I agree that graphics doesn't matter much. I'm not sure how big that market is (it will be fun to watch) or how many games that are actually fun. I don't tend to buy games for the controller scheme.
    I guess I'm far from convinced that the motion controller from nintendo is as big as the step to 3D. I hope you're right (I wouldn't mind buying a Wii for the right game). Too me it looks too much like a fad.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(bigdaddy @ Jan 26 2007, 11:45 AM) [snapback]381139[/snapback]</div>
    Interesting, for the type of simulations I run memory is very important so while I liked the compute and parallel power of the cell, I think it will only work for certain applications. I hope your's are one of them. I hope for sony's sake that games are one of them (I have a hard time figuring out what 7 parallel cpu's in a game would do, but I don't know game development).
     
  10. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Jan 26 2007, 11:54 AM) [snapback]381154[/snapback]</div>
    I visit the Experimental Game Lab at Ga Tech on occassion. I either see new types of interfaces (mostly input interfaces, think dance-dance-revolution on sterioids) or I see new ways of storytelling (making the games more realistic from a point of view of the story or purpose of the game). I also recently had opportunity to attend talk given by Will Wright (Maxis / Sims) and others about the psychology of games. The storytelling/gameplay/experiential stuff is much more interesting to me. Like eagle points out, "good games" are good immersive experiences, which is much, much more than good graphics.

    As an aside, anybody ever heard of the technique of machinima? It is an "art form" that uses game engines to make movies. Check out that genre of entertainment if you haven't already... (here is episode #1 of one of the earliest and popular series, Red Vs. Blue. http://www.machinima.com/films.php?id=275)
     
  11. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Skwyre7 @ Jan 26 2007, 12:19 PM) [snapback]381178[/snapback]</div>
    I like your points. I think price is in the end the number 1 factor. It's not "expensive" to buy a Wii, while the 360 and PS3 requires a little more planning.

    I am surprised how much people believe in the controller, while I agree it looks fun for some games, I can help but think about those VR helmets and gloves of yesteryear. They all faded out soon after launch (might be for completly other reasons).

    So far I haven't seen a "must have" game for the Wii (ok, Twilight Princess looks cool), it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

    At a party I can't think of a better unit then the WII. I think it could be a fun, social party machine. And for the price that might be all that's needed.

    Me? I'm looking forward to bioshock and mass effect both which pushes graphics and AI
     
  12. Marlin

    Marlin New Member

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    I have a Wii. I got it mainly to play with my almost-7-year-old daughter. Therefore I wasn't interested in more realism and more gore, just more fun.

    We've only got a few games so far, but my favorite has been Elebits. You go around chasing these little creatures called Elebits with a Ghost Busters like (if you remember that movie) capture gun. You use the capture gun to also pickup and move the furniture and objects to search for the Elebits who are hiding in, under, or behind them.

    Just about every object in the game can be picked up, thrown, or smashed. Just aim at a table, press the button to grab it with the capture gun, and flick your wrist to fling it across the room. You open doors by grabbing on to the door knob with the capture gun, twisting your wrist like you are turning the door knob, and then pull back to open the door. Drawers and cabinets are opened and closed by just grabbing on to them with the capture gun and pushing or pulling the Wii remote towards or away from the TV.

    The game is quite addictive and it just wouldn't be the same without the Wii remote. It does have a few shortcomings, however. The voice acting in the clips between levels is painfull, and it does have some low framerate issues in a few places, mainly in certain parts of the outdoor environments.
     
  13. Wildkow

    Wildkow New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(bigdaddy @ Jan 26 2007, 08:45 AM) [snapback]381139[/snapback]</div>
    AHA! I knew you guys were catching up awful fast folding proteins and now I know why! How much are those PS3's? LOL! Catch me if you can. . . :p

    http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/tea...hp?s=&t=304
    http://fahstats.com/tsum.php?t=304


    Wildkow

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Marlin @ Jan 26 2007, 09:42 AM) [snapback]381197[/snapback]</div>
    <_<

    Yeah sure! :D

    Wildkow
     
  14. SomervillePrius

    SomervillePrius New Member

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    Oh man, Wildkow, that can be read in so many ways!

    I almost got coffee out my nose reading it (they way you quoted it)!
     
  15. Pinto Girl

    Pinto Girl New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Jan 26 2007, 11:24 AM) [snapback]381121[/snapback]</div>
    I agree, that the interaction is very important, perhaps moreso than the graphics.

    Does anyone remember 'Hellcats over the Pacific' that early 90's flight sim game from Graphic Simulations? It had almost nothing graphics-wise, but interacting with it was really fun an addictive (to me at least). To me this remains a great example of a game feeling right independently of the graphics. I have an old Mac at home running system 7, just so I can still fly it sometimes.

    The simulator I'm doing my pilot training in doesn't have great graphics, either, but the cockpit is exactly like the real one...and, consequently, the interaction is really authentic. Even though the 'world' is not rendered with very much detail.

    But I'm not a 'gamer' in the traditional sense...so my viewpoint may or may not be accurate...
     
  16. Fibb222

    Fibb222 New Member

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    I wouldn't mind trying a wii someday. I think it would be lots of fun to move around when shooting bad guys. But I have a 360 and I like it a lot with my 50" HDTV. I recently purchased the 360's HD-DVD drive and am quite pleased with it too. I also like the idea of purchasing TV shows and movies through the 360. Unfortunately the service is not available in Canada yet.
     
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I think Wii has some good points.

    If you think about it, the kid plays the Wii, gets a work out AND eventually gets tired. This is a good way to prevent kids from sitting in front of the tv for hours on end playing video games.

    I've played both the PS3 and the Wii. I prefer the Wii-mote. The SixAxis controller feels odd even though it's basically the same Dualshock 2 that we've acquainted ourselves with over the years. The extra length of the L2/R2 buttons are odd and in the short demo I played, it seemed like Sony "forced" the SixAxis feature into the game.

    This is in stark contrast to the Wiimote where it feels nicely integrated into the game rather than an add-on feature. It also promotes multi-play whereas the Playstation seem to emphasis more on single play with the occasional second player.

    I have a PS2, I've own the PS3 briefly (sold it) and all I can say is I may be owning my first Nintendo! (Suffice to say, the PS2 was my first console. I never grew up playing console games).

    Most of my PS2 games are "multiplayer" but whenever we have a gathering with my friends, the GameCube always wins.

    My vote goes for the Wii.
     
  18. Wildkow

    Wildkow New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SomervillePrius @ Jan 26 2007, 01:47 PM) [snapback]381349[/snapback]</div>
    LOL! On taking a second look your'e spot on! I seem to have stumbled into quite a few Freudian Slips recently.

    Wildkow
     
  19. Rangerdavid

    Rangerdavid Senior Member

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    I've been playing an online PC game called America's Army for the last several years. Its a first person shooter game put out by the US Army, with all the training, skills, weapons and deployments one could realistically expect in the real Army. I'm also a member of a gaming community call "Highest Degree of Brotherhood" that plays 1st person shooters and other games, and engages in tournaments and tourney ladders. I do have an XBOX and have probably not played it in 6 months.

    I just think its easer to upgrade the PC, graphics cards, physics accelerators, and other online gaming experiences to keep the PC gaming community evolving. Eventually, with the media center PC and other devices becoming integrated, I think we will all, at some time, have one unit to do everything. :D
     
  20. Fibb222

    Fibb222 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rangerdavid @ Jan 28 2007, 05:06 PM) [snapback]382091[/snapback]</div>
    I PC gamed a lot but since getting an XBOX 360 over a year ago, I haven't gamed on a PC. I find XBOX gaming so much easier. You put the disk in and it always works. PC gaming, at least for me, was always about tweaking, fiddling and searching for solutions in order to get the game to run properly. I don't have the time to waste on that anymore.
     
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