Has Microsoft's XBox 360 Console Run Out of Technical Steam?
Whenever the issue of the Xbox 360 running out of technical steam is risen, you always get the same answer, "there's still more it can do", no offence but this excuse is getting old pretty quickly.
Is there really any thing left in the Xbox 360, hardware wise? I really don't think so.
It's been 3 years and still there are less than a handful of games that have pushed the visual boat that much farther, notably... Gears of War and Gears of War 2, what else has really brought outstanding graphics to the table? Halo 3?
In contrast in just 2 years the PS3 has seen exclusives games that easily destroy what is on the Xbox 360, games like Killzone 2, Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 spring quickly to mind, and these are out of what has been released, looking at what is still ahead, Uncharted 2, God of War 3 and Heavy Rain, the pattern looks set to continue.
So how in 3 years the console has only 1 series producing great graphics, and when one compares the visuals of gears of war 2 to that of the first, the difference isn't much...
My question is 'what really is left in the Xbox 360' technically? I know developers can get more out of the console through art styles and optimisation but it looks to me like the main bulk of tech hardware in the Xbox 360 has been squeezed dry.
Looking at the PS3, however, it's pretty clear that the console was built for the future, with so much untapped potential ready to be used by developers.
Although that is where this also applies to the PS3, we keep hearing about this untapped energy source on the PS3, that if used would make games look and play 5 times better however we are really yet to see this.
I must say while I do believe the PS3 has extra horse power yet to be used by devs, on the other hand I cannot say the same for the Xbox 360. Feel free to share your thoughts below in via the comments!
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Well I would say the 360 never had any real technical steam. The 360 is like the Wii in it's own way. It's design is less about how far it can push gaming and more about how it can enhance the experience. Certainly graphics are a way of sucking us in, but games like Lair for the PS3 are a good example of how graphics sell but never give us the pleasure we seek.
Our eyes may love it but our need to play is nagging at us for buying it over a game like Mario Galaxy for the Wii. The 360 does have a lot of potential but it's not about the graphics it's about the gameplay.
This is by design. The PS3 was designed to still be a worthwhile machine 10 years after the console had come out - much like the PS2 is right now. MS employ a fire and forget strategy in terms of hardware wherein they don't plan on supporting the console once their new one comes out. Therefore their focus early on is ease for dev companies to create great looking early games and for the emphasis to lessen as the consoles lifespan continues. You'll notice Nintendo did a similar thing with the gamecube last generation.
And you'll also notice they didn't do it again this generation.
Actually Totti Nintendo is doing something much worse this time round, but that is for another topic and forum.
Anyways, Sony did create a console that will be worthwhile in 10 years. However it's not the console that really matters here. It is the gameplay. The current strategy for selling the PS3 is how good it makes things look. It does make games dead sexy.
However, it tends to alienate the gameplay while focusing purely on the graphics. Lair is a wonderful example of this, it's the best looking game I have seen in my life..but the controls are like trying to clean out a public toilet after Thanksgiving and the other issues is that the majority of games are designed for HD screens where most people do not own HD screens, me being one of those many. This dwindles their market down a lot because people won't want to play a console in which they can barely see the game. Nintendo and Microsoft on the other have the option to play on SD and still make the games look dead sexy...well I shouldn't have included Nintendo's Wii..that is designed for SD in mind because it doesn't alienate people.
Now I can certainly see in 10 years those issues will be worked out. More people will have HDTV sets and there will probably be better support for the PS3 in relation to gameplay. I can see that in the longrun, Sony's PS3 will most likely beat out the Wii and 360 on the grounds that the PS3 will get better, where the Xbox 360 will only stay the same with better looking menus and the Wii will just continually update till it has no room in it's NAND.
i do agree with those here that say that graphics arent the be-all-and-end-all of computer games, however can you honestly say that in recent years that you havent thought "i wont get that because it doesnt LOOK as good as... "
not even in terms of gameplay?
hardcore gamer aside, i have done this.
whether its a ps3 or a 360, people will base there gaming decisions on looks
with the 360 alot of games look "good", not amazing.
it started the HD era of gaming wel and threw us into the online gaming community successfully
but many would agree that it has reached its potential for how good it can be visually, which imo can hinder the actual single player gameplay in some cases.
whereas, we are seeing visually amazing games on the ps3 with similar mediocre single player gaming, BUT with the untapped potential of the ps3 soon we can expect that extra "horsepower" to allow developers to create visual art complete with fulfilling gameplay
a handful of games have achieved this already (uncharted, mgs4 etc) without using the ps3s full potential, so imagine what that will mean in the future?
i think we need to stop visually comparing the ps3 and the 360 as they both have their merits, and instead focus on whats left in the white box and what to look forward to in the black box
Great game play + Bad graphics = Small fanboy following and to the average consumer about 2 hours of fun and game play before they get bored.
Great graphics + Bad game play = Medium sized fanboy following for a short time and about 1 hour of fun and 5 hours of game play for the average consumer.
Great graphics + Bad game play + is a sequel to a good game = small amount of people who will kill you for saying it sucks, a small fanboy following and about 3 hours of fun for the average consumer but they will play the game for 12+ hours hoping it will get better. you can say this shorter by just saying "Halo 3".
Good graphics + Okay game play = Large fanboy following and 5 hours of fun and 7 hours of game play for the average consumer.
Okay graphics + Great game play = Large fanboy following and 12 hours of fun and 12 hours of game play for the average consumer depending on game size.
Great Graphics + Great Game Play = Huge fanboy following and 20+ Hours of Gameplay and Fun for the Average consumer.
The equation is Game play is = to or sometimes less or more depending on the game to Graphics.
Got all that?
So we have been in a drought of decent games (this is not counting the 12 or so games out there that are beautiful and have good game play (Man I love GTAIV)) and have just ended up with games like..Halo 3..which are just rehashes of older games in the series..and in general a rehash of every single space shooter made before it.
That kind of game adds little in terms of game play changes and really just focused on how much better looking they could make Cortana. Halo fan boys will yell and scream at me about how I am wrong. But they need to get it that Halo 3 is the same game with better looking graphics..and just a few new additions, nothing really special. Now take GTAIV, the game is beautiful..it's...just..WOW..and the game play has been changed and mixed up to give you a much more fun experience and it does a beautiful job of making a living breathing world.
I may have deviated from what I was trying to say...any ways..what I was trying to say is that there is very little in the means of innovation in the world of gaming and it's gotten to the point where games get lower ratings based off lack of online multiplayer and not as amazing graphics. Hell I will use Lair again..it got a 4.5 on Gamespot..and only based off how godly the graphics were...now when graphics outweigh the gameplay..we have a problem. What makes a game a game is how it make the same old better, not rehash it and throw it out like it is a new game based off how it looks.
Certainly you will love it this time round too. But you'll just know on the inside it's the same game with flashy colours and a few game play tweaks..which are still rehashes of before. Gameplay and graphics can go hand in hand, like I pointed out with GTAIV. But very rarely does a developer care about that. You listed Killzone 2, Crisis and Metal Gear Solid 4. All terrible games. Amazing graphics and in the case of MGS4 wonderful story, but they lack any real change and lack any true gameplay. Killzone 2 has the most awkward controls after Lair and the Dragon's Lair for NES.
Crisis has a horrid story, horrid control setup both on land and in vehicles..and I have to mention that the enemies tend to stop shooting to let you aim and MGS4 is overtly complicated and is pretty much using..no is using..the same combat system as Dark Sector and snake moves like a tank..and I don't mean that as a compliment..I mean he moves really stiffly. When listing games..try to list some that are good all you are doing are listing dead sexy games...that are not enjoyable.
But if were all totally honest, gta4 wasnt graphically beautiful or stunning as some games. it was good for a sandbox game, but i think gameplay was precedent over graphics for gta4.
but yeh there wasn't anythin groundbreakingly different in mgs4 compared to others in the series, just the drebin points system for guns, octocamo, metal gear mk2, controling metal gear rex
thats just my side of the debate here
Killzone 2 had the ability to be much better but is still a 10/10 game or at the very least 9/10. The Halo series I have not played very much but what I have hasn't impressed me. It seems like a very over rated game from what I have played. Resistance isn't over rated in fact it's under rated. It is a okay game, but it doesn't nearly get the reputation it deserves. Especially with the high ratings of halo.
GTA on the other hand it just like the pokemon games in the fact they are almost the same exact games with different city's and stuff. I like San Andreas the best. But GTA 4 is the same game without the ability to fly jets and stuff. I personally like GTA which I didn't originally but GTA 4 isn't the godly game you make it out to be.
I personally have not played Crysis. But I was only replying to your "Lair has the best graphics ever!" Claim.
First off saviour07, I got nothing. Perfect way of saying things in my opinion. But so you know, yes I hated Metal Gear Solid 4..actually I hate the entire series and I hated CoD4..my main issue was just...how clumsy the experiance was for me.
Second, CyanCaze, Lair was actually the first game I ever saw being played for the PS3 and since then I have seen no other games like it. It's a game with a lot of potential if it were in the right hands and was not using that SIXAXIS gimmick. Like saviour said your arguments are based off your personal preferences. For me I am a fan of games that are innovative and different I tend to stray away from mainstream games to the point where I am disgusted by games like Gears of War, Halo or Resistance. None of them offer anything new in the means of game play, they are typical "Look alien is bad! Kill them!" shooters.
I know GTAIV is a typical sandbox game. But it does something different from the rest. It's realistic, some thing all other sandbox games lack. I myself find that to be an innovation..even if the game is mainstream and so you know, Crisis has amazing graphics that top any game to date...that I have played..which is quite a bit...and no..I was saying Lair had dead sexy graphics..meaning they were top notch which is in stark comparison t the game play. Making it a perfect example of my argument that graphics are being pushed too much while game play is being ignored.