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Next-gen vs SNES -- Why power is no longer enough

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posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:06 PM
In the case of Microsoft and Sony with their forays into the next generation of gaming, what is being focussed on is power. There is also multi-media functionality, but when it comes to gaming, specifically, it's pretty much entirely based on increased processing power and improved graphics cards.

Why is this a problem? Wasn't the SNES just a graphical upgrade?

The key difference between the SNES and the Xbox 360/PS3 is that the SNES provided games that simply could not be PLAYED on the previous hardware.

The NES introduced sprite graphics, and the SNES refined those sprites and expanded the worlds (which was clearly necessary if you look at many NES games and there's flickering and a lot of repeated enemies that look like blobs). Not only that, but it also introduced Mode 7 to create games like Mario Kart, and the first console 3D games such as Star Fox. Those games were not possible on the NES. The SNES also added a lot of functionality to the controller with the creation of shoulder buttons and added 2 more face buttons.

Similarly, following the Nintendo consoles since they span the different leaps; the N64 introduced fully 3D gaming worlds and analog control to create games that were clearly not possible on the SNES. That was the introduction to a new graphical format, just like the NES and sprites. So, the following generation with the GameCube refined those polygonal characters and expanded the worlds to create sandbox games that were not possible on the N64.

With the GameCube/Xbox/PS2, gaming has reached fully 3D sandbox games. There is nowhere else to go. The only added benefits beyond general prettiness is supposedly AI and Physics. However, there are games that clearly are only limited by the effort of the development team and no the power of the systems. The only way these are going to be implemented well are going to be by using the same engine, which will lead to games being more similar. I also don't believe that even improving in these areas outweighs the increased development costs that make unique and therefor riskier games even rarer. And it will even cost $300+ and $60 per game to "upgrade" to this.

Yes, power should have been upgraded further to clean things up moreso and boost framerates in the Xbox 360 and PS3, but that hardly seems like enough reason to put out an entirely new system at a premium price. And if the reason was for "HD", only 7% of American households have HDTVs, and there's no standard in Europe or Japan.

So, does this really seem like a qualified next-gen; and will this really help expand gaming or even maintain the current crowd? Because gaming hasn't really even done that with more reasonable new consoles in the past.

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