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Forums - Gaming Discussion - How many developers can realistically take full advantage of next gen consoles?

Looking at the last generation I feel like only a few developers really pushed the consoles to there limits. The main examples being naughty dog and rockstar but they also made far fewer games than in the generation before. Rockstar made 2 gtas, red dead, la noire and max payne 3, while only making red dead 2 for ps4/xbone and naughty dog made 3 uncharteds and the last of us, while only making 1 1/2 uncharteds and last of us 2 for ps4. We've seen franchises like gta and elder scrolls completely skip a generation, a huge increase in high profile disasters and huge amounts of crunch in recent years. 



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I could be wrong but I think having to develop/optimize for the Playstation 4 and pro the Xbox one and Xbox one X slowed down the development time and might have held back some games. PSVR took some resources away from the main systems as well. This generation could be worse one day if we have Playstation 5, 5 pro and PSVR2, Xbox Series S, Series X and X pro. Some of the things we saw in the Unreal Engine 5's Matrix tech demo like proceduraly generated buildings might help eliminate some of the development times.



I think allot of developers got allot out of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 very quickly... Most game engines like Unreal Engine were extremely well optimized for the consoles out of the gate so developers could get allot out of the platforms.. Helped by the fact that consoles are now based on commodity PC hardware and are not really custom designs that require allot of learning.

And remember... We did go from 720P during the 7th gen, with static lighting and effects to approaching 1080P with full dynamic effects, if you fire up the old PS3/Xbox 360 on a large modern OLED 4k display, you quickly see how poorly those games have aged on their native platforms... All that extra clarity and dynamic effects does cost.

We have reached a point where development environments don't actually change on a generation per generation basis anymore, because the consoles are piggy-backing off PC technology and development at every single step, so optimized results happen very quickly.

Art likely plays a larger role in the visual makeup of a games visuals these days rather than the pure suite of effects bombarding the retina's... Take Halo Infinite for example, it isn't a visual showstopper... But inside some of those forerunner structures, the Art looks absolutely stunning with some of the texture/lighting detailing being employed there.

But give it a another year and we will see a similar jump like what we saw at the start of the 8th gen.. We are getting a taste now with things like the Matrix tech demo.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Rockstar - Working on GTA VI. These guys always push the consoles to the limit. Huge man power. In terms of tech and visuals and always near or at the top of the game.
NaughtyDog - Supposedly working on TLOU Remake (rumor) and a new IP. These guys have released some of the best looking games in each respective generation. Some of the best animation, rigging and mo-cap I've seen in in-game models and cut-scenes.
Santa Monica Studios - GoW Ragnarok (Crossgen), working on on new IP, no announcement yet - so most likely due in a few years next gen only. Similar to ND.
Ninja Theory - Hellblade looked fantastic, as is arguably on the best looking games on last generation consoles. HB2 looks crazy good thus far.
CD Project Red - We already had a taste of 'next gen' on PC with Cyberpunk 2077. Visuals and tech the past 2 generations have been up there with the best - though Cyberpunk was quite poor in terms of polish upon release.
Playground Games - Worked on Forza Motorsport series - some of the best looking visuals in racing games. Working on Fable.
The Coalition - Worked on Gears 5. And with Epic to get UE5 demo optimised for Series consoles. Likely working on Gears 6.

I'd put Quantic Dream down though their next game (Star Wars Eclipse) is a cross gen/cross platform game so.. maybe not.

Last edited by hinch - on 12 December 2021

Pemalite said:

I think allot of developers got allot out of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 very quickly... Most game engines like Unreal Engine were extremely well optimized for the consoles out of the gate so developers could get allot out of the platforms.. Helped by the fact that consoles are now based on commodity PC hardware and are not really custom designs that require allot of learning.

And remember... We did go from 720P during the 7th gen, with static lighting and effects to approaching 1080P with full dynamic effects, if you fire up the old PS3/Xbox 360 on a large modern OLED 4k display, you quickly see how poorly those games have aged on their native platforms... All that extra clarity and dynamic effects does cost.

We have reached a point where development environments don't actually change on a generation per generation basis anymore, because the consoles are piggy-backing off PC technology and development at every single step, so optimized results happen very quickly.

Art likely plays a larger role in the visual makeup of a games visuals these days rather than the pure suite of effects bombarding the retina's... Take Halo Infinite for example, it isn't a visual showstopper... But inside some of those forerunner structures, the Art looks absolutely stunning with some of the texture/lighting detailing being employed there.

But give it a another year and we will see a similar jump like what we saw at the start of the 8th gen.. We are getting a taste now with things like the Matrix tech demo.

I'm not saying there isn't a graphical jump, I'm more so talking about pushing a console to its limits, I'm not expecting them to do that out of the gate with ps5/series x. I feel like in the end only a handful of games really pushed the older consoles to there limits while still looking and running well.

Edit: I will say that matrix tech demo looks very impressive.

Last edited by pikashoe - on 12 December 2021

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hinch said:

Rockstar - Working on GTA VI. These guys always push the consoles to the limit. Huge man power. In terms of tech and visuals always always near or at the top.
NaughtyDog - Supposedly working on TLOU Remake (rumor) and a new IP. These guys have released some of the best looking games in each respective generation. Some of the best animation and mo-cap I've seen in in-game models and cut-scenes.
Santa Monica Studios - GoW Ragnarok (Crossgen), working on on new IP, no announcement yet - so most likely due in a few years next gen only. Similar to ND.
Ninja Theory - Hellblade looked fantastic, as is arguably on the best looking games on last generation consoles. HB2 looks crazy good thus far.
CD Project Red - We already had a taste of 'next gen' on PC with Cyberpunk 2077. Visuals and tech the past 2 generations have been up there with the best - though Cyberpunk was quite poor in terms of polish upon release.
Playground Games - Worked on Forza Motarsport series - some of the best looking visuals in racing games. Working on Fable.
The Coalition - Worked on Gears 5. Worked with Epic to get their demo optimised for Series consoles. Gears 6?

I'd put Quantic Dream down though their next game (Star Wars Eclipse) is a cross gen/cross platform game so.. maybe not.

Thats a solid list



So far the UE5 Matrix demo is the most "next gen" looking thing I've seen running on the new systems, along with, funnily enough, the original UE5 demo from last year. It really is an incredible engine they've built.

The actual games released so far look like more polished PS4/Xbone games to my eyes, which to be fair is exactly what almost all of them are.

Last gen, I thought things got off the ground pretty quickly by comparison, with launch titles Ryse Son of Rome and Killzone Shadowfall showcasing the jump over PS3 and 360 from day one. PS4 and Xbox One seemed to be fully utilized pretty quickly compared to both their predecessors and successors.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 12 December 2021

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

It's going to be a toughy. For me, I think the following will show promise:

SMS: if they managed to get GOW looking that good at that scale last gen, then this gen they should be able to blow us away even more.

Insomniac: Rift Apart showed us destruction, RT, partial effects and a ton more along with loading levels and world's and environments super fast. Additionally, the character models looked amazing from the fur right down to reflections in eyes etc.

GG: they managed to pull out KZ:SF right at th start of the gen and Horizon was a marvel with those robots which had some many moving and destructible bits. Their new game already looks amazing and this is with the game being cross gen.

Ryu Ga Gotoku: Kamorucho is one of the most alive cities I have come across in a game. It feels like every gen they make it come more and more to life along with greater detailed assets and models. GTA and Red Dead pale in comparison to Kamorucho.

Capcom: DMC, Monster Hunter World and RE8 all looked amazing. Capcom can surely push the boundaries even further.

ND: here comes the big controversy. TLOU2 graphics impressed me more than the Matrix demo. The Matrix demo blew my mind, but when the dust settled I was left with more questions.

Everything was static. The trees, lamp posts, bins couldnt be damaged. Bottles on the floor comment be moved. Buildings couldn't be damaged. A lot of textures were muddy (dirt, mud, leaves, certain glass like material, stone NPC's).

Other than the number of cars and pedestrians, the city felt dead. TLOU2, was densely populated, felt alive, had more interactive elements, textures were better and had more unique assets. The Matrix demo was the definition of bigger is better, but lacked soul.

If ND could impress me so much with TLOU2, a game made last gen can compete with a specially made tech demo, then what they could do for this gen will surely blow our minds.

IOI: hitman games have always looked amazing. Each level crafted with unique assets and locations. Small details everywhere, a bunch of NPCs with their own AI and purpose.

Playground Games: FH is a marvel and if they can do this for an open world racing game that has to move so quick and, then with Fable they should be able to do even better.

The Coalition: Gears has always pushed graphics so it won't come to any surprise if the next game they make will push the benchmark even further.

Kojima Studio: what they did with the decima engine and Death Stranding was amazing. Again this was done on last gen tech. How much further they could take things this gen surely will blow our minds.


Devs I've not listed:

PD: they probably won't release another game until the end of this gen.

NT: similar to Quantic dream, Hellblade looks good, bit probably achieves this through limitations in gameplay and level design. The last game felt very narrow where most things were covered in darkness. You can then concentrate on what is visible to push those effects and polygons. Forza Horizon, Gears, there is detail everywhere.

Sucker Punch:
Ghost of Tsushima was beautiful and amazing, but mostly it was about the artistic approach. Most of what we saw was blades of grass, trees, fields of sorts. Probably one of the reasons it was able to load very quick and do what it did so well.

Housemarque: Returnal similarly to Hellblade pulled of great graphics and effects by limiting the environment and what you can see.

Ubisoft, Activision, EA: mostly they push generic annual games. With exceptions such as Jedi Fallen Knight, Battlefront / Squadrons, not sure if we will see any of these lot push boundaries. Ubisoft is in a similar place to GTA where it's about bigger maps rather than better maps. Activision just pushes COD and Crash isn't exactly ground breaking.

Anything Nintendo: Nintendo is about art style more than pushing graphics.

Devs that could but night go under the radar:

Atlus: persona games are amazing and I can see them doing amazing stuff.

From: Bloodborne and DS3 looked amazing, Sekiro not so much. Elden ring looks great, but I expected more in its looks for next gen, and From isn't really known to push graphical boundaries as much as art style.

Blue Point: they have done amazing work with the remakes, but i think it all depends on whether they have been given a budget to do a remake, a small new IP or a full budget for their own game. Depending on what they have got, we could see something spectacular.



hinch said:

Rockstar - Working on GTA VI. These guys always push the consoles to the limit. Huge man power. In terms of tech and visuals and always near or at the top of the game.
NaughtyDog - Supposedly working on TLOU Remake (rumor) and a new IP. These guys have released some of the best looking games in each respective generation. Some of the best animation, rigging and mo-cap I've seen in in-game models and cut-scenes.
Santa Monica Studios - GoW Ragnarok (Crossgen), working on on new IP, no announcement yet - so most likely due in a few years next gen only. Similar to ND.
Ninja Theory - Hellblade looked fantastic, as is arguably on the best looking games on last generation consoles. HB2 looks crazy good thus far.
CD Project Red - We already had a taste of 'next gen' on PC with Cyberpunk 2077. Visuals and tech the past 2 generations have been up there with the best - though Cyberpunk was quite poor in terms of polish upon release.
Playground Games - Worked on Forza Motorsport series - some of the best looking visuals in racing games. Working on Fable.
The Coalition - Worked on Gears 5. And with Epic to get UE5 demo optimised for Series consoles. Likely working on Gears 6.

I'd put Quantic Dream down though their next game (Star Wars Eclipse) is a cross gen/cross platform game so.. maybe not.

Great list, I'll add

Kojima Productions. Although it's departure from Konami has definetly a setback every new Kojima games has almost always raised the bar expecially in terms of realism and character animation.

Id Software. Altough thier focus isn't realism but rather world detail with an high level of performance. Doom Eternal has been one of the most impressive technical achievements of this generation and I can't wait to see thier next game tailored for next gen hardware.



hinch said:

Rockstar - Working on GTA VI. These guys always push the consoles to the limit. Huge man power. In terms of tech and visuals and always near or at the top of the game.
NaughtyDog - Supposedly working on TLOU Remake (rumor) and a new IP. These guys have released some of the best looking games in each respective generation. Some of the best animation, rigging and mo-cap I've seen in in-game models and cut-scenes.
Santa Monica Studios - GoW Ragnarok (Crossgen), working on on new IP, no announcement yet - so most likely due in a few years next gen only. Similar to ND.
Ninja Theory - Hellblade looked fantastic, as is arguably on the best looking games on last generation consoles. HB2 looks crazy good thus far.
CD Project Red - We already had a taste of 'next gen' on PC with Cyberpunk 2077. Visuals and tech the past 2 generations have been up there with the best - though Cyberpunk was quite poor in terms of polish upon release.
Playground Games - Worked on Forza Motorsport series - some of the best looking visuals in racing games. Working on Fable.
The Coalition - Worked on Gears 5. And with Epic to get UE5 demo optimised for Series consoles. Likely working on Gears 6.

I'd put Quantic Dream down though their next game (Star Wars Eclipse) is a cross gen/cross platform game so.. maybe not.

I would add Insomniac games and Guerilla on the Sony part. The successor of Horizon Zero Dawn will probably a technical masterclass. Also Insomniac have shown to be getting better and better at mastering the PS5. Perhaps 343 will also master the series X fully with the new hwlo installment, they have the potential to do so. I don't think CD project Red will really maximize the potential of consoles. The console releases tend to be afterthoughts for them. The Witcher 3 had plenty of problems on current gen consoles at launch.



Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar