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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Is Hardware getting TOO Powerful?

I am sure we have all noticed that w/ each passing hardware generation, the gaps in releases between franchises, especially the AAA ones, get longer and longer and longer.

Games like GTA and Elder Scrolls, which would see 2-3 mainline games in one console generation or a new mainline game within a reasonable timeframe have now gone over a decade since a new entry was released w/ no signs of coming out any time soon. This is especially bad in Elder Scrolls case since 'VI' was announced back in E3 2017, since then, nothing. That was 6 years ago - The gap between Oblivion and Skyrim was only 5.

Yearly releases like COD, your sports games (Madden, FIFA, NBA 2K), and Pokemon get glitchier and buggier w/ each new installment.

Even Nintendo releases are getting lengthier w/ some of their major franchises. 3D Zelda: The have gotten consistently longer between 6-12 months. Even 3D Mario, the gap between Odyssey and whenever the next 3D Mario game releases will be the longest between releases. And the only time we heard about Metroid Prime 4 since its announcement was when they told us development had restarted. 

As time goes by and we get a new batch of consoles, each set notably more powerful and advanced than the last, as the power increases, so does the amount of time in between major installments. And for some of these studios and companies to release them in a timely manner, they have go an a huge hiring spree and expand their teams considerably in order to make sure they meet their internal deadlines and not have to delay titles. And in order to compensate or justify that influx of new staff and personnel, the games have to outsell and outperform their previous installments and to do that - they need to spend THAT much more on marketing, which means the game has to sell even MORE in order to cover that cost and break even. Now, this may not be an issue for all the big boys and major studios like the Big Three, or the major 3rd parties like Square Enix, Capcom, Activision, or Bethesda. But for a lot of the smaller, medium sized studios and ESPECIALLY the indie studios? Where that money is hard to come by? Even if their games are good, they get buried or lost in the shuffle amidst all these other games from larger companies that had more marketing or bigger word of mouth, and as a result, some of those studios end up going belly-up.

And this is something that is just going to continue to grow and grow as hardware does as well, and we're already almost midway through the PS5/Xbox Series generation!

So I cannot help but ask: Is Hardware getting TOO powerful? Is it getting TOO advanced TOO fast? Fast for the industry and the workforce to keep up? 

I mean, if it is going to take THAT much longer for all the games of franchises we love and enjoy to release, to the point where it may even SKIP a console generation, is it really worth it? Especially if some of those smaller studios who produce some of those games or franchises are unable to keep up or sustain themselves amidst a more demanding industry, so they go under and as a result, those franchises, if they are not bought out, go bye-bye?

Like - At what point do we say: "Stop! This is good enough! Now just make some great games!" OR "You've already got PLENTY of specs and graphics, you can leave those alone for now, focus on improving the OTHER stuff - like the processing speed so we get much faster load times. Or a stronger, better running online store. Or controllers w/ significantly better battery life." Or at least wait for the industry to catch up and get developing around the current specs down to a science before introducing the idea of going beyond.

I worry sometimes that the industry will reach a point where it gets TOO big for itself. When the games that studious tries to develop and the staff companies hire to support these games, the budget for development, marketing, all steadily climbing and everyone trying to keep up that the industry collapses underneath its weight and we have a whole new video game crash.

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Perhaps. Or perhaps some visions are getting too ambitious and thus could do with some scaling back?

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Deus Ex (2000) - a game that pushes the boundaries of what the video game medium is capable of to a degree unmatched to this very day.

I don’t think there’s such a thing as “too powerful” per say, but it is true that we haven’t seen anything from the PS5/XboxX that can’t run on the PS4/Xbone. Even the more ambitious stuff feels like it can be scaled back slightly without becoming worse games (I feel like this cannot be said for PS4->PS3 for example).

Let’s not even begin to talk about the disappearing art of optimization lol. The Switch is not too weak to run Minecraft, it’s just written horribly.

With each generation since ps2, it seems like we are getting less exclusives from major firs party /3rd party studios. It got less with the ps3, further down with the ps4 , it will probably stay the same this gen, even though " time to triangle" was supposed to have gotten much better. But with each console, especially the new generation, there is a lot to learn and figure out to take advantage of and make new game experiences.

Not that it bothers me much since I now own multiple consoles and have less time to game.

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No. There's no such thing as too powerful.

Plus your issues are nothing to do with power. They're issues with publishers wanting to milk every last penny from gamers with minimal investment. Rockstart could have released GTA 6 by now, but they're too busy milking GTA Online. Bethesda could have released TES 6 by now, but they're too busy milking Skyrim (people keep buying the ports), Fallout and soon Starfield. Yearly franchises have always been glitchy or buggy, that's nothing new. They're intentionally running with as small a budget as they can to maintain current sales at a minimum. They're not trying to make great games, they're trying to make easy money.

Studios have to hire more staff and fail to meet deadlines because of idiotic and incompetent management. Not because of consoles being more powerful.

It's not about the graphics themselves. With tools like photogtammetry any indie can look amazing these days. Ray tracing will also eliminate the need to handcraft lighting and LLMs will provide a tremendous speed-up to scripting.

Thing is, that as games look better, you need to include a lot of things that consume a lot of time and money like better animations, facial expressions, voices, etc. else they just look flat and it negatively impacts the suspension of disbelief.






On the contrary. Compared with Atari-PS2 era, each console generation has been getting weaker compared to the last. Mostly, this is due to the nature of tech reaching a maturity level, but still... it's true. If consoles had kept leaping themselves like they had up to the PS2 era, we'd be seeing some seriously impressive games by now. Stuff you couldn't even dream up. But instead, we're all still playing GTA 5 and Minecraft like it's 2013 forever. It's sad.

Having said all that, I wouldn't put the blame on the makers of consoles for the length of releases. I'd put that on the people making the games. Simply put, they aren't adapting too well. Instead of looking at the problem and figuring out a way to fix it, they're just ignoring it and deciding to do business the way they always have... which is causing the problem you're talking about. If you continue to make the types of games you made on PS2 on the PS5, well, of course you're going to run into problems. The times have changed, the systems have changed, culture has changed, yet they're still trying to use the same business model they used twenty years ago. That's just asking for trouble. 

No, hardware is not too powerful. First of all FF16 has no ray tracing, is running as low as 720p and 40fps.

There is a common desire to believe that you are superior than your forebears. Actually not true. Anyone today, in 2023, could release a game like Ocarina of Time, or Mass Effect, or any of the older games, and they would sell in the millions. The reason why modern studios make large games that take a long time to make is because they are not as risky. Easier to make, easier to make money. You are hiring a lot of art grads to build content, but they can build on shallower bones than their forebears. Every time we see companies attempt to make old style games, the product is usually not as good, as the people employed to do it are not as good and not as experienced.

You need to find the TALENT that made the SNES and N64 and PS2 generation of games. Those human resources are rare and precious, and not many of them exist, that's why we don't see games like that anymore.

Those musicians? Top notch. Those game designers? Battle hardened through the NES generation. Those artists? Young and with fires in their bellies. Most of those old games were made with PASSIONATE first generation computer experts.

For example why are there not new quality Wave Race and F Zero and Star Fox games? Nintendo doesn't have the talent. They are not large projects, but it is hard to find the people to make the games.