Future computing speculation - cross-platform releases

Uploaded by 3kliksphilip on 07.10.2012

WARNING: This video is purely speculation and is not to be taken as any more than just
that, though I’ve provided references should you like to look into the points raised yourself.
Thank you. Cross-platform development
The Xbox360 and Playstation 3 are still going strong strong nearly 7 years after their launch.
Advances in hardware since these consoles have allowed for smaller devices, such as
smartphones and portable gaming devices, to catch up and almost deliver the same level
of graphics. This is particularly evident with the playstation Vita, where the same
games are developed for both it and its bigger brother, the Playstation 3. This means that
you could buy a game for the PS3, only to then boot up your PS Vita and continue playing
the game on that instead. Steam is allowing for a similar situation- buying Portal 2 lets
you play it on both your console and your PC2. I expect this to become more frequent
as time goes on. In fact, I expect it to go further than that.
Cloud computing is a term that’s been thrown around a bit and is slowly creeping into everything
we do. Your settings and saves for games on Steam are saved, so if you log into another
PC you’ll still be able to access them straight away. Onlive is one of the first companies
to attempt this with complete games- since the complex calculations are done on their
servers, it means that you can run the games on any platform that’s compatible with the
system. It does away with the need for capable graphics hardware in your home and would let
you effectively access everything from anywhere, be it on a desktop PC or a phone. I have reservations
about this, but look forward to seeing how it fares on the market and whether they can
eliminate lag. It would also be interesting to see if they have any emergency procedures
in place should they go out of business. I wouldn’t like to lose games and files should
they be stored remotely. Crytek have received a lot of flak for making
the cryengine 3 cross-compatible with the consoles, labelling them as sell-outs for
betraying their PC fans. I think people forget how much hate they got for making Crysis 1
so difficult to run in the first place. Cross-platform support helps in several ways- the engine
is far more optimised since the consoles act as a lowest common denominator to aim for,
and it should allow for developers to make games in a fraction of a time which can then
be released on the PCs as well as the consoles at no extra cost and with very little additional
development time. Designing games with only the PC in mind is all but dead so I see this
as the best alternative option. It also brings about another interesting option- I wouldn’t
be surprised to see games like Crysis 3 released on next generation consoles as well as the
current generation. Once again, Valve are ahead of the curve in this area as well, having
already released Half Life 2 for both the Xbox generation and the Xbox360 generation3.
This shows that cross-platform releases, if done properly, can benefit everybody. Crysis
3 shows that the graphics can be scale-able enough to run on current generation consoles,
while still being able to push the most powerful of PCs.
I don’t blame Sony and Microsoft for delaying the next generation for this long. A next
generation of consoles may bring about more processing power, but doesn’t always encourage
innovation. In fact, I believe that developers became lazy, relying on the next generation
to make better looking games. Freezing the hardware has forced them to become more efficient
and clever when designing games. Compare Oblivion with Skyrim- they both require the same hardware,
yet Skyrim shows just how much power can be squeezed out of the same system. Graphics
appears to have got to a stage where the quality of the graphics designers has become more
of a limiting factor than the hardware itself. What do we expect to see on the next-generation
of consoles that we can’t already play on today’s systems? Sure, the graphics will
look better, but the improvements will only be increased polygon counts and more detailed
textures. As far as I’m concerned, the real game-changers are still some way off being
possible, even on PCs.
I think that what we have going on at the moment is a fantastic system where developers
innovate and try to squeeze out as much from the current consoles as possible, while PC
users reap the rewards of optimised games combined with additional processing power
which has allowed for technologies which wouldn’t have been possible if the games were continually
becoming more demanding. We can run games at far higher resolutions, on multiple monitors
and even in 3D thanks to the pause in hardware requirements of games. If anything I find
these improvements more interesting than better graphics themselves, and on top of that we’ll
also be getting a big graphical jump once the next generation of consoles comes out.
And once we’re accustomed to these advances, PC gamers won’t settle for less- they’ll
want to run the next generation of games with all of the benefits they already have with
this generation. I am still deciding on whether 4K will come
out before the next generation of consoles. As much as people tend to hate Apple, they
have been the ones who have introduced higher resolution screens across all of their devices.
You know something’s wrong when a tablet has a higher resolution than your PC monitor.
I think that Apple’s latest laptops with a resolution of 2880 x 1800 is the first step
towards a global adoption of higher resolutions. It used to be a case that PCs would be capable
of resolutions far higher than the consoles or mainstream TVs, perhaps it will go back
to that way again for a while- if the next generation of consoles are released in the
next couple of years I seriously doubt that they’ll have the hardware power to run decent
looking games at a 4K resolution, though they may support it to some extent, even if it’s
only for menus, videos and more simplistic games.
I don’t think that it will be too long before the next generation of consoles is announced-
the Unreal 4 engine has been shown running in real-time and Square Enix have also released
a video- both of these are running in real-time on a geforce 680, which makes me believe that
this is the sort of power that the next generation of consoles will be aiming for. But I’ll
talk more about that in another video.