Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What I want

This is not at all surprising:


There are a few bits of news that can be inferred from this. Microsoft has said very little about their plans, but I doubt they will pull the next gen trigger before Sony tips their hand, so 2014 for both sounds reasonable. Secondly, it means that neither of the big two take Nintendo seriously anymore. The WiiU may actually come out this year and they don't care because it will be old technology before the first child rips it open of Christmas day, plays it once, and then ignores it.

When the industry moved from the Playstation 2/Xbox era to PS3/XB360 all I wanted was more of the same with better graphics. For the most part that is exactly what we have gotten, and it keeps getting better as we near the end of the current generation. All signs point to the next jump not being as big in the visual department, but that's okay. My desires for my next hardware investment have matured and gotten more specific as I myself have gotten older and more cranky (please note that I, myself, have not matured).

There is only one thing that I want: the end of load times. The world would be a better place if I didn't waste a non-zero amount of my time playing a game waiting to play the game. Skyrim is the perfect example of this. Quick travel to a new area - load time. Enter a building in the area - load time. Exit the building - load time. How much more believable would their world be if opening a door did not lead to 30+ seconds of a black screen? I want to open and be able to look inside, or better yet leave a building and have the outside actually there waiting for me instead of being hastily build behind the virtual scenes.

It is no small irony that this very request was a reality during the early days on console gaming, and I do understand that pushing around a few meg of information is much easier than pushing around a few gig, but I think it is time for the technology to start serving the game play instead of the game play being slave to the new hotness of the next graphics engine. What good is a photo realistic world if that world is broken up into small chunks? Realism is about more than vertical lines of resolution and texture depth, it is about losing yourself in the game and the abolishment of loading screens will do more to advance this goal than all the new features of the Unreal 4 engine combined.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

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