Video Games: Things Have Slowed

Posted on November 30, 2012 3:00 pm

One thing I’ve noticed with video gaming is that things have really slowed tech wise. It used to be with PC gaming, you basically had to upgrade something every year to keep up, and there were constantly games out that pretty much no one but video game reviewers had a rig powerful enough to play. But now I’ve bought a gaming laptop a few years ago and there isn’t even a slight temptation to upgrade. I guess a big part of that is everyone is aiming for the consoles now, and with that you can’t push the hardware very far. And when was the last big PC exclusive? Diablo III? And that didn’t even try to do much graphically.

Of course, it’s also gotten really long between upgrades in consoles which used to be every five years at least. I guess we’ve just gotten to the point where a little bit better graphics doesn’t just doesn’t seem worth it. It was a big leap from NES to SNES. An even bigger leap from SNES to the 3D of N64. And after that it was just how many polygons can we get on screen and improving online play. We’re in a slump. Nintendo is trying a tablet like controller as the next big thing, and who knows what Microsoft and Sony are going to do. If all they have is a bit better graphics (and we’re already at HD), is anyone going to care?

BTW, someone asked for my Steam account. It’s AmericanRonin. I haven’t done any of the community stuff on Steam, and it makes me feel even more a loser playing video games when Steam keeps reminding me I have no friends.

Also, new Humble Bundle out where you can pick up a ton of THQ games for a buck (or more, especially if you want the Saints Row the Third bonus which only cost you about $6 last I checked). I never played any of these games, but it seems you can’t go wrong at the price.

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10 Responses to “Video Games: Things Have Slowed”

  1. pete the elder says:

    Company of heroes is worth it all by itself. Its a good WW2 RTS game, especially if you like micromanaging small groups of units.

    I bought a bunch of good used PS2 games about a year ago at a gamestop sale and I still haven’t beaten all of those so I am waiting for at least the next generation before I get a new system. Its also hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars for a new system + 20-50 for each new game when I can get really good tablet and steam games for $1-10 dollars.

  2. Mr Evilwrench says:

    We’ve kind of hit the performance wall. Remember when we went from 200MHz to 2GHz processors, 1GB to 120GB HDs, 64MB to 1GB RAM in about 10 years? Where are the 20GHz processors, the 100TB HDs, the 1TB RAMs? Things can get only so small and so fast; atoms aren’t going to shrink. The software hasn’t quite caught up to the hardware, but it’s still only evolutionary rather than revolutionary. How many different ways can you package “those are the bad guys, kill them” or “here’s a car, win the race”? I’m glad I climbed off the fanboi wagon years ago and I don’t have to be part of the “why doesn’t it keep getting better like it used to” thing. I used to have such high hopes, but that was back when a 2MHz 8 bit processor with 64K of RAM and a (gasp) 5M HD was the bee’s knees (so to speak). My hopes have been well more than satisfied, so I can die happy.

  3. Keln says:

    Yeah, I don’t have any friends on Steam either. I’ve had invites, but from shady characters.

  4. Harvey says:

    @2 – You’re right, we’re hitting the wall on video performance. Going from 2D sidescrollers to 3D shooters is a huge leap.

    You can’t go 4D, so all you can do is make the pictures prettier, with more detail.

    However, we’re pretty near the point where extra detail won’t be detectable to the human eye.

    And speaking for myself, I *prefer* my shooters to look a little cartoony. Get too photorealistic, and I start getting the uncanny-valley willies.

  5. Harvey says:

    @3 – What are you talking about, “shady characters”. I never invited you 😀

  6. Alucard says:

    @ Harvey, the games and consumer-electronic industries tried to force 3D (stereoscopy, not just 3D graphics) down our throats as the next “big leap.” But no one bit, because:

    a) It’s a silly gimmick, playing tricks with the human eye. The best 3D still has that diorama look to it.
    b) It’s costly and awkward.
    c) It makes many people nauseous

  7. John S says:

    There’s a plateau in computer hardware in general. I have a Sony Windows XP PC that just celebrated its 10th birthday; I keep it around to make old-fashioned standard definition DVDs. (The Sony has real-time MPEG2 encoder hardware.) The PCs I use day-to-day are 5 and 6 years old respectively. As they age, I simply install a lighter distributions of Linux.

  8. Mecahawk says:

    Hey Frank. I’ma add you to steam. I hope to see you on some time. :)
    I’m Mecahawk if anyone wants to start an imao group or something.

    There’s a few games that look like they are worth upgrade for, to me.
    Kingdom Under Fire 2 is an RTS/dynasty warriors style MMO set to come out next year that I’m really looking forward to. The graphics are top notch and the number of characters and entities on screen is absolutely ridiculous. Peter Jackson may be jealous.
    It releases next year I think.

    Hawken, Is what I’ll be playing in the mean time. FPS mech shooter, a bit faster paced that mechwarrior.

  9. Mecahawk says:

    In terms of big leaps graphically, we’ll have to see what John Carmack can do with VR in the coming years as he seems to want to push for that.

    Otherwise we’ll need to watch Valve to see what kind of new Source engine they’re working on.

  10. mikeszekely says:

    Hey, I’m that guy that asked what Frank’s Steam name is. (And I sent you a friend invite, Frank, so you can be one of the popular kids now!)

    Not too sure about this THQ bundle, since I have most of the games. Then again, Saint’s Row The Third for $6, and the warm fuzzy feeling you get from donating to charity without government middlemen calling it taxes and making it mandatory…

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