Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Missing The Point

Linked is an interview with Peter Jackson (yes, that Peter Jackson), who details his affection for the fledgling art of the video game, and how the next-generation platforms are going to be fully buzzword compliant:
"I'm excited that with the new hardware and such amazing leaps forward in technology, I may be able to experience games that even I can't imagine," added Jackson. "I have such admiration for the video game development process and the talent behind these games, that giving them more tools, better hardware, and more budget will only lead to more fantastic adventures."

Please. This drivel is not the future. What Microsoft and Sony are doing with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 are nothing more than the next iteration in a silicon cold war. Bigger, faster, stronger, but not better. Throwing more hardware at this problem is not the way to make more immersive games, or more entertaining ones.

Case in point: the Xbox 360 launch titles. Amped 3? Quake 4? Call of Duty 2? It's more of the same, with higher polycounts. There are some titles with varying degrees of originality, but "games that even I can't imagine?" I certainly hope he's insulting his imagination, not lauding the X360/PS3.

Graphics definitely are one of the most important parts of a game, but we've gotten to the point where it's "good enough" for almost every situation. Graphics will improve as the hardware improves, but no one's doing anything different.

Save for Nintendo. The upcoming Revolution console will have better graphics, there's no doubt about that. But they're planning on sacrificing insane pixel-pushing for...wait for it...a novel interface! *gasp* The horrors! But really, that's where the future lies, is with novel interfaces to already-extant high-caliber graphics. The real game developers agree, as reflected on countless Revolution-centric interviews; it's how you play that counts, not how many polygons are on the screen at once.