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I totally care about graphics. And by graphics I mean cleaner animation and less clipping. Higher resolution = better graphics? If that's the case then slide shows have AMAZING graphics. Look at that realism!

I'm actually very disappointed that the 360 and PS3 support HD. By supporting HD so much processing power is being used to render more pixels. And if you've got it hooked up to a standard TV, the system will still be wasting that power to render the images in HD, even though you don't get to see them.

I was hoping to finally be through with half assed animation for everything but controllable characters, or maybe some non-super-shiny reflective surfaces. It looks like I'm just going to get more of Square's pretty cut-scenes, only now in a higher resolution. :(

I wonder how many people here have actually seen a game in HD. My roomate has an HDTV and I have to say, Gears of War and Ninja Gaiden look mighty impressive on an HDTV.

Take Ninja Gaiden for example. On a normal TV, it looks like any other XBox game. Its kind of fuzzy around the edges, and the camera is pulled far enough back that you can't really tell if Ryu's legs are fully modeled or just triangular prisms. Now take it to an HDTV and you can see a massive improvement in the graphics. Not only is the image sharp and vivid, but many details that are not obvious on a normal TV become quite apparent. Ryu's whole outline is quite visible, and its is amazing how good it looks on XBox. The only downside is, no real detailed texuring, making it look kind of like the original Toy Story.

Then Gears of War. On a regular TV, it looks pretty damn good. Same problem though, its fuzzy, and sort of bland (and if your TV is even slightly dark Gears of War is very difficult to play). Plus, some text and icons (which are extremely important since they are the action indicators for your character) are difficult to make out at times. On an HDTV, the picture lunges to life. Sharp, distinct, vivid. The whole thing just pops off the screen. And text and icons become very visible.

On a absolutely necessary basis, no HD support is not. But as far as graphical impression, its a must.

PS-Super Smash Brothers Melee looks like shit on an HDTV. Pixelated, blurry (and even worse with the deflicker on).

It also depends on what cables you use for the SDTV. The stock composite and S-Video cables are responsible for most of the blur and fuzz, while with component or SCART RGB cables the images are much clearer and sharper, even if you don't go HD. Text clarity is improved, colors are much better, and there's no bleeding on edges where highly-different colors meet.

And yes, those improvements are noticeable enough to purchase the cables, and SCART RGB cables are available for the older consoles as well in Europe.

Too bad I can only use my digital camera to get some shots of the actual difference.

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A 15-20 inch CRT screen is not the same thing as 40+ inch plasma television with superior clarity to anything before it. I mean, I have one right now and the difference is clear as long as you have the high definition content to make use of it.

You are aware that many people these days, especially gamers, have flat screen LCD monitors right?

And another thing is that a PC is not the same thing as a home console you play on a living room. It's simply the different type of mindset. I do agree that with some games on the PC in the last few years, it does things that at the very least, almost rivals what a 360 can do (because not everyone is gung ho enough to have a tricked out tri-processor computer that could easily cost in the $3000s). But it's not the same circumstance and the pricing is much more efficient on a home console in comparison to PCs. Again, just because I'm making a case for HD gaming, it's not like I'm bashing PCs here. It's just two different things when it's all said and done.

Honestly, I think you're overestimating what it costs to make a PC as powerful as a 360. For example, I haven't even spent close to $3000 (under $1500 in fact) on my PC that I built nearly 4 years ago, and Oblivion looks better on it than it does on 360 (and even better, there are mods for Oblivion that give you even higher res textures for PC).

Also, I have my PC hooked up to my TV and surround system. If it were easier to use a mouse/keyboard on my couch, I'd probably never use my monitor again.

However, I can agree that a lot of people would rather just spend $400 than learn how to upgrade their PC.

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And another thing is that a PC is not the same thing as a home console you play on a living room. It's simply the different type of mindset. I do agree that with some games on the PC in the last few years, it does things that at the very least, almost rivals what a 360 can do (because not everyone is gung ho enough to have a tricked out tri-processor computer that could easily cost in the $3000s). But it's not the same circumstance and the pricing is much more efficient on a home console in comparison to PCs. Again, just because I'm making a case for HD gaming, it's not like I'm bashing PCs here. It's just two different things when it's all said and done.

Honestly, I think you're overestimating what it costs to make a PC as powerful as a 360. For example, I haven't even spent close to $3000 (under $1500 in fact) on my PC that I built nearly 4 years ago, and Oblivion looks better on it than it does on 360 (and even better, there are mods for Oblivion that give you even higher res textures for PC).

Also, I have my PC hooked up to my TV and surround system. If it were easier to use a mouse/keyboard on my couch, I'd probably never use my monitor again.

However, I can agree that a lot of people would rather just spend $400 than learn how to upgrade their PC.

Well, PCs are just about to get a kick up in expense with Windows Vista, and for many it will even require new equipment such as video cards. The PC game industry is in transition characteristic of the console industry thanks to Microsoft's new plan, which might become standard.

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You're absolutely right, but PCs now exceed the power and visual capability of both the PS3 and 360. They're only going to look better with DX10 and newer video cards (obviously).

Don't get me wrong, I know PCs are more expensive. I just think it's worth paying since they do so much more than consoles can ever do when it comes to games.

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I'm not sure about the do so much more part - I mean, sure, they have better graphical capabilities at the moment, but the PS3 and XBox 360 are capable of so much more than what they do now so at the moment, one could argue that they are more powerful than PCs. It's more about how it is being utilized.

Also, while PCs have some serious graphical power, the game market is far more limited for PCs than consoles - you have your handful collection of western RPGs, your typical FPS/tactical FPS game, and your RTS, and that's about it for the most part, while consoles offer so much more variety such as rhythm games (i.e. DDR & Guitar Hero), adventure games (i.e. Zelda), fighting games (i.e. Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros.), eastern RPGs (i.e. Final Fantasy, Tales), strategy RPGs (i.e. Fire Emblem, the godfather of the series), and other quirky variety such as the Wario Ware games. Also, the control mechanism for console games is more natural & intuitive than PC games in general, the most notable exception being the RTS genre, despite its roots on console games (Herzog Zwei).

The large problem is that the PC gaming base is generally limited to those who think of themselves as hardcore. Few companies have attempted to expand this market, and many of those attempts end in failure, excepting a few notables such as EA's The Sims. This market is growing increasingly limited while many developers are able to expand on consoles due to the encouragement of making your product stand out with the deluge of clones and done-thats. This is probably why the PC gaming market has been dying in terms of sales.

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Well, my issue with the 360/PS3 is the fact that both consoles are trying too hard to be PCs at this point. Even though they do have exclusive games that can't be had anywhere else, a lot of their other games can be played on a PC with better controls, and $4-600 is getting a little ridiculous to pay for, what is basically, a gimped PC.

Even Nintendo has started to go in that direction with the Wii (Photo, Weather and News Channel) but at least the price is somewhat reasonable. The DS is probably the only current system I really don't have a problem with when it comes to this.

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I'm a bit late to the party, but I've been playing through Okami lately and absolutely love it. It borrows a lot from Zelda but it has enough unique about it to make it a distinctly awesome game. But I can't help thinking how much better it would be on the Wii. It would be perfect for the brush strokes obviously, but other aspects like movement and the disk on Amaterasu's back could be controlled perfectly with the Wii remote. Not to mention the graphical kick that could help the already amazing graphics. Too bad we'll probably never see a port of this.

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Clover is just part of Capcom now and the developer of Okami said that the game would not work well with the Wii for some reason...

Huh, I wonder what their reasoning is, if they have it? I can think of several control schemes off the top of my head that would work well, and I'm sure the graphics would be no problem. Actually, it's probably more political than that. Okami is big hit for the PS2 that Sony wouldn't want to see on the Wii, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Sucks that kind of thing is keeping Okami off the Wii, if I am correct.

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I'm a bit late to the party, but I've been playing through Okami lately and absolutely love it. It borrows a lot from Zelda but it has enough unique about it to make it a distinctly awesome game. But I can't help thinking how much better it would be on the Wii. It would be perfect for the brush strokes obviously, but other aspects like movement and the disk on Amaterasu's back could be controlled perfectly with the Wii remote. Not to mention the graphical kick that could help the already amazing graphics. Too bad we'll probably never see a port of this.

Gahwhat? Praise of the Wii from... Evilhead? 8O

I'm scared. Someone hold me.

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Not to change the topic but...what is everyone's thoughts on the Wiimote speaker so far?

At first, I really didn't like it, but after I turned it off, it really felt like something was missing, especially in Zelda. The only thing that bothers me about it is sometimes it plays sounds that are coming out of your TV/surround speakers too, which is pretty distracting.

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