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How Important Are Graphics Really?


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I'm not sure what you mean by "focusing on gameplay". Does that have to do with user interface like the Wii, or some other abstract concept I haven't considered yet? If you mean the former, then developers have no reason to develop anywhere but on Wii considering its low development costs. If you mean the latter.. well, educate me.

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But user interface != gameplay.

User interface and the Wiimote and all that is simply a changing the way the game is played. It doesn't magically change the game itself as a genre. If you play a sports game or a fighting game or whatever type of game on the Wii with a new control scheme, that's fine and dandy, but that doesn't typically change the core gameplay.

I don't think game developers magically lost the ability to make original games using traditional dual-shock style controllers. I doubt they ever will.

And there is a reason why developers still look to 360 and PS3 development even if they may be more expensive. For one, the 3rd party gets much more exposure than they do for a Nintendo home console. Secondly, the more they spend, the more profit is at stake as well. The BURGERKING games for the 360 was one of the most profitable games of 2006. Gears of War sold more than 2 million. There's a lot of money to be had for the more effort it may take.

And graphical capabilities having less restrictions leads to new ideas since game developers don't have to worry about it as much. Though they typically run the systems to their limits two or three years in. But by then, they tend to focus a lot more on original gaming content. Look at Katamari Damacy, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico and a whole slew of original games PS2 got near the end of its lifetime. Same will happen with the 360 and PS3. Wii will predictably get great games mostly from Nintendo itself but with some great ones by the 3rd party too.

Again, I don't think you can say that things will go one way or the other with graphics. Just because Nintendo is doing other things doesn't make it necessarily inferior or superior in its philosophy. And mark my words, Nintendo WILL eventually have to go high definition eventually. But of course, that could take another gaming generation. And by then, we don't know if PS4 or Xbox720 or whatever could have the same Wiimote style innovations or something totally new on their own. Even having a much more powerful system compared to PS3/360 could be good enough. It always has. The gaming market can hold three competitors and the recently exploding sales proves it.

As for the interface features and HD, I was more talking about the in-game texts and the like. In most action games, you typically can only see clear text only when the text is pretty clearly put out on a billboard or in some static, on-screen display. I'm not sure what clear in-game text would do for gaming, but I'm sure they can do certain gameplay related features for it. Like let's say, driving a car and being able to clearly read worded signs that are far away and not necessarily have it on a big board like they typically are. Also, the less space the text occupies the screen, the more room for the actual game displays and etcetera. Wide screen can give you a wider vision compared to the typical standard definition. Some obvious stuff as well.

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User interface and the Wiimote and all that is simply a changing the way the game is played. It doesn't magically change the game itself as a genre. If you play a sports game or a fighting game or whatever type of game on the Wii with a new control scheme, that's fine and dandy, but that doesn't typically change the core gameplay.

Correct, the core gameplay doesn't really change. However, Wii's UI does enhance it. Wii sports tennis translates every subtle game motion into what could potentially hit the ball forehand, backhand, up, down, slowly, quickly, and even with topspin. Placing that amount of complexity into a dualshock controller can not make a playable game.

I don't think game developers magically lost the ability to make original games using traditional dual-shock style controllers. I doubt they ever will.

Dualshock games have lost their novelty however. The controller's 10 years old.

And there is a reason why developers still look to 360 and PS3 development even if they may be more expensive. For one, the 3rd party gets much more exposure than they do for a Nintendo home console. Secondly, the more they spend, the more profit is at stake as well. The BURGERKING games for the 360 was one of the most profitable games of 2006. Gears of War sold more than 2 million. There's a lot of money to be had for the more effort it may take.

Huh? That same concept applies to Wii games, and at a quarter of the development cost. In fact, it especially applies to the PS2. The console has more 3rd party support than any other console on the market right now.

And graphical capabilities having less restrictions leads to new ideas since game developers don't have to worry about it as much.

I disagree. Developers have to worry about graphics more than ever because no one wants to buy a $60 game on a $400 console that doesn't look next gen. The main selling point on the 360, the only thing that differentiates it from the Xbox, is better graphics. Developers must deliver on that point to make their games sell. Gameplay comes afterward.

Wii on the other hand sells it's UI with graphics as a secondary concern. Wii games with poor graphics and good control sell. Look at Wii Sports, Wii Play, Elebits, and Warioware.

Again, I don't think you can say that things will go one way or the other with graphics. Just because Nintendo is doing other things doesn't make it necessarily inferior or superior in its philosophy. And mark my words, Nintendo WILL eventually have to go high definition eventually.

Agreed. Graphics alone can't make that difference. A lot rides on public relations, sales, money, and of course quality software.

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Photorealistic stuff can be great too. For simulations, they are obviously a must. For sports games, they can go for the arcadey feel or the totally realistic feel. Both can be great.

As for FPS games and action games that use photo-realism, I think they play directly into the gameplay. Stuff like FEAR wouldn't be scary at all if it had Wolfenstein sprite graphics, camouflage in FarCry won't be possible with less visual power to even create the foliage, and without the physics engines, Half Life as a franchise would actually be pretty boring.

I do agree with most of this. Some games benefit from photo-realistic styles. Any game aiming for realism in its action, like a simulation, is an obvious choice. In cases like this, a reality based look is only appropriate, though not the only visual choice.

As for shooters, I feel it varies. I think say; a gritty comic book presentation can be just as successful as a realistic look. Again, it depends on the shooter in question. If we're talking a military sim with realistic weapons, then sure, make the characters realistic. If we're talking something more science fictiony, then studios should look into other art styles too.

Personally, I just hate how photo-realism seems to be placed on a pedestal by so many gamers, as if it were the end-all in graphic presentation, and how a lot of developers seem to view it as the default look to go for. It makes for a lot of games that look samey. It also makes for games that look bad, and I'm talking animation here.

It's not too hard to make something look realistic in stills...but add in animation and it's a whole new ballgame. The more realistic a model, the more exact you have to get the animation. Reality is full of subtle movement that makes it real, like the jiggle of fat and muscle, the way skin creases when you smile. The more realistic your model, the more nuances you have to hit or it just plain doesn't look right. No, motion capture doesn't help in this regard.

This is the biggest pitfall of photo-realisim: getting the animation right. It’s also an element that drives up production costs big time.

It’s still my personal taste to see stylized presentations and solid art design over special effects and fancy shaders. Artistically speaking, my biggest fear over the increasing power of game systems is that it becomes easier and easier to Chrome a Turd.

Chroming the Turd – definition: A Turd is a fundamentally bad piece of art, be it a 3-D model, or sketch or game design or whatever. Chrome is shiny. A Chromed Turd is a bad piece of art that’s “Ohh Ahh, I can see my reflection shininess.” In other words, an attempt to hide bad art by dressing it up in fancy coloring, or special effects, etc.

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User interface and the Wiimote and all that is simply a changing the way the game is played. It doesn't magically change the game itself as a genre. If you play a sports game or a fighting game or whatever type of game on the Wii with a new control scheme, that's fine and dandy, but that doesn't typically change the core gameplay.

Uh...Wii Sports has radically different "core gameplay" than any sports or even any video game I've ever played. As does Wario Ware. With those two games specifically, I really don't feel like I'm just playing a game anymore but doing something new. If you play games like DBZ or Zelda on the Wii (which imo really improves them), then yes, your point makes sense, but if you're trying to say that the Wiimote doesn't change some games that it has tried, then you're just being silly.

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This one's easy: graphics are VERY important.

However, they're not the only element that makes a game great. Also, the importance of high-quality graphics varies depending on the genre of the game.

Those criticizing the Wii for not supporting anything above 480P (and being graphically underpowered in general) tend to downplay the importance of control surface. Control surface, again, is important, and again its importance varies depending on the genre of the game. Those criticizing the 360 and PS3 for focusing on graphics too much tend to downplay graphics and place all the focus on controls. Neither controls NOR graphics equate to solid gameplay.

People tend to forget that, just as pointless games can be made to show off impressive graphics, the Wiimote functionality CAN be artificially added to games as a gimmick. Either technology can be abused; I think the number of games that really call for alternative control surfaces like the Wiimote aren't as common as Nintendo would have us believe. I applaud their bravery in putting out a product that clearly and inarguably innovates, but with HDTVs becoming so much more prevalent, and graphics remaining (rightfully, in my opinion) one of the large draws for gaming, I think the approach will end up being a mistake in the long run.

I'm still buying one.

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Graphics are what get us interested in a game initially, its nothing more than a shallow way to grab our attention and interest. However, like that hot girl you're are talking to, if her personality doesn't exactly it if for you, you start losing interest and then you walk away. Basically, graphics grab our attention, but we stay for the gameplay. I guess you could say that you don't need the BEST graphics, but good graphics are important so that you can garner interest, but if you really want to make more sales via word of mouth you have to have good gameplay to back it up.

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I applaud their bravery in putting out a product that clearly and inarguably innovates, but with HDTVs becoming so much more prevalent, and graphics remaining (rightfully, in my opinion) one of the large draws for gaming, I think the approach will end up being a mistake in the long run.

I honestly don't think it will be a mistake. If anything, the dominance of the Playstation, Playstation 2 and DS have shown that system power simply does not translate into sales.

Personally, I wish the Wii was a little more powerful so games like Elebits wouldn't piss all over the framerate, but that's more of a CPU/bad programming issue I guess.

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I honestly don't think it will be a mistake. If anything, the dominance of the Playstation, Playstation 2 and DS have shown that system power simply does not translate into sales.

Personally, I wish the Wii was a little more powerful so games like Elebits wouldn't piss all over the framerate, but that's more of a CPU/bad programming issue I guess.

Well, while PS2 was weaker than its competitors, it still took a big step up from the PS1, while the Wii isn't nearly as large of a leap from the Gamecube.

I still think my earlier quote holds:

Graphics is just important insofar as not looking out of place for the style the game presents itself as.
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Correct, the core gameplay doesn't really change. However, Wii's UI does enhance it. Wii sports tennis translates every subtle game motion into what could potentially hit the ball forehand, backhand, up, down, slowly, quickly, and even with topspin. Placing that amount of complexity into a dualshock controller can not make a playable game.

I really disagree with this. Why? Because Madden for the Wii, Red Steel and just about every Wii game I rented and heard stories about people learning the control scheme (as in getting used to it, getting the hang of its unique complexities, etc) isn't really different from using the dual shock and learning the button schematic. If you are even mildly receptive of games, then you WILL learn the controls. This goes both for the Wii and Dual Shock styles. I mean, one of the prevailing discussions with the Wii is how difficult some games are to learn the controls compared to the traditional style. I own the Dragonball Wii game and I can definitely attest that it definitely would be easier on the PS2 like it has been reported. There's a learning curve with both consoles. This is pretty much factual as I see it. Don't tell me you can "jump in" and play the games. A lot of Wii games don't allow for that. Even with simplistic games like Warioware, you need to get some hang of the control handling compared to the extremely easy setup of the original Warioware titles.

Dualshock games have lost their novelty however. The controller's 10 years old.

I don't really think novelty even matters at this point though. It's just there and it's the games that matter entirely with the traditional game controllers. Then put in some oddballs like Karaoke Revolution or Guitar Heroes or Taiko Drum games. Typically musical type of games where the controls can actually make the game.

I disagree. Developers have to worry about graphics more than ever because no one wants to buy a $60 game on a $400 console that doesn't look next gen. The main selling point on the 360, the only thing that differentiates it from the Xbox, is better graphics. Developers must deliver on that point to make their games sell. Gameplay comes afterward.

I wonder. The game developers aren't stupid and they are obviously very, very competent with the visual aspect for the most part. In the few games after launch, it was the case that they were more concerned about the visual upgrade. A lot of the new versions of the older franchises will go through that same transition. But eventually, the gameplay is what sells games and they are picking up on it now. I really feel that is the case now.

I would agree that the lower development costs could mean a lot, but technically, the 360 and PS3 still has a ton of unique projects coming up. I think the difference in the visual power of the systems is the cause. I think it all could change if all the systems eventually have similar features, but they aren't. Not this generation.

Personally, I just hate how photo-realism seems to be placed on a pedestal by so many gamers, as if it were the end-all in graphic presentation, and how a lot of developers seem to view it as the default look to go for. It makes for a lot of games that look samey. It also makes for games that look bad, and I'm talking animation here.

I think the whole thing with animation is getting a lot better though. It's not like the realistic representation is used to be realistic. There's always the aliens, the crazy over the top action and such. Even with the realistic style shooters, just look at the new Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six Vegas and the animation is quite up to par.

As for the graphics being put on a pedestal, I don't know about that. You NEVER hear PC gamers complain about some "fall of gaming" or that games are losing their soul over the latest PC game having jaw dropping graphics. I don't want to sound divisive here, but I think the whole Nintendo marketing scheme with their "graphics don't matter" thing is getting into the heads of some people. People predictably said the same thing when the PS2 and Xbox came out and most people still thought the PSX-style graphics were "good enough". Then of course, when the killer aps start coming out, people predictably shush about the issue. Seriously. Can anyone really blame Gears of War for looking jaw droppingly beautiful AND having a unique art style all its own? Or maybe Spores taking advantage of next generation graphics and processing capability?

Uh...Wii Sports has radically different "core gameplay" than any sports or even any video game I've ever played. As does Wario Ware. With those two games specifically, I really don't feel like I'm just playing a game anymore but doing something new. If you play games like DBZ or Zelda on the Wii (which imo really improves them), then yes, your point makes sense, but if you're trying to say that the Wiimote doesn't change some games that it has tried, then you're just being silly.

Well, I don't think something like the Wii Sports boxing is much different something like the recent Fight Night games where you simply use the two analog sticks as avatars for arm movement. As for Warioware, yeah, the motion sensitive stuffs adds a lot. But I don't think it's something that hasn't been explored to varying degrees by all the internet games that hinge of mouse-sensitivity or twitch gameplay.

I do actually agree that the Wiimote can add a lot to the experience, but I don't think it's a make it or break it deal. Similar story with graphics. It can either totally make the experience and sell the game by the millions, or it can go the pedestrian route and simply have good looking visuals for the sake of having it. I mean, Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo was the perfect example of it. Then later on, they release Viva Pinata which has the same gorgeous visuals, but with much more of a focus on the gameplay. I really think graphics matter a lot, but it depends on how developers use it. On this one issue, I agree with DJP's assessment. Graphics, controls, the hardware quirks and etc are all components of the whole. I don't believe they can ever be separate from eachother, though game developers can sell them individually. But ultimately, they all come together in a singular gaming experience.

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As for the graphics being put on a pedestal, I don't know about that. You NEVER hear PC gamers complain about some "fall of gaming" or that games are losing their soul over the latest PC game having jaw dropping graphics. I don't want to sound divisive here, but I think the whole Nintendo marketing scheme with their "graphics don't matter" thing is getting into the heads of some people. People predictably said the same thing when the PS2 and Xbox came out and most people still thought the PSX-style graphics were "good enough". Then of course, when the killer aps start coming out, people predictably shush about the issue. Seriously. Can anyone really blame Gears of War for looking jaw droppingly beautiful AND having a unique art style all its own? Or maybe Spores taking advantage of next generation graphics and processing capability?

I'm afraid you've misunderstood me. When I was talking about graphics on a pedestal, I was specifically refering to photo-realism. This is a completely seperate issue from machine capabilities. I'm not saying that PS3 and Xbox 360 = bad because they are graphic powerhouses. I'm saying that you don't need a graphic powerhouse to create a beautiful game. I'm also saying that photo-realisim does not trump all other styles.

Edit: I also should note that in no way do I feel striving for photo-realisim is an invalid goal. My dislike of photo-realism is purely personal taste and extends to other art mediums beyond videogames.

Visuals are very important to me, what with me being a graphic artist. But I'm interested in the foundation and artistic integrity that lies beneath a design, not the flashy stuff overlaying it. If it's good, it's good, and fancy effects are icing IF they add to the design. But flash for the sake of flash with nothing underneath does not impress me. Also, you do not put a fur shader on say, Bugs Bunny, just because you can.

Simpler approaches can yield impressive results. Limitation, imposed or volunteered, can solidify design. And all of this is dependant on artists. Artists of merit, with a clear vision and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their medium, will create great visuals regardless of what system they design on. Just because something is made for the PS3 does not mean it will automatically look better than something made for the Wii. It's dependant on the people creating the game and how well they play to a system's strengths.

Vagrant Story on the original Playstation, is a beautiful game, not was, but is. The Sly Cooper games are marvels to look at, but sport little in the way of fancy effects. They hardly push the PS2, but they don't need to. The art design in those games is so strong, that the only benefit they would gain from a more powerful system is better texture resolutions.

Solid design is timeless and independant of system power. Instead of making "mine is bigger than yours" arguments, people should simply enjoy and appreciate the craftmanship of great looking games irespective of what system they appear on, and not get so tied up in whether it's bump-mapped or not.

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I'm afraid you've misunderstood me. When I was talking about graphics on a pedestal, I was specifically refering to photo-realism. This is a completely seperate issue from machine capabilities. I'm not saying that PS3 and Xbox 360 = bad because they are graphic powerhouses. I'm saying that you don't need a graphic powerhouse to create a beautiful game. I'm also saying that photo-realisim does not trump all other styles.

Edit: I also should note that in no way do I feel striving for photo-realisim is an invalid goal. My dislike of photo-realism is purely personal taste and extends to other art mediums beyond videogames.

Visuals are very important to me, what with me being a graphic artist. But I'm interested in the foundation and artistic integrity that lies beneath a design, not the flashy stuff overlaying it. If it's good, it's good, and fancy effects are icing IF they add to the design. But flash for the sake of flash with nothing underneath does not impress me. Also, you do not put a fur shader on say, Bugs Bunny, just because you can.

Simpler approaches can yield impressive results. Limitation, imposed or volunteered, can solidify design. And all of this is dependant on artists. Artists of merit, with a clear vision and understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their medium, will create great visuals regardless of what system they design on. Just because something is made for the PS3 does not mean it will automatically look better than something made for the Wii. It's dependant on the people creating the game and how well they play to a system's strengths.

Vagrant Story on the original Playstation, is a beautiful game, not was, but is. The Sly Cooper games are marvels to look at, but sport little in the way of fancy effects. They hardly push the PS2, but they don't need to. The art design in those games is so strong, that the only benefit they would gain from a more powerful system is better texture resolutions.

Solid design is timeless and independant of system power. Instead of making "mine is bigger than yours" arguments, people should simply enjoy and appreciate the craftmanship of great looking games irespective of what system they appear on, and not get so tied up in whether it's bump-mapped or not.

Though I am loath to make such statements, it seems as though this one is the most appropriate, after reading aarowswift's reply:

THREAD OVER

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Excellent post AarowSwift.

I really disagree with this. Why? Because Madden for the Wii, Red Steel and just about every Wii game I rented and heard stories about people learning the control scheme (as in getting used to it, getting the hang of its unique complexities, etc) isn't really different from using the dual shock and learning the button schematic. If you are even mildly receptive of games, then you WILL learn the controls. This goes both for the Wii and Dual Shock styles. I mean, one of the prevailing discussions with the Wii is how difficult some games are to learn the controls compared to the traditional style. I own the Dragonball Wii game and I can definitely attest that it definitely would be easier on the PS2 like it has been reported. There's a learning curve with both consoles. This is pretty much factual as I see it. Don't tell me you can "jump in" and play the games. A lot of Wii games don't allow for that. Even with simplistic games like Warioware, you need to get some hang of the control handling compared to the extremely easy setup of the original Warioware titles.

You're talking about games that have been ported to Wii. The developers behind these games literally replaced button inputs with gimmicky wrist flicks (GMF, it's a meme, remember it), even in Red Steel's case. Buttons do far better job than motion-sensitive controls in the realm of immediate and accurate response. However, they can not accept dynamic input. In that respect, you can not play Wii Sports Tennis with a dualshock controller. This is more fundamental that just whether the player swings the controller or not. A button can not tell how hard you want to swing the racket, or in which direction. An analog stick can do the job perhaps, but Tennis also allows the player to angle their shots high and low. That can be accounted for with buttons or a second analog stick I suppose. Topspin adds another layer of complexity. So essentially what a motion-sensitive controller can do takes an analog stick and 3+ buttons. That sure sounds fun.

The benefits of and extra thumb become more apparent in a FPS, where the player uses their wrist to move around instead of their right thumb. They player can then manipulate buttons at the same time as aiming to, say, change weapons while aiming or use an action button. These are subtle differences efficiency of course, but they make all the difference. Gamers love how Link can run and swing his sword at the same time in Twilight Princess.

Grasp the possibilities beyond traditional games altogether. The Wii remote is more reflective of humanistic actions than any controller before it. Fitness games are possible. Swordfighting games that track how hard you swing are possible. Writing, drawing, dancing, and 3D modeling can all be done. Developers just need to utilize it. So what if mice, analog sticks, and buttons can do "essentially" the same thing? No one's going to buy them.

Wii's future and all of it's innovation will be integrated with dynamic input.

I don't really think novelty even matters at this point though. It's just there and it's the games that matter entirely with the traditional game controllers. Then put in some oddballs like Karaoke Revolution or Guitar Heroes or Taiko Drum games. Typically musical type of games where the controls can actually make the game.

People pay a lot for novelty. Look at High Definition.

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Graphics, honestly, can only go so far. When everyone has ultra high resolution, super sharp, near photo-realistic graphics, how will one big name game be able to make itself known over the competition?

Look at how the fighting genre has gone. How long until DoA, Tekken and Soul Caliber look exactly the same, to the point where if you hide the UI elements(health, timer, etc..), one game can't be told from another, without knowledge of the cast included in the game? It's already getting there.

For graphics, it only has to be as good as the style dictates. Would Okami be any better in HD? Does HD make Alien Hominid look/play/feel any more next gen? No.

Think back.. a lot of us here use emulation to play our favorite games of old.. how many of those games are held in high esteem as having ground breaking graphics? Who plays Super Mario World, or PS1 games, or N64 games in an emulator? If you're so intent on high resolution graphics, why do you play them?

Now, that isn't to say graphics aren't needed.. There are some games that are just outright painful to try playing, due to horrible graphics. Like Aidyn Chronicles for N64. But, there's always games with really low quality graphics, that still work wonderfully, such as Tetris, or Chu Chu Rocket.

The graphics should always, and in fact should -only-, work to match the game environment. To be a part of the game, and not to -be- the game itself. Unless it's a painting game or something.

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Look at how the fighting genre has gone. How long until DoA, Tekken and Soul Caliber look exactly the same, to the point where if you hide the UI elements(health, timer, etc..), one game can't be told from another, without knowledge of the cast included in the game? It's already getting there.

I think the fighting game makers are just going to try to make bouncier boobs to try to beat the competition from here on out.

Sex sells apparently.

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You're talking about games that have been ported to Wii.

What are you talking about? Ports needs to be made specifically for the Wii for the controls. Look at Madden for the Wii for example. Besides the learning curve and the general complexities of the control, it worked pretty well.

The developers behind these games literally replaced button inputs with gimmicky wrist flicks (GMF, it's a meme, remember it), even in Red Steel's case. Buttons do far better job than motion-sensitive controls in the realm of immediate and accurate response. However, they can not accept dynamic input. In that respect, you can not play Wii Sports Tennis with a dualshock controller. This is more fundamental that just whether the player swings the controller or not. A button can not tell how hard you want to swing the racket, or in which direction. An analog stick can do the job perhaps, but Tennis also allows the player to angle their shots high and low. That can be accounted for with buttons or a second analog stick I suppose. Topspin adds another layer of complexity. So essentially what a motion-sensitive controller can do takes an analog stick and 3+ buttons. That sure sounds fun.

Analog + buttons have always been efficient and fun. I'm simply guessing that you are being incredibly biased about all this. I played Wii Sports and I played sports games since the 80's. PONG was a sports game of sorts and it was done with an unwieldy joystick and it still ended up being fun for its time. As for something like Fight Night, it had a very intuitive two analog stick setup. Not all Dual Shock style controllers even USE all the buttons and analog sticks and etcetera. Much like how the Wii games tend to leave most of the functions to the motion sensors and a few crucial buttons and nunchuck aspects.

The benefits of and extra thumb become more apparent in a FPS, where the player uses their wrist to move around instead of their right thumb. They player can then manipulate buttons at the same time as aiming to, say, change weapons while aiming or use an action button. These are subtle differences efficiency of course, but they make all the difference. Gamers love how Link can run and swing his sword at the same time in Twilight Princess.

I honestly don't see much of a difference in terms of such efficiency with FPS games. Especially not after they got the hang of the aiming sensitivity and the better analog inputs since the PS2 and Xbox. It's simply a different control scheme. I do not see a huge disparity between them.

Grasp the possibilities beyond traditional games altogether. The Wii remote is more reflective of humanistic actions than any controller before it. Fitness games are possible. Swordfighting games that track how hard you swing are possible. Writing, drawing, dancing, and 3D modeling can all be done. Developers just need to utilize it. So what if mice, analog sticks, and buttons can do "essentially" the same thing? No one's going to buy them.

Depends on how the game makes itself immersive in their respective ways. Games that just use keyboard and mouse, which is possibly one of the strangest ergonomic control method in gaming history, can be quite good at controlling complex strategy games, shooters and etcetera. But those types of games including the games that use traditional controllers focus entirely on the context of the game itself and the mechanics that happen within the game. Not from the controls itself.

People pay a lot for novelty. Look at High Definition.

I didn't expect much other than gaming partisanship from you really. No offense meant, but that's the vibe I keep getting.

Graphics, honestly, can only go so far. When everyone has ultra high resolution, super sharp, near photo-realistic graphics, how will one big name game be able to make itself known over the competition?

Look at how the fighting genre has gone. How long until DoA, Tekken and Soul Caliber look exactly the same, to the point where if you hide the UI elements(health, timer, etc..), one game can't be told from another, without knowledge of the cast included in the game? It's already getting there.

Will not happen since the subtleties of the battle systems, the characters and the art style for them are all quite different. Of course, to the casual, dumb observer, they may as well be the same. Mario? Crash Bandicoot? Sly? ALL THE SAME. Same logic.

For graphics, it only has to be as good as the style dictates. Would Okami be any better in HD? Does HD make Alien Hominid look/play/feel any more next gen? No.

Okami already looks much crisper and great using upconversion. I'm doing that right now. Also, with HD gaming, it's more the progression of technology to the modern times. Let's face it: Games always has been about the top notch in visual technology. Nintendo tried something new with the Wiimote, but visual technology still sells. And specs-wise at least, the Wii is more powerful than the Gamecube as well. To great effect compared to the last generation hopefully in the coming years.

Think back.. a lot of us here use emulation to play our favorite games of old.. how many of those games are held in high esteem as having ground breaking graphics? Who plays Super Mario World, or PS1 games, or N64 games in an emulator? If you're so intent on high resolution graphics, why do you play them?

I'm sorry, but that is a very silly thing to say. Super Mario Bros games, SMW games, PSOne and N64 games in their days were GORGEOUS, MODERN graphical masterpieces back then. Taking a look back on it with emulation is not a really valid point to make. Likewise, something that we might consider great with the Wii and the 360 and PC gaming today might seem primitive if we saw it from the future. There has to be that context of the age we're in.

Hell, did you think Commodore games used to look awesome? Or Turbografix games? They were in my day. Don't tell me they look like pixelated shit /sarcasm.

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If graphics drove sales, consoles would be dead and PC gaming would rule the world.

Eh, it used to be that consoles were quite more powerful than PCs at the time of release, and had the resources dedicated solely for gaming. Of course, now PC technology has caught up and surpassed it, although that chase in itself has been killing the PC gaming industry.

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Since when was that true? 1992? Graphics haven't given any system the upper hand over the competition since the mid 90s.

If graphics drove sales, consoles would be dead and PC gaming would rule the world.

They do not seem to drive sales over one other directly, but it's still a selling point. Do not take what I say out of context. Really.

As for PC gaming, I think it mostly has to do with the stagnation of the entire industry being run by the same genres and types of games again and again, and being run entirely by the success of a few venerable franchises and not having much room for innovative games to make it big like it can for console gaming. Graphics aren't a measure of downfall by itself as I see it. It depends on the factors surrounding it and what the developers do with it. PC gamers had to contend with rising costs of computer upgrades all the time. This is not something new.

That, and of course, the prevalent stereotype (which is true) in which PC gamers are all some sorts of geeks or hardcore types of gamers. And with internet flash games and other simplistic games being distributed for free and with the general expectation that PC games should have online play and are generally more complicated to play than console games, that just further put it in a niche.

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I'm sorry, but that is a very silly thing to say. Super Mario Bros games, SMW games, PSOne and N64 games in their days were GORGEOUS, MODERN graphical masterpieces back then. Taking a look back on it with emulation is not a really valid point to make. Likewise, something that we might consider great with the Wii and the 360 and PC gaming today might seem primitive if we saw it from the future. There has to be that context of the age we're in.

Hell, did you think Commodore games used to look awesome? Or Turbografix games? They were in my day. Don't tell me they look like pixelated shit /sarcasm.

You, as much as many others, are among the "graphics whore" category. But, you still play old games on emulation, don't you? WHY do you continue to play these games, if their graphics aren't up to your current standards for what you expect from a game?

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You, as much as many others, are among the "graphics whore" category. But, you still play old games on emulation, don't you? WHY do you continue to play these games, if their graphics aren't up to your current standards for what you expect from a game?

Care to stop with the assumptions, please? I merely said that graphics is one of the major selling points in any given day and age where a game comes out. By my definition of graphics, that typically means the visual flair of something. It doesn't have to be realistic, it can be purely cartoony (Wind Waker) or even purely abstract (Lumines) and be presentable along with the gameplay. There's the additional element of nostalgia with any great games that has been played before and the way the visuals and the presentation overall stands up with the technology that were available at hand. I don't just point fingers at "GRAPHICS" or "GAMEPLAY" and do it that way. It has to be a combination of both as I see it. And people playing older videogames, I would assume, would have the brain to know that older games had more restrictions whether it's the visual aspect or in terms of gameplay simply because gaming was lower in the evolutionary ladder compared to the games of today. Legend of Zelda not having the battery save was bad by any standards and it effected the gameplay a lot. But is it understandable? Of course.

Oh, and just because I'm opting to stand up for the visual aspects of games, does it make me some anti-Nintendo gamer? No. I would daresay that I'm a Nintendo fan at the foremost. I'm simply against being so divisive about it all when it's just a matter of different companies taking different approaches to gaming. All with potentially great effect.

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