The Sunday Papers

By John Walker on December 1st, 2013 at 3:05 pm.

If you link me, I will link you.

Sundays are for buffering you against the impact of an incoming Monday morning. Nestle within its plush airbag, and enjoy reading gaming articles from the week.

  • The New Yorker hosts a piece by Maria Konnikova, looking at the first-person shooter, and why it’s such a successful genre. Ignore the awful title, this isn’t a tedious “why oh why?” piece, but rather an exploration of the experience and science of the FPS. “As the environmental complexity, variety of opponents, and difficulty increased, the players’ [of Half-Life 2] faces registered greater positive emotion while their skin indicated increased arousal. Subjectively, they reported feeling happier and more immersed in the experience. They also felt an increase of challenge and tension—Csikszentmihalyi’s optimal match between skill and challenge—as well as a heightened sense of action as their own identity melted away.”
  • I know what you’re wondering right now. Why isn’t there a bath-based gaming peripheral? Well, there is. The Escapist’s Josh Engen writes about a team of Japanese researchers who have figured a way to connect a Kinect to a… bath, to make an interactive display surface. Which is used to TURN YOU INTO A WIZARD. If you watch the video in the article, I promise you you will gasp.
  • Eurogamer’s Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell is always worth reading, and his blog on the site is superbly honest and forward. Yesterday he put up a splendid post grumbling about the ridiculously small hard drives on the Xbone and PS4. “My PlayStation 4, meanwhile, is already home to Killzone (38.5GB), FIFA 14 (9GB), Battlefield 4 (33.9GB) and Assassin’s Creed 4 (21.2GB). That’s over 100GB gone for four games. Need for Speed Rivals is sitting there winking at me through shrink-wrap – 17GB of beautiful street racing waiting to take me a third of the way from zero to 60 (gigabytes). I guess it’s a good thing Sony is embracing smaller indie titles, really, because at this rate there isn’t going to be much room for anything else.”
  • Nearly two months back Sunday Papers linked to the first part of Jody Macgregor’s Alice’s Adventures In The Shivering Isles. It’s now concluded, at eight parts long, and you can catch up on the lot here. “With the Font of Madness cleansed, we can finally consecrate this staff and technically ascend to something resembling godhood. Sitting on the throne, I don’t feel much like a god. I’m holding a stick with an eyeball on it.”
  • Obligatory Spider Queen decides to do some proper research into the depictions of men and women in League Of Legends, and does so meticulously. “People defended Zyra‘s addition to the cast as being okay because Varus exists, but look at the burden he’s shouldering as Riot’s token sexy man. He has to balance out 8 female characters with his washboard abs, and that’s if we pretend we’re delusional and think Udyr is supposed to be sexy. And Kayle? She has to balance the scales against a whopping 15 male characters.”
  • If you missed Charlie Brooker’s Videogames Changed The World, and you live within a territory Channel 4 considers acceptable, you can catch up with it here. If you live outside of the places where the legitimate, legal online stream of the free-to-air programme will play, then goodness knows what you could do about it.

Music? You want music? Then you must have Ellen Save Our Energy by Windmill.

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97 Comments »

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  1. BreadBitten says:

    “Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell” – WHY?! Why must I ALWAYS read that when I’m about to take a sip of my tea?!

  2. Dozer says:

    Oh, Charlie Brooker, if only there was some way I could watch your program from outwith the UK.

    • Commander Gun says:

      Same for me. There is probably a reader out there who might be able to give us some advice how to bypass this weird filter, right?

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      RedViv says:

      Aye, Channel 4 be really ignorin’ how easy it be t’ work around that. Yarr!

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Yes, ok, there’re already HD torrents available. There’s no need for inuendo.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Lol i can watch it from India.

      I can’t. I could open the page. Underestimated the stupidity prevalent on the internet. :/

      Try the Tor browser, or hidemyass.com.
      Probably wouldn’t work, since i guess Channel4 have a location whitelist instead of a blacklist.

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      Gap Gen says:

      For the dedicated, I believe you can subscribe to VPN services that point to various countries.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Media Hint

    • Ironclad says:

      Not to sound like a spambot, there are vpn programs that allow you to mimic a uk-based ip address. I used a program called cyberghost. It has a free version that I found acceptable for this one-off use. It left my hard drive after finishing watching cbrooker.

      • sPOONz says:

        Yep, I too use CyberGhost 5 and its free version is nice and easy to use. I hear a web browser called Opera has a useful feature called ‘offroad’ where by clicking a button hides your IP or something. I have not tried that out myself. I live in the UK and last week the Gov ordered a block off some handy sites which was lame, until VPN saved the day.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Just watched the whole thing from South Africa using Chrome and the Hola Unblocker plugin. So yeah,. try that. :)

    • Squat Thrust says:

      The Hola Unblocker addon for firefox works fine for me.

    • AngoraFish says:

      TunnelBear

    • Text_Fish says:

      Don’t worry, it’s not really -for- PC gamers. You could very easily watch it without realizing that two of the writers and one of the prominent commentators cut their teeth on PC Zone magazine, god rest its soul.

      • Werthead says:

        How so? Between Secret of Monkey Island, Doom, StarCraft, The Sims, World of WarCraft, Braid and Minecraft (which I know is on other platforms, but prominence in the piece was given to kids playing Minecraft on PC in a school), the PC was better-represented than any other platform. The PS3 and Wii had exactly one game each, and the X-Box 360 wasn’t represented at all apart from multi-platform games.

        • Text_Fish says:

          You’ll notice they didn’t actually discuss the importance of the PC as a platform though. Aside from motion control, all of the major innovations that have shaped the games industry for the last 20 years have been tried and tested on the PC and it’s currently pushing ahead with the next two major advancements with Oculus Rift and Steam Box (or more appropriately, bringing open format gaming to the living room). How do you make a programme about the history of gaming without mentioning that?

          PC gamers have struggled for years to get recognition from big publishers and developers, so it’s a bit of a blow to be snubbed in such a mainstream show and it will only further perpetuate the idea among some devs/pubs that the PC isn’t a viable platform.

          Considering the show was permeated and bookended by ads and competitions for PS4 I guess I’m not surprised, bit it’s still disappointing.

    • Dozer says:

      Oh, Charlie Brooker, you gave airtime to someone who invented death threats against them.

      (Susan Calman, not Salman Rushdie. They’re not the same person at all.)

  3. SuicideKing says:

    I dunno, i give 209GB to my games (left 23GB un-partitioned on the SSD just to leave it more room for garbage collection, though it’s probably already overprovisioned so i could probably merge that space if i really fell short), and i still have 32GB left over…with over 22 games installed (and two more being downloaded).

    I don’t even play all of them, could probably uninstall them (and i usually do). So i’m not sure what the complaint with a 500GB HDD is (10 50GB games, 25 20GB games, etc.), but i’m used to micromanaging space…maybe it’s different for console users?

    That said, the PS4’s drive is user replaceable, so if someone wanted to throw in a 4TB drive they probably could.

    However, seeing that it would have barely cost Sony/M$ 5 bucks more to throw in a 1TB drive, it’s surprising they didn’t.

    • ArthurBarnhouse says:

      But it isn’t that surprising. Sony is selling the ps4 at a $50 loss. Even if you were to increase the price by $10, the total loss gets pretty bad once 100,000 units are sold. I’ll bet that 500 was the lowest that could go realistically. If the games were half this size they’re have probably gone with a 250. As it is the machine has enough room for a year or two of games and then if you really want more storage you can put in a bigger one.

      Although that’s a only an option on the ps4.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yeah this makes sense. I really don’t think 500GB is that less anyway, and heck, I honestly don’t really care that much. Was just thinking that this is a bit too much noise over a fairly minor issue.

      • mickygor says:

        Only in North America. They make a profit in Europe.

    • Tams80 says:

      The point is rather moot when the HDD is replaceable, though I recall reading somewhere that the PS4 is currently limited to 1.5TB.

      The argument is that people want to be able to play a game now, but don’t know in advance what game they will want to play, however they don’t want to install one again (even if they can play some of it while it installs). At the moment, with very few games, this isn’t an issue. However give it two years and there may be more than 500GB worth of games that a person will want quick and easy access to. The Xbone seems a little ridiculous at the moment in this regard, as it is being marketed like a HTPC, yet there is no new on the external storage.

      It’s akin to the argument over at Anandtech about microSD cards in phones. Quite a few people want all, or a lot of their music and other content on them, as they don’t know what they will want to listen/watch/read.

      • SuicideKing says:

        The argument is that people want to be able to play a game now, but don’t know in advance what game they will want to play, however they don’t want to install one again (even if they can play some of it while it installs).
        Um i’m not quite sure i follow…if they run out of space, they could probably uninstall a game that they don’t play anymore? I mean there aren’t that many games these days that offer a whole lot of replay value…

        I’m not exactly sure if the microSD card comparison is that valid (i’ve read the article and remain in favour of extendable storage)…people (with needs like mine) want microSD slots because:
        1. the internal storage can’t be increased
        2. in internal storage is tiny to start with (4/8/16/32 GB and rarely, 64GB)
        3. for tiny increases in flash, there’s a huge premium to pay. A lot of the world pays full price for their phones, after all.
        4. People’s music and/or video libraries alone are over 16GB, so external storage is mandatory for that purpose.
        5. Cloud storage is very expensive (because of data charges, even if the storage is free) in most parts of the world.
        6. It’s convenient to swap out memory cards should you desire. If you think you need a bigger SD card, use the older one in something else when you upgrade.
        7. related to 3, microSD cards are dirt cheap compared to internal flash upgrades.

        So it’s not really the same as the PS4. Here, external storage is an option, the internal storage is deemed to small…and yes, if people use it for audio and video playback then they probably will…not sure what the issue is with games. But i guess some people don’t uninstall and…can’t do much about that really.

    • Moraven says:

      Sony would do well to sell an external HDD enclosure for 3.5 drives. But people might prefer the size ofmnexternel USB drives. Nintendo only gives 32gb sadly and they are starting to promote digital downloads more. They offer 10% eShop points on all purchases. Good deal but I! Afraid of running out space fast. Think they would support it more due to the inability to sell used digital copies.

      Not sure how many disc based ps4 games I will get.

    • Wulfram says:

      I guess it’s something they can improve in later models

    • vivlo says:

      I was ignorant of the fact that you actually need to install games on nowadays gen’s console. Now, with that in mind, i wonder why would anyone want a console over a PC ?

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        welverin says:

        inFamous Second Son

        o.k. that’s why I want a console in addition to my pc.

      • pepperfez says:

        And people are talking about replacing hard drives on them! At that point, you’re saving no effort at all over a pc.

        • fish99 says:

          Since they’re using x86 APUs it’s only a matter of time before someone tries upgrading them.

          • SuicideKing says:

            If you mean upgrading the APUs, then that’s most likely not possible.

          • fish99 says:

            Yeah I know, the chip is probably soldered and the firmware would probably stop working if it detected the wrong chip. The idea of upgrading a console and getting better framerates than someone else with the same console just tickles me though :)

          • SuicideKing says:

            It’ll get a lot of console folks angry though. :D

            “Y UR XBONE IS MAOR BIG THEN* MINE”

            That said, whoever puts in a 1TB SSD into their PS4 will be dizzy with delight.

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        The Random One says:

        Honestly, that’s why I switched consoles for the PC about one year back. It wasn’t because I thought PC was better, it was because consoles stopped doing all the things that made me want to use them, and continue to do all the things I would admit worked better on PC.

        • Philotic Symmetrist says:

          PC gaming still hasn’t sufficiently accepted split-screen or otherwise local (single machine) multiplayer. Having local but not online may frustrate a lot of people but having online but no local for games that it would suit just doesn’t make sense to me. Especially since the true strength of the PC is options, why is this option which was standard for consoles over a decade ago still largely ignored on the PC?

          • Baines says:

            That doesn’t really matter when console games have spent the last ten years slowly dropping splitscreen and local multiplayer.

            The first Xbox had a couple of games with four player local splitscreen co-op campaign, and some developers hoped for four player but ultimately had to dial it back to two. The Xbox 360 had games where developers were considered going out of their way to offer two player local splitscreen co-op campaign.

            Every Call of Duty from COD2 to Black Ops 2 had four player local splitscreen deathmatch. Infinity Ward apparently dropped that feature with Ghosts, the first PS4/XO-gen title. At the same time, former Infinity Ward (who were making some of those earlier COD games) made their newest game online only.

            These days, it seems you are as likely to find two or four player local in PC games as you are console games. Both because there are PC games actually offering the ability and because console games have been removing it.

          • Vinraith says:

            Console games have seemingly abandoned local multiplayer as well, it’s a large part of the reason I haven’t bought one since the PS2.

  4. zachforrest says:

    Bramwell does well to get 400 words out of that

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      oggnogg says:

      And I even enjoyed reading them.

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      Gap Gen says:

      I also enjoyed reference to the antisocial gases, the column of the periodic table that hangs around in the corner of its container and refuses to mingle with the rest of the volume.

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    Gap Gen says:

    “Why isn’t there a bath-based gaming peripheral?”

    Well, they tried once, but it wasn’t that intuitive. I believe Milsom Street pointed the camera up, and the new Southgate bit was the trigger. Or something.

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    RedViv says:

    Xin Zhao’s one revealing costume does have a certain Tom of Finland by way of Romance of the 3 Kingdoms vibe.
    Thank goodness for the writer, but especially this sentence.

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    Hypocee says:

    Mm. The water screen is cute, but I’d seen most of it done before, and more ergonomically, in Johnny Chung Lee’s stuff with the Wiimote. I just recently learned that he went on to help develop the Kinect, which makes all sorts of sense. All that stuff seems like it could be done with a Kinect in front of a typical screen.

    The main sticking point with any of this cool magic screen stuff is the bulky, expensive low-res or bulky, ruinous high-res projector. But put the same amount of money into Rifts or CastARs… I am ever-mindful that these big interfaces can’t handle most of the stuff we do on computers, but I’m so, nebulously, excited about their potential for communication and play. As ever, look up Hans Rosling if you want to see what AR can add to a talk.

    • Baines says:

      You’ve probably seen the AquaTop itself done before. It was a news story covered by several sites over a period of several months during the *first* half of this year.

    • SomeDuder says:

      Man, I love the idea of taking a bath, but once I’m lying in the tub, soaking my girth, I get bored pretty fast. This would be an ideal distraction.

      Alas, I lack a rubber duck.

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    Arathain says:

    The duck is the most dangerous opponent.

    • Tams80 says:

      The duck must be appeased by singing the ‘Rubba Ducky’ song and doing the Enoshima dance.

      Duck!

  9. Eddy9000 says:

    The spider queen article makes great recommendations:
    – Make the female character population as diverse and interesting as the male population (perhaps some older matriarchs and battle grizzled warrior-maidens)
    and
    – Make the male character population at least as nekked and sexy as the female one

    These would be good rules of thumb for developers.

    Also the summary that “Having female characters exist disproportionately as eye candy sends a subconscious message about what is valuable or desirable about women.” is so bloody succinct that I’m not sure how people can disagree with it, but I’m sure they’ll try.

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      Gap Gen says:

      I think it makes a good point that sexualising women is so commonplace that even women don’t notice, while a lot of men get creeped out if they see sexualised images of men; there’s a lot of latent insecurity and homophobia in men, I think, that women don’t have, or have to a lesser extent. I suspect that the developers are mainly falling into the trap of not really thinking about what they’re doing, either way.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I have a friend of mine who studies stuff like this (sociology and related subjects), she made an interesting point one day which is similar to what you’ve pointed out: that society sort of got used to women taking up traditional male roles (i think she meant during the mid and late 20th century especially) but it still hasn’t gotten used to men taking up female roles or exhibiting femininity.

        I think this came up when i was wondering aloud why guys can usually tell if another man is gay pretty easily, but we don’t realise when the woman we’re talking to is lesbian.

        (i wasn’t just randomly generalizing, it was just what i had observed with myself and a few of my friends, no disrespect/offence intended).

        Not directly related to the topic, but it seemed worth posting here.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          I think it’s a little self fulfilling, you generally know gay men that act stereotypically ‘gay’ are gay, and so you think that it’s easy to spot gay men, but actually you’ve come across loads of gay men who don’t act any differently and you didn’t notice them. In my experience as a gay man the stereotype of the camp gay man actually accounts for a minority of gay men (sometimes referred to as ‘scene’), if you go to a non-scene gay bar then you’ll be surprised at how similar the men are to any other bar, except that there’s lots of them, and some of them are kissing. Do a wikipedia search on ‘bears’ for an example of a popular gay subculture that privileges masculinity.

          Something I might add is that I don’t think it’s ‘femininity’ of men that patriarchal society has a problem with, it’s the sexualisation of men full stop. Like spider queen was saying, there aren’t as many male characters with their ripped abs out or bare pectorals glistening with sweat or massive bulges protruding through their leather trunks, and these are all symbols of masculine sexuality. I had more to say on this but just writing that sentence has made me need to go and cool down…

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            Gap Gen says:

            Yes, it’s true that things like ripped abs aren’t necessarily what women find attractive as a general group. And yes, I have a gay friend it took me two years to find out he was gay – the only “different” attribute he has is how his taste in films is incredibly bad.

            I’d also argue that women haven’t completely climbed out of the pit of being second-class citizens – look at the number of women who believe/are led to believe that they have to wait to be approached/asked out, for example (either because they’ve been told it by enough people, or because they had bad experiences asking out assholes).

            EDIT: Relevant – http://www.shortpacked.com/2011/comic/book-13/05-the-death-of-snkrs/falseequivalence/

          • Eddy9000 says:

            I think women are probably the largest marginalised group in the world. I think that both women and gay men all love ripped abs though, sometimes we say we don’t but it’s just to make people feel better about themselves ;-)

            If you have a friend and want to find out if he’s gay then sit him in front of “300” for an hour and then ask him to stand up and get you a cup of tea. If he can stand up then he’s straight.

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            Gap Gen says:

            I thought they were just stoked about phalanxes. But sure, point taken.

          • Shieldmaiden says:

            I was going to suggest the same test could be done with scenes of Oliver Queen working out from the Arrow TV show, but I know from personal experience that the chance of false positives is way too high.

          • DiamondDog says:

            Dude, if I had a male friend that was pitching a tent while we’re watching a film together, then their sexuality isn’t going to be top of the list of things we need to talk about.

    • pepperfez says:

      It’s even more inexcusable (and confusing) in a game like LoL with one million characters seemingly created by (no, not with) a barrel of memes, a scoop and a blender. You’d think some badass, weird, unsexy ladies would have gotten made by accident.

    • Viroso says:

      Yeah I liked that too. I really liked the alternate costume part. What was pointed out about LoL works for a lot of games. Female characters are eye candy, when their design doesn’t have that in mind, bet your ass there’s an alternate costume that strips her down.

      People gotta understand that it isn’t about prude patrol or even creating characters just with the intention of balancing things out. It’s just about developers stop fixating on T&A whenever they draw female. There’s so much that isn’t done, like that awesome Baba Yaga picture there.

      • fish99 says:

        I can understand why they do it though, because it gets them extra sales, especially in a game with the demographic that LoL has.

        • cbayley says:

          It might not just be extra sales. I know when I was drawing consistently, I liked drawing men more than women, and consequently got better at that, because I wanted to draw cute dudes. It actually took me a long time to not consistently draw masculine looking women because of this.

          Of course, maybe if they hired more women designers and artists in the games industry, this issue could be solved as well.

    • roboticpuddle says:

      And yet we see the author of the article demanding standards of beauty too. Why is Gragas in the monster category instead of the human category? Other than the arbitrary discounting of the fat guy as a human the article makes some good points. It’s just a waste to discount him when he would fit so nicely in to the debate – an exposed skin male character that fits no standards of beauty.

      • Vinraith says:

        Nice try, but no dice. Gragas could be thin as a rail and he still wouldn’t be remotely human looking. The head, hands, feet, and proportions are all wrong.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    What I enjoyed reading most this week was Eurogamer’s review of Fighter Within.

  11. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Why are game install sizes getting so large? Why is the new CoD and Max Payne each larger than Skyrim’s and New Vegas’ installation files put together without being nowhere nearly that expansive?

    I don’t understand! Nothing makes sense anymore!

    • Wulfram says:

      Better quality textures?

      And probably people no longer worrying about having to make people change disks on consoles.

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      Stellar Duck says:

      I seem to recall “Max Payne” (such as it were) 3 being absolutely riddled with inane and vapid prerendered cut scenes. That would perhaps account for it.

      Same was the case with the new X-Com game at launch. It had all the cut scenes in different resolutions.

      And a terrible crap pile of a game like Force Unleashed came in at about 30 Gb on account of pre-rendered terribleness.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It had all the cut scenes in different resolutions.

        I’ve worked out a really clever way to avoid this, right. Cause, right, all the cutscenes in X-COM are using game assets and levels of complexity anyway, right, yeah, right, how about if, right…it rendered them real-time, in-engine?

        Boosh, heads blown. Wave of the future, mark my words.

        • mbourgon says:

          That puzzled me too, especially since they go out of their way on the “plane landing” cutscene, to show that it’s your people. Doubly irritating on the iPad as the game’s 3gb, of which 1gb is probably cutscene

        • MrUnimport says:

          Massively agreed. Particularly insulting in XCOM where the cutscenes weren’t even particularly heavy on actors and were not visibly different from in-game render quality. Maybe there were some lighting differences, but nothing worth slapping mid-2000s Youtube compression on.

      • Baines says:

        One of the Killzones didn’t just have video recorded at different resolutions, each resolution also had its own audio tracks.

        Different language tracks also can boost the amount of space consumed by audio. Textures may be the biggest space hog still, though. “Hi-res” texture sizes just keep getting bigger, after all.

        Was it Creative Assembly that included files that might not even be used by the game, simply because they lost track of what files they were actually using during development and didn’t want to risk removing something that was necessary? That might have been a different developer, though.

        PS3 games duplicated data across the disc to improve load times. (Something the Killzone developers ran afoul of when they started making the current game with the same technique. Which got twisted into sites misreporting that the game was 200GB and had to be slashed down to 40GB.) So some BluRay games don’t really “need” all the space that they consume. Of course it isn’t likely that the developers go out of their way to make sure a hard drive install will be space efficient.

    • ThTa says:

      Pretty much all of it is going to higher-res textures and cutscenes (most games, even triple-A titles such as Mass Effect 3, used to resort to 720p-at-best cutscenes in order to conserve storage space). Now that both consoles have blu-ray drives and come with a (relatively) large HDD by default, developers won’t have to be as careful about such things.

      I think it’s a good thing, really. High-res assets being the default are going to make multi-platform games a lot more bearable to look at on PCs. But I suppose it would be nice if developers were to account for those with little storage or slow internet and allow for more trim versions of their games to be downloaded on Steam. (Kind of the inverse of high-res texture packs, I guess.)

      • SuicideKing says:

        As long as they remember that we want to play the game and not simply keep watching cutscenes…

        I wonder if they can’t do cutscenes completely in-engine? Like script it in, just add audio. That should save a lot of space. Consoles are capable of non-pre-rendered stuff now, i would suppose.

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          The Random One says:

          I wouldn’t mind that. But I’m a Nintendo 64 baby.

          Though, with modern day graphics, I can’t imagine we’re gaining a lot when using CGI rather than in-game cutscenes.

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          Malibu Stacey says:

          I wonder if they can’t do cutscenes completely in-engine? Like script it in, just add audio.

          You mean like Metal Gear Solid did on the PSX 15 years ago?

    • Shadow says:

      Better quality textures? For the most part, graphics in mainstream games (especially multi-platform ones) haven’t improved significantly in the past few years.

      The only reason games keep getting bigger is because storage mediums keep getting bigger as well. If you’ve space to spare, you’re less likely to divert resources to size optimization and coming up with good compression schemes.

    • Kadayi says:

      Personally I’m OK with it. The bulk of AAA titles from the last generation where held back by having to take account of the hardware constraints of the 360 in terms of having to fit onto a single DVD & not have a guaranteed HDD to install to, as well as run in a tight RAM footprint. That size constraint is the root of all evil as regards the endless repeat character models (pretty much every title), repeat environments (DA2), repeat assets (Dishonored) & repeat dialogue (Skyrim) we’ve had suffer. Right now we’re still largely caught in this ‘cross gen’ phase, with titles like AC IV that from a financial perspective still need to cater to the old gen audience, but with titles like the Witcher 3 we should see games that really leverage the power and capacity of both the next gen consoles & modern PCs. exciting times.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Elder Scrolls and Fallout games are even small compared to games of their time. This is because there is an extreme amount of asset reuse. Asset reuse isn’t a bad thing, everyone does it, but Bethesda’s open worlds can look pretty samey because of how they do it.

      Also, I could be wrong since I haven’t played the game, but I suspect Ghost’s disk space requirements are inflated like its RAM requirements.

  12. Wedge says:

    I was thinking how simple it would’ve been to simply have a slot to install an _additional_ hard drive on the new consoles. Seems like that would be a lot more practical than having to do deal with replacing a hard drive. And is Microsoft still hiding laptop drives in some kind of plastic shell and charging 3x for them on the XB1?

    • ThTa says:

      Nope, they’re not letting you replace it at all, attempting to do so will void your warranty. And there’s no external hard drive support yet. (Not that it’d look very appealing.)

      Their excuse is that you’ll now have “unlimited storage in the cloud”, which is their way of saying that you can download games you’ve bought again. (And if you pay ‘em for a Gold subscription, they’ll even keep your save files and settings there!)

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    The Random One says:

    I think all of us have read a few somewhat clever rogue gamemakers throw a jab at the games industry, but I really enjoyed Gentleman Kyratzes’ “announcement” and perhaps you will too. Here’s a quote in the Sunday Spirit: “Due to popular demand, Ithaka of the Clouds will now include microtransactions. Using our fictional currency of “drachmas”, you will be able to purchase a variety of special items, including the Plot Overdrive, which will take you directly to the end of the game without the need to experience the story or interact with anything except the IthakaStore®.”

  14. fish99 says:

    I don’t see the HDD size as being a big deal. So you might occasionally have to uninstall a game and then wait for an install or a download, it’s nothing anyone with an SSD in their PC isn’t already coping with just fine. If bandwidth is a big problem for you, make sure you buy your games on disc.

    Honestly how many games does anyone play regularly and need to keep installed?

    • LionsPhil says:

      In a multiplayer world where a number of friends may say “hey, up for some X?” for quite a range of X, given old games don’t stop being fun when new ones are released, and waiting even a half-hour for a download is going to hold everyone up?

      Quite a lot.

      • fish99 says:

        So those games that are multiplayer focused that you may play at sometime in the future, you leave those installed, just like I have Planetside 2 and GW2 always installed on my PC. And likewise there’s about 250 games in my Steam library which aren’t installed and can’t be played without a delay while I download them.

        It’s not a problem that has a solution. HDDs have a finite size. Even if they gave you a 4TB drive, there’d still be people out there who buy enough games to fill it ten times over.

  15. Killybilly says:

    I’ve never seen the bath based gaming before, amazing! Eight year old kid to mom: Mommy, can I PLEASE take a bath now??? Mom: Billy, you’re just going to have to wait, you just had one two hours ago…

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      We had a game in the bath when we were young that involved throwing foam fish about. Kids these days with their digiwotsits and electronimagoos.

  16. Jupiah says:

    It’s not the small size of the hard drive in the Xbox One that bothers me, it’s the fact that the hard drive cannot be replaced and external hard drive storage is not supported. Does Microsoft really not realize just how badly they will be sabotaging their own digital download game and movie sales on their console with those pointless and arbitrarily small hard drive restrictions? It’s the same reason I only ever purchase digital games on my PS3 anymore, because my Xbox 360 is limited to a ridiculously small 250gb hard drive and they put them in proprietary plastic shells and charge three times market rate for them. Meanwhile my PS3 has a 1tb hard drive in it with over 600 gigs of downloaded games from PSN sales and Playstation Plus subscriptions.

    Seriously has Microsoft ever actually tried to justify why they lock down their console hard drives so hard while Sony lets you do whatever you want with theirs? It’s so pointlessly anti-consumer and seemingly self-destructive that it seems almost like it’s a move motivated entirely by spite.

  17. Josh W says:

    That fps article is great. It actually makes me want to play some old FPSs again. There’s a funny thing there too, in that somehow in good multiplayer FPSs, that feeling of control continues even when you are loosing. You’re getting beaten, but you’re still getting to do a bit of hopping about and trying strategies.

    I’m thinking tf2 here mainly, where it’s hard to completely spawn camp people without them being able to launch some kind of combined counter-offensive, probably involving uber, and where there’s still grounds to take stock of the situation and then go for it.

    It suggests to me that part of what makes FPSs work is that feedback cycle of planning and trying things, and having smooth and intutitive moment and control mechanics. Finely balanced difficulty curves help, but so do ways to back off and recover and stil try things even when loosing. Alien vs Predator knew this, where difficulty curve spikes could be significant, but you could still do crazy backpedalling and try to get out of there.