THQ: Next-Generation Gaming Goes Beyond Better Graphics, Is About Offering New Experiences

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THQ has said next-generation consoles will have to provide more than better graphics. To be honest the company is right: the jump from this generation to next is going to be less than the transition to the HD era.

Fancy graphics are old: gaming is about producing new experiences. At least according to THQ

When the remaining next-generation consoles are announced at E3 next year, it’s going to be interesting to see what the companies do outside of improved hardware. THQ agrees, compared to the transition into 3D (and high definition also).

CEO Brian Farrell of THQ said PC gaming hasn’t seen a huge jump moving to Direct X11 from Direct X10. He added the development cost when moving to 3D gaming during the PlayStation 1 era increased development costs. Then internal hardware saw a major revision, with the PlayStation 2, improving quality. The jump to this generation of consoles was noticeable: it was the first time I remember not seeing distinct polygons.

Farrell said the next generation consoles will be about the different opportunities in business: different types of revenue, greater online gaming sessions (and probably more always-on connections), and a greater ability to track consumers. Ultimately it means development costs shouldn’t explode, because the technology this time around is more of an iteration. It’s also being used on PCs. This isn’t new technology.

We’re Waiting Patiently

There hasn’t been a unanimous desire for next-generation consoles, probably because of the technology being in a fairly solid state. Seeing games like Halo 4, with its jaw-dropping graphics engine, raises the question on how far the technology can go.

Then again, we’re seeing trilogies have prequels because developers are probably waiting for new consoles to start a new sequel (staying with Halo 4, the series is a new trilogy with two entries probably on next-generation consoles).

Personally, I’d just like to see convenience when using consoles. So a faster Xbox Live dashboard that doesn’t have a white screen when pressing the Guide button. Or BluRay as a standard, so there’s not another L.A. Noire with three discs. Increasing the graphical performance isn’t that big a deal, though probably is for the mainstream consumer as that’s going to be the immediate difference.

Regardless of what’s actually introduced, E3 2013 is going to be very interesting.

Published: Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 Last Modified: August 8, 2012

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