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What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

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What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Old 01-30-12, 10:00 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

I really think we'll see Microsoft with the 720 and Apple with their not-yet-announced-but-must-be-coming TV going head to head with streaming/DVR/Cablebox/etc. So much functionality in our houses could be run through a gaming device or TV. Imagine if it was a modem/router too. That'd get rid of about half my equipment around the living room.
Old 01-30-12, 10:16 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

For video games: I would also agree with the majority and say achievements. I only hope they are able to successfully transfer this gen's information to the next, but I wouldn't think that would be too hard for them.

To add to the wireless controller things, the Wavebird was awesome, and I remember seeing ads from Nintendo for countdowns to the release date, it was a big deal. I had wireless controllers for the Genesis but you had to point them in the direction of the receiving unit, which was a minor inconvenience. But this gen we have packaged controllers that have full functionality, and are chargeable (for PS3, and optional for 360). That's a big step up, since the Wavebird (and the original PS3 controllers) didn't have rumble. There's no more tripping over the cables and knocking over the system (although the original Xbox's dongle cord was genius).

Nintendo prematurely discontinued the Wavebird, I'm sure there are plenty of people who would buy a re-configured WB specifically for the Wii (that is, actual syncing instead of the radio dials, rumble, possible motion configuration).

For the consoles themselves: The fact that they are media centers, especially the PS3 and 360. For the first few months, I didn't even use the PS3 for video games.

Last edited by bluetoast; 01-30-12 at 10:24 PM.
Old 01-31-12, 05:49 AM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Fuck achievements. Seriously. Biggest advancement this gen, for me: wireless controllers!
Same. Doing zany shit in a game just to see if it could be done is stuff we were doing since the NES days (if not sooner). Someone just slapped achievments on it.

I actually find achievments double-edged since now they're intentionally programed into a game like a quota. Before it was just something that seemed implausible but could be done under the right circumstances and with the right amount of reflexes. Though, yes, there was the ocassional easter egg intentionaly placed their by the programmers.

Wireless controllers, on the other hand, allow me to sit comfortably on my couch and play on my HT setup. My N64 is unplayable now because of the ridiculously short cord on the controller.
Old 01-31-12, 11:21 AM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

If you have your Wii connected to the internet, it also works as a fancy night light.
Old 01-31-12, 01:53 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by lordwow View Post
5) A shift away from strictly gaming - I use my 360 more as a Netflix player than as a gaming system. I use my PS3 more as a Blu-Ray player than as a gaming system. I use my Wii more as a dust collector than a gaming system.
Exactly what I was going to say. Consoles are no longer just for games. My PS3 is basically the centerpiece of my entire home theater. Up until recently (I just got cable for the first time in years), 100% of what I viewed on my TV was running through my PS3 - Blu-ray, Netflix, streaming from my PC, and of course playing games. Achievements are fun and motion controls are a fad that seems to be on the wane. The change in the nature of what a console is and what it can do is what I find to be a true advancement.

I'll also mention the things that are now standard for consoles: online connectivity (and WiFi), wireless controllers, HD graphics (Wii notwithstanding), DLC, downloadable games, and large hard drives, to mention a few. These are all things that existed before, sure. But they're standard now and will be for all generations going forward (Nintendo's head-up-their-ass strategies aside).
Old 01-31-12, 02:24 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

If we're going to nitpick, I'd also say that last generation was when the console morphed into more of an entertainment center. I'm sure the PS2 and the Xbox were the first and sometimes only DVD players in some households. And while it was an unauthorized mod, XBMC is STILL a great media center, arguably better than the built in ones of the current gen.

I do wonder how profitable this has been for Sony/MS... I'm not sure they make money from Netflix, and I know they don't off of streaming from a PC, but do people really buy movies and music off of their services? I remember checking out the prices for buying videos, and I wasn't impressed with the prices, let alone the space limitations.
Old 01-31-12, 03:23 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
If we're going to nitpick, I'd also say that last generation was when the console morphed into more of an entertainment center. I'm sure the PS2 and the Xbox were the first and sometimes only DVD players in some households. And while it was an unauthorized mod, XBMC is STILL a great media center, arguably better than the built in ones of the current gen.

I do wonder how profitable this has been for Sony/MS... I'm not sure they make money from Netflix, and I know they don't off of streaming from a PC, but do people really buy movies and music off of their services? I remember checking out the prices for buying videos, and I wasn't impressed with the prices, let alone the space limitations.
The Xbox also (legitimately) allowed you to rip CDs to its hard drive and play them outside of games.

Whether they make much money or not, I think they realize that they need to include these features to compete (although MS has resisted a BD drive for movies). If someone is considering a device for streaming video, and the game consoles can do it, he might get one of them and become a potential customer for games.

Even Nintendo, which I believe would like to just stick to games, allowed Netflix on the Wii.
Old 01-31-12, 06:15 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

I don't think this was mentioned but game demos and betas that you could download was pretty revolutionary.
Old 01-31-12, 06:47 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Since I've only had my PS3 for a year and I've only played my first games on this gen since then (BF games, mostly) I don't know that I can say what the greatest advancement in this generation is because I'll probably add something which is actually about another generation.

But that said...

I think the number one thing about video games today that blows me away is all of the statistical data the game is able to track for each player. It knows how many enemies I've killed, how many rounds I've fired, what my accuracy is, how much ground I've traveled, and even how often I swing my knife at anything other than air. That's crazy. I'll bet this is one of the most massive advancements in video games ever and a large majority of the non-gaming population have any idea. Instead, they think about graphics.

My two cents.
Old 01-31-12, 06:55 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by dogmatica View Post
Since I've only had my PS3 for a year and I've only played my first games on this gen since then (BF games, mostly) I don't know that I can say what the greatest advancement in this generation is because I'll probably add something which is actually about another generation.
You are right. Tracking statistical data isn't anything new for video games.
Old 01-31-12, 07:06 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by Fandango View Post
I don't think this was mentioned but game demos and betas that you could download was pretty revolutionary.
And thank God for that. I remember subscribing to the "Official XBox Magazine" mainly to get the demo disc (which was non-damaged enough to actually work about 1/3 of the time.)
Old 01-31-12, 08:04 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
You are right. Tracking statistical data isn't anything new for video games.
True, but now they also do it through achievements and the developers can see this data on their end. A big reason why they have achievements for mundane things like "beat this level" is so that they can track how far players got.

They were talking about that on the Steam forums recently about Fallout: NV. Through the global achievements, you can see what the most popular quest lines were.
Old 01-31-12, 08:38 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
True, but now they also do it through achievements and the developers can see this data on their end. A big reason why they have achievements for mundane things like "beat this level" is so that they can track how far players got.

They were talking about that on the Steam forums recently about Fallout: NV. Through the global achievements, you can see what the most popular quest lines were.
To be fair, depending on what kind of tracking the developer implements, achievements aren't necessary for most of that tracking.
Old 01-31-12, 09:13 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
You are right. Tracking statistical data isn't anything new for video games.
And I don't know how long "anything new" is, if that's ten years or what. But my point is that those who haven't played games since the heydays of the arcade or even the Atari and NES days might be astonished to know the reach of statistical data games keep track of every time one plays. I know I was.
Old 01-31-12, 09:49 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by dogmatica View Post
And I don't know how long "anything new" is, if that's ten years or what. But my point is that those who haven't played games since the heydays of the arcade or even the Atari and NES days might be astonished to know the reach of statistical data games keep track of every time one plays. I know I was.
There is an entire genre of games that is pretty much based on keeping track of statistical data. Simulation games or world-empire building type games. Good examples of the genre would be Sim City, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and especially the Civilization series. Some of those games are extremely in-depth. In Civilization, you keep track of how much food you are producing and many many other things. There are graphs and diagrams, pie charts and bar graphs galore in that game. The instruction book (aka the Civilopedia) is a couple hundred pages long, basically almost novel-length itself.
Old 01-31-12, 09:54 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by Fandango View Post
I don't think this was mentioned but game demos and betas that you could download was pretty revolutionary.
Except it has been done with PC gaming since at least the Doom/Wolfenstein days in the early 90s.
Old 01-31-12, 09:57 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Those are all part of the game's design and gameplay though; I think thats different from the data gathered that it sounds like others are talking about, such as some of the data that was shared by Mass Effect devs like what the most used weapon is, what level a user dies the most in, how many people actually finished the game, etc.
Old 01-31-12, 10:50 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Still though, even when its not part of the gameplay itself, games have been keeping statistical data for a long time. I am replaying Baldur's Gate now for the umpteenth time, and it keeps track of each party member's total kills, the total percentage of experience in the party they are responsible for obtaining, their most used weapon and spells, and so on. A lot of old PC games did stuff like that.
Old 01-31-12, 11:17 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Completely different kind of data, and for completely different reasons in my opinion
Old 01-31-12, 11:24 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
Except it has been done with PC gaming since at least the Doom/Wolfenstein days in the early 90s.
If you read the OP it is pretty clear the discussion was limited to consoles.
Old 01-31-12, 11:37 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by Fandango View Post
If you read the OP it is pretty clear the discussion was limited to consoles.

If you read the OP you would know he made an exception for online gaming since it had been done on PCs before this gen...

And we have been making exceptions like that throughout the whole thread.
Old 01-31-12, 11:40 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Completely different kind of data, and for completely different reasons in my opinion

How? He was talking about FPS games keeping track of your number of kills and your favorite weapon, so how is that different from PC games in the 90s doing that same thing?
Old 01-31-12, 11:54 PM
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Re: What do you think was the greatest advancement in video games this generation?

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979 View Post
How? He was talking about FPS games keeping track of your number of kills and your favorite weapon, so how is that different from PC games in the 90s doing that same thing?
The original comment was, but I was commenting on Drexl's reply about a different type of stat collecting. Random stats specifically collected for the player to view for shits and giggles is one thing, whereas keeping track of player behavior for development and game improvement is another.

To dogmatica's point, I guess you can argue that keeping statistical data and using it as a competitive measure against all users online is a bit different versus offline stats.

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