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Quote of the Week: "History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban, Israeli statesman (1915-2002)

MS: Different resolutions are only a perceived difference.

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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2014-07-17 08:04pm 

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Resolutiongate a 'perception challenge' that must be fixed, says Xbox exec

Quote:
By Rob Crossley on Friday 11th Jul 2014 at 8:51 PM EST

One of the key Xbox One executives in the UK believes the company needs to overcome the perception that Sony's PS4 displays certain games at superior resolutions and frame rates.

Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle told CVG that, while he doesn't personally see a meaningful graphical difference between PS4 games and their Xbox One equivalents, he does understand the negative publicity has become an issue.

"I think it's a perception challenge, absolutely," Eagle told CVG.

"If you put third-party games side-by-side that are running at slightly different resolutions or frame rates, then unless you are using a screen that's more than 60 inches big, I defy you to really see the difference. I personally struggle to see the difference."

Nevertheless, Eagle believes the Xbox One team needs to overcome the challenge, adding that an updated console operating system will give developers more GPU resources.

"It's important, certainly. It's something the media has certainly picked up on. If that leads to the perception that one machine is more powerful than another, then it's important, and we're trying to allow developers to bring games to Xbox One at the highest resolution and frame rate as possible."

"There is some GPU power that can be allocated to Kinect that we're now freeing up for developers if they want to increase the fidelity of their games. I want to point out though that this is absolutely up to the developer on how they deploy the power."

PlayStation 4 versions of next generation games occasionally run at a higher resolution, and smoother frame-rate, than the Xbox One equivalent. Games already shown to be superior on PS4 include Call of Duty Ghosts, Diablo 3, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Thief, Metro Redux and Metal Gear Ground Zeroes.

It is expected that, as time goes on and developers find more ways to save hardware resources, the differences between Xbox One and PS4 versions of multiplatform games will narrow.

In June, Microsoft outlined how a new Xbox One developer kit (XDK) will give game creators access to additional system resources that were previously allocated to Kinect. About ten per cent of each system's GPU is reserved for Kinect, which now can be turned off to reduce overhead.

With Xbox One evolving into a system that appears even more similar to PS4, Eagle was asked how Microsoft will make its new system stand out.

"Content is one of the primary ways we differentiate the two consoles," he said.

"We have our exclusive games, the likes of Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest [also available on PC], Halo Master Chief Collection and so on.

"The next thing you have to do is make sure all the third parties are partnering on your platform, and try if you can to either make those exclusive to Xbox or coming first to Xbox.

"Then you try to build out the broadest range of games to the widest number of people, which is where ID@Xbox can really help in particular.

"I would say there's still some differences in the hardware offering. I think Kinect is still something that stands out, some of the voice control components and some of the broadcasting capabilities such as Twitch are different and deeper on Xbox One than other platforms because of Kinect.

"I would argue that our Xbox Live service is a major differentiator. We believe it's the best place to play games with your friends, and I would argue it still is today."

In May, Microsoft announced it had dropped Kinect as a mandatory Xbox accessory, though the corporation will still sell the divisive 3D camera separately.

"Standalone Kinect will be out before Christmas, but we aren't yet ready to announce price or release date details," Eagle said.


So, according to Harvey Eagle, you can't see the difference between both sides of this image without a 60 inch screen. You can't tell differences in framerate without a large screen.

Is it just me, or does it look bad for the long term viability of the Xbox One if MS is lying about things we can see with our own eyes less than a year after the Xbox One launched ?
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 12:09am 

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To be honest, no I can't see the difference, except for the obvious junction line in the middle where the two differently rendered images appear. At least, I can't see it unless I just literally park there and stare at both sides trying to spot the tiny little differences in the surface texture of the stone pavement or picking out the individual leaves on the distant trees.

Is it visible on close examination? Yes. Is it visible if you're not specifically looking for it? Honestly, I see this as a princess and pea scenario...
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 12:52am 

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You can't see the switch from 2010 graphics to 2006 graphics on the bush? Or the loss of resolution on the flag?
This is not the best image to use as a comparison if you have and apples to apples and see the differences at range but the foilage makes it obvious which is which. I'll give you a hint only one side has the giant blob for trees and the others has low res trees. Both look worse that Oblivion but still... as I've said before I think MS and Sony shot themselves in the foot by cutting back the console specs to something 2 years old when they launched.
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DaveJB
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 12:59am 

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It depends on the exact resolution difference. If we're talking 900p on the XB1 and 1080p on the PS4, the difference usually isn't too noticeable unless you're playing on a huge TV, and/or the XB1 version also has a significantly worse framerate. But if it's 720p on the XB1 and 1080P on the PS4, yeah, that tends to be a lot more noticeable.

Really though, the long-term problem for the XB1 is that Microsoft have been forced to chop away so many of the console's original "features" that they've essentially been left with a chunkier, equally priced (in fact actually still more expensive over here even with the loss of Kinect) and less powerful version of the PS4, with a set of games 90% the same as Sony's. I mean, the Wii U may be the worst-designed console since Sega made the bold move of giving the Saturn a graphics chip that rendered rectangles instead of triangles, but at least Nintendo were smart enough to clearly differentiate it from the PS4 and XB1.
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 04:17am 

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DaveJB wrote:
It depends on the exact resolution difference. If we're talking 900p on the XB1 and 1080p on the PS4, the difference usually isn't too noticeable unless you're playing on a huge TV, and/or the XB1 version also has a significantly worse framerate. But if it's 720p on the XB1 and 1080P on the PS4, yeah, that tends to be a lot more noticeable.


The thing with framerate is that all the games I've heard about on the Xbox One and PS4 are either at 30 FPS or at 60, which is quite noticeable. Nothing in between. Though the real absurdity is the claim that monitor size affects how noticeable framerate is.

As for 900p vs 1080p, that would be less noticeable. But I'd like to see a comparison between them before I say they can't be seen.

Quote:
I mean, the Wii U may be the worst-designed console since Sega made the bold move of giving the Saturn a graphics chip that rendered rectangles instead of triangles, but at least Nintendo were smart enough to clearly differentiate it from the PS4 and XB1.


I agree. Sure, the Wii U is less powerful than the others. But the Wii U's controller sounds like it could have some interesting uses, while the Xbox One and PS4 seem to be trying to be PCs with weaker hardware.
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salm
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 04:49am 

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bilateralrope wrote:
Nothing in between. Though the real absurdity is the claim that monitor size affects how noticeable framerate is.

Are you sure?

Imagine an line with an arrowhead spinning on a monitor by 360 degrees per second. If you view it at 30 fps you see 30 images after each other with the line being rotated by 12 degrees each frame.
Now, the amount of degrees is the same on a small screen as it is on a large screen.
But the distance the arrow head travels every frame is larger on large screens than it is on small screens.

Shouldn´t therefore a larger screen require more fps?
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 09:46am 

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Mr Bean wrote:
You can't see the switch from 2010 graphics to 2006 graphics on the bush? Or the loss of resolution on the flag?
This is not the best image to use as a comparison if you have and apples to apples and see the differences at range but the foilage makes it obvious which is which. I'll give you a hint only one side has the giant blob for trees and the others has low res trees. Both look worse that Oblivion but still... as I've said before I think MS and Sony shot themselves in the foot by cutting back the console specs to something 2 years old when they launched.
I can see the differences- like I said, the texture of the cement and the visibility of individual leaves on the trees and so on. But I have to look for them; if my eye casually sweeps over the scenery I won't see it.

Suppose some person (say, Bob) has such a sensitive eye that when they're playing a game and navigating through areas and moving and fighting and so on... they stop and say "WAIT! I can't see the leaves on the trees that are three hundred feet away!" That's what I called a 'princess and the pea' situation: excessive sensitivity to minor details about the environment.
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Lagmonster
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 09:55am 

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When it comes to games, I have two perspectives: What I can see when I'm playing, and what I can see when I'm looking at a screenshot. When I'm looking at a screenshot of a top modern FPS, I can make out details in the environment and appreciate the artistry that went into constructing it, replicating architecture, and putting in little touches like debris, graffiti, flora, lighting, etc.. But when I'm PLAYING a top modern FPS, I don't notice shit. The entire graphical experience is blur, blur, explosion, red-tinted screen, EXPLOSION!!!, crosshairs, moving blurs to put crosshairs on, other blurs that aren't even in your periphery cause you're absorbed with specific targets or objectives. "Hey, look at how crisp our fern textures are" is not possible (cause they' blowed up) or reasonable (cause you really gotta pay attention to the few onscreen things that wanna stop you blowin' things up) or advised (cause you're being pressured to move on to the next thing to blow it up).
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InsaneTD
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 09:59am 

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If you have time to sight see, you are either playing a sandbox game, or the game pacing and story telling is failing. Most of my favourite games have less then optimal (might even say horrible) graphics, but the game is well paced and had a great story. Those are also the games I tend to reply lots and often.
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Mr Bean
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 10:00am 

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Simon_Jester wrote:

Suppose some person (say, Bob) has such a sensitive eye that when they're playing a game and navigating through areas and moving and fighting and so on... they stop and say "WAIT! I can't see the leaves on the trees that are three hundred feet away!" That's what I called a 'princess and the pea' situation: excessive sensitivity to minor details about the environment.

Unless Bob is trying to find a bear in a tree, in one side he can see the bear in the tree, in the other he can see a blob which hides the bear neatly.

Trust me in any sort of adversarial type of game, Battlefield is a classic example where graphics quality matters both ways. In some games (BF:Vietnam) having ultra high hardware at the time was a drawback, put everything to high in Vietnam and it was Vietnam, tall grass everywhere and cover as far as the eye can see... until you turned the graphics down to low and those lush hills became as barren as Battlefield 1942. The situation was reversed in the BFBC2 Vietnam expansion where ultra high graphics let a eagle eye player pick players moving through the brush while someone playing on low would find it impossible because what was individual plants became mostly green blobs which hid people great.
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Elheru Aran
PostPosted: 2014-07-18 03:30pm 

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Zoomed in there are certainly graphical differences.

To be perfectly frank though, if it's a FPS I'm not going to be standing around going "ooh, that's pretty". I'm going to be running from A to B, blowing up stuff on the way and trying to find goodies.

Now in a RPG or a sandbox game, it might be different. You can take your time a little more with that kind of thing and enjoy the scenery. FPS games tend to have more urgent priorities than the scenery, though.
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General Zod
PostPosted: 2014-07-19 12:13am 

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bilateralrope wrote:
The thing with framerate is that all the games I've heard about on the Xbox One and PS4 are either at 30 FPS or at 60, which is quite noticeable. Nothing in between. Though the real absurdity is the claim that monitor size affects how noticeable framerate is.


The 30fps is moving around a bit faster, but other than the speed boost when you drop frames I can't tell how one is better than the other from such a short clip.
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2014-07-19 03:32am 

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salm wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:
Nothing in between. Though the real absurdity is the claim that monitor size affects how noticeable framerate is.

Are you sure?

Imagine an line with an arrowhead spinning on a monitor by 360 degrees per second. If you view it at 30 fps you see 30 images after each other with the line being rotated by 12 degrees each frame.
Now, the amount of degrees is the same on a small screen as it is on a large screen.
But the distance the arrow head travels every frame is larger on large screens than it is on small screens.

Shouldn´t therefore a larger screen require more fps?


Ok, you have a point in that if you get a screen small enough you won't be able to see the fps difference. Question is, are any of the screens that people actually use small enough to make the difference in framerate unnoticeable ?

A better question is: How is the spinning arrow you describe a better test than the rotating camera that this site uses to show the difference ?

The rotating camera is something that people will experience while playing, because rotating the camera is something that players do in a lot of games.

Lagmonster wrote:
But when I'm PLAYING a top modern FPS, I don't notice shit.

Fair enough. I'm not sure if I can tell the difference while playing. Which only makes the decision of developers to sacrifice framerate for screenshot quality worse, as framerate drops are something I do notice while playing.

General Zod wrote:
The 30fps is moving around a bit faster, but other than the speed boost when you drop frames I can't tell how one is better than the other from such a short clip.


Higher framerates increase player performance (.pdf file, the results are on page 7). Plus after getting used to 60fps, 30 just looks choppy for gaming.
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salm
PostPosted: 2014-07-19 06:54am 

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bilateralrope wrote:
Ok, you have a point in that if you get a screen small enough you won't be able to see the fps difference. Question is, are any of the screens that people actually use small enough to make the difference in framerate unnoticeable ?

A better question is: How is the spinning arrow you describe a better test than the rotating camera that this site uses to show the difference ?

The rotating camera is something that people will experience while playing, because rotating the camera is something that players do in a lot of games.

I somehow missed that link the first time you posted it and it´s a way better test than the spinning arrow. In fact i just tried your link and can say the following.

If i view the 30 fps on one 25 Inch Monitor the jittering is rather noticable. 60 fps looks smooth.
30fps with the browser window scaled down to half of the monitor looks a lot less jittering.
But if I scale the 30 fps up over four 25 Inch Monitors the jittering gets really bad. When I set it to 60 fps the jittering is clearly there as well.

So it seams that the Microsoft guy does have a point.

<edit>I should say that he has a point when he implies that screen size affects jitter. When he claims that the difference between 30 and 60 fps is only hard to notice he´s wrong for a lot of people. On the other hand some people really don´t seem to notice a big difference as seen here in this thread and in real life. Several friends of mine don´t seem to understand what I´m talking about when me and other friends complain about jittering in some games.</edit>
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Purple
PostPosted: 2014-07-19 11:08am 

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salm wrote:
On the other hand some people really don´t seem to notice a big difference as seen here in this thread and in real life. Several friends of mine don´t seem to understand what I´m talking about when me and other friends complain about jittering in some games.</edit>

Talking from a 20 inch monitor here I really can't see any jitter. Yes, the 30fps version does move slower. But for me it looks just as fluent, only slow.
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salm
PostPosted: 2014-07-19 01:20pm 

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It is weird that it appears to be slower because the player rotates 360 degree in one second. No matter which frame rate.
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Gaidin
PostPosted: 2014-07-20 12:14pm 

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Am I the only person that notices the difference when you hand me two stillframes side by side and I can sit there and pick stuff out especially when there's a thread of people pointing these things out but can't notice a damn difference when I'm distracted playing a game thinking it looks awesome? Had this issue with Watch Dogs thinking it looked awesome on fucking medium *everything* to start before I started experimenting with what my PC would really run with on that thing.

Sorry guys, too busy playing the game to give two shits. Got better things to worry about. Like not dying.
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salm
PostPosted: 2014-07-20 01:29pm 

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Gaidin wrote:
Am I the only person that notices the difference when you hand me two stillframes side by side and I can sit there and pick stuff out especially when there's a thread of people pointing these things out but can't notice a damn difference when I'm distracted playing a game thinking it looks awesome? Had this issue with Watch Dogs thinking it looked awesome on fucking medium *everything* to start before I started experimenting with what my PC would really run with on that thing.

Sorry guys, too busy playing the game to give two shits. Got better things to worry about. Like not dying.


You´re obviously not the only person as can be seen in this very thread.
Also, there´s nothing wrong or right about it. It´s just interesting how immensly different peoples perceptions differ from each other.
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Grumman
PostPosted: 2014-07-21 01:58am 

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So... if we're not supposed to care about graphical differences between consoles, doesn't that mean people should stick with their 360 instead of buying an X-Box One?
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2014-07-21 03:12am 

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Gaidin wrote:
Am I the only person that notices the difference when you hand me two stillframes side by side and I can sit there and pick stuff out especially when there's a thread of people pointing these things out but can't notice a damn difference when I'm distracted playing a game thinking it looks awesome?

That's fair enough. But the question is, can you notice the difference when there is a lull in the action ?
Because I can't think of a AAA game that didn't provide lulls in the action that would let me notice the differences. Even if it's just a case of all the enemies being dead, go walk to the next area at whatever speed you feel like.

The test I really want to see is a game that switches from one resolution to another while playing without any menus or anything to obscure the shift. Something that happens without interrupting the action.
The closest I've got is a youtube video switching from 720p to 1080p while I'm watching it, which is a change I did see.

Quote:
Had this issue with Watch Dogs thinking it looked awesome on fucking medium *everything* to start before I started experimenting with what my PC would really run with on that thing.


Were you adjusting the resolution while you were playing around with the settings ?
Or did you just set the resolution to whatever the native resolution of your monitor is and leave it there ? (assuming it wasn't set there automatically)
Because I've found a lot of games with graphics options that perform changes that I don't notice. Resolution isn't one of them, and I've never seen a game where resolution is among the settings changed when you switch between low/medium/high graphics.

salm wrote:
It is weird that it appears to be slower because the player rotates 360 degree in one second. No matter which frame rate.

That's the same thing I felt first time I saw that site. I had to hold my watch up so I could see the seconds on it while watching the site to verify that it was spinning at 360 degrees per second. Since it was rotating at 360 degrees per second, and I could verify it, it was clear that my first impression was wrong.

salm wrote:
So it seams that the Microsoft guy does have a point.

But it's only a point that applies to some screen sizes. Not even all the screens that people use.

Though it's not purely due to screen size. It's due to what angle the screen takes up in your vision.
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TheFeniX
PostPosted: 2014-07-21 11:59am 

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Quote:
"If you put third-party games side-by-side that are running at slightly different resolutions or frame rates, then unless you are using a screen that's more than 60 inches big, I defy you to really see the difference. I personally struggle to see the difference."
I've mentioned this before, but it's like listening for an exhaust leak. I don't care if he can't tell the difference, because I can depending on the instance, even when I'm shooting doods in an FPS (because that seems to be all that matters). And it wasn't the graphics whores who started this whole clusterfuck either. Aside from all the media bullshit marketers were pushing, graphics were their main selling point and said graphics would have merely put them on par with hardware from 7 years ago. Also "slightly different framerate?" What a douchebag.

But Sony and MS come off like B.net posters these days: "LOL PC shit, console is life. Check these graphics. What, graphics are shit? WELL GRAPHICS AREN'T IMPORTANT. Why are you always bringing up graphics?"

Graphical fidelity and higher resolution was a big thing even back during Quake and Unreal Tournament. It's easier to identify and hit a crisp player model than an amorphous blob. Sure, the jump from 640x480 to 1024x768 was a much bigger deal than 900p > 1080p and matching texture quality due to diminishing returns, but saying "I can't notice it, so who cares" is dumb and insulting. But it's telling when there's an entire system out there that can deliver native 1080p and 60fps and is price competitive with both major consoles.

The 30fps - 60fps divide is even worse. The visual difference alone is bad enough and needs to explaining, but people who claim it doesn't matter from a competitive standpoint honestly have no idea what's going on. For a lot of games, Framerate directly affects your tickrate: how many actions you can send and receive per second to the server. This is big deal in games like Counter-strike where every bullet is lethal. The crazy guys go even further and adjust their own rates depending on their playstyle and weapon loadout, but we don't talk bout them because "nofun."

The backend shit doesn't really matter today because you can't modify anything and the netcode for the average console FPS is dogshit anyways. And it's always fun to see framerate drops in a 30fps game, you know because "hardware limitations" or some shit even though coding for a closed system is supposed to stop that.

tl;dr: This whole fucking fiasco is because Sony and MS tried to feed people a line of bullshit about how super-awesome their new underpowered consoles were. When that backfired, they're now trying to convince people rain isn't wet. Sorry, if your hardware can't do 1080p at 60FPS: your shit is weak. It isn't fucking magic: run-of-the mill "gaming" PCs have been doing it for years. Hitting the market a decade later and saying "all that shit you took for granted doesn't matter because when I watch my kid waste time on these stupid video games, I don't notice anything wrong" makes you a huge asshole.
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bilateralrope
PostPosted: 2014-07-22 07:47pm 

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Quote:
Sorry, if your hardware can't do 1080p at 60FPS: your shit is weak.


I wouldn't blame the hardware. Not if this list of 5th generation console games that could do 60fps is accurate. I blame whoever made the decision that the developers should focus on screenshot quality over framerate and anyone trying to defend them.

I remember back around the launch of the PS3/Xbox 360 where there was a flood of two kinds of articles:
- The first kind were article that highlighted a recent decline in PC gaming in favor of consoles and claimed that PC gaming was dying.
- The second kind were articles that pulled up the statistics over a longer period and showed that there was a cycle. Gamers shifted to consoles near the start of a generation, then shifted to PC near the end.

If that cycle was continuing, we should be seeing a decline in PC gaming. Not articles saying that PC Dominates Gaming Hardware Sales.
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Zaune
PostPosted: 2014-07-23 04:55pm 

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I think this Harvey Eagle guy (who has a name far, far too badass to be wasting it on a career in marketing) has kind of missed the wider point: Nobody pays up to $60 just to look at a game. The smartest thing Nintendo ever did was refuse to join in with the graphics arms race and come up with a genuine unique selling point for the original Wii.
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Arthur_Tuxedo
PostPosted: 2014-07-23 07:22pm 

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Even if you did need a 60" screen to notice an improvement, that's not exactly a high bar these days. I picked up a 60" LG Plasma at Fry's a few months ago for $700, not exactly a life-changing sum of money. Granted, it was a great deal, but even at regular price 60+" TVs are not the rich kid toys they used to be.

EDIT: Also, when I viewed that image on the TV from about 6 feet away, the difference between the two halves was both immediately noticeable and massive.
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Zixinus
PostPosted: 2014-07-24 04:08pm 

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I personally think that the graphics arms race thing has been started between developers rather than consumers. They are certainly emotionally invested due to how much time and effort they put in to make the graphics better and more realistic. They probably even know what "realistic vexel lighting and bump map shadowing" or some such actually is just by hearing about it rather than having it explained to them.

Then fans (who emotionally sided with one studio) and corporate people (who were unsure how to advertise video games) got on to this and became a thing to point to.

It's certainly important but in the end of the day, it still depends on how you use the graphics. There are old games that gone of their way to use a limited engine in an interesting way and there are games with the best engine and do nothing really interesting with it.
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