Monday, 1 December 2008

The Current History of computer games

Well, we have covered the past, but like time, games don't stop. They keep coming, in new forms, new styles, with new features. And in this blog I will briefly investigate the current state of affairs, and where I believe games are heading.

In recent times we have seen an exiting phase of computer games history, new interactive consoles have been released, Direct X10 has been released, and the graphics in computer games has been getting better by the year.

But more interestingly, the industry has hit a potential fork in the road. As the new wave of 7th generation consoles have created a split, between interactivity, and graphical advances. The consoles have highlighted an important question: Does better graphics always result in a better gaming experience.

Nintendo took their 7th generation console, the Wii, and made almost no graphical advances. Choosing instead to make their console interactive, with motion sensing equipment. Whereas Microsoft chose purely to improve the graphical experience with their xbox 360 console.

This split in the direction of the games industry begs the question: where are we heading? What are the next generation of consoles going have as their USP? Photo realistic graphics, or lifelike interactivity?

The industry is also under multiple sources of pressure. More people in general are playing games. Children who grew up with games are now adults, families play the Wii, and the playing audience for computer games has grown more than ever.

Another source of pressure is that with the growth in photo realistic graphics in games, is it still a computer game? or a simulation? The concern being that shooting games with life like graphics, would stop being a fun game, and become a shooting simulation.

I believe that while the issue of violence and graphics is not huge at the moment, that in the future it will become a bigger issue, when the next generation of consoles beings about the next generation of graphics.

That said, I believe that the industry is heading towards a more interactive future. The huge selling figures of the Nintendo Wii (34.55 million units worldwide! [source: Wikipedia]) have without a doubt influenced the market, and other developers will almost definitely be looking to capitalise on this new feature.

Personally, I am exited, I cannot chose which I prefer, interactivity, or graphics? My ideal game would combine the unique features of the Wii, the graphical supremacy of the Xbox 360, and the storage space of the Playstation 3. I would love to play a cricket game for example, with life like graphics and a genuine skill required to play.

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