Remembering the Xbox

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Oltobaz1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby Oltobaz1 » February 3rd, 2015, 4:42 pm

Sure. I wouldn't imagine games today without installs and HDD.

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VideoGameCritic
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 3rd, 2015, 6:54 pm

[QUOTE=Oltobaz]Sure. I wouldn't imagine games today without installs and HDD.[/QUOTE]

You mean like the Wii U?  

I'll tell you right now playing games on the Wii U is MUCH less painful than the PS4/XB1.

ptdebate1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby ptdebate1 » February 3rd, 2015, 8:12 pm

[QUOTE=videogamecritic][QUOTE=Oltobaz]Sure. I wouldn't imagine games today without installs and HDD.[/QUOTE]

You mean like the Wii U?  

I'll tell you right now playing games on the Wii U is MUCH less painful than the PS4/XB1.[/QUOTE]

Critic, 

It definitely would be nice if PS4 and Xbox One games could function similar to Wii U games, but I reiterate that it's simply not possible with current technology given the limited data transfer rate of disc drives. 

Let me just break down the difference between Wii U and PS4/Xbox One games in terms of raw data. It may be difficult to perceive the magnitude of these differences when viewing gameplay on a living room television rather than a computer monitor, for example, but in terms of actual data there's a world of difference.

Popular Wii U games:
Super Mario 3D World: 1.7GB
Pikmin 3: 3.9GB
Mario Kart 8: 5.9GB

Popular PS4/Xbox One games:
Dragon Age: Inquisition: 46GB
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: 45GB
Halo: Master Chief Collection: 65GB

Wow! Why such a big difference? Well, that boils down to two main factors: large texture resolution and uncompressed audio and video. The Wii U, like it's 7th-generation predecessors, renders at 720p or below and lacks the GPU hardware and RAM to support high-resolution textures anyway (the lack of hard drive is also a limitation with regard to games by certain developers such as Bethesda that make use of iD's megatexture technology). The PS4 and Xbox One (with a few exceptions regarding to the latter) render at 1080p, more than twice the total pixel count of 720p. Their GPUs have access to up to ~6 GB of RAM, allowing direct loading of very large textures. They also have the capacity to store game data on the hard drive temporarily and "hot swap" it to RAM as needed. 

All of this adds up to a very substantial difference in file size. Everything's bigger with the new generation--updates, patches, and DLC included. Until someone invents a faster-loading, low-cost portable storage medium, hard drive installations will continue to be the norm.

Just as a side note--

Overseas, downloading full games from Xbox Live or PSN isn't as much of a problem as it is over here. Indeed, downloading a game digitally in Budapest, Seoul, or London is far faster than installing it from disc! Far less time consuming are occasional patches and bug-fixes in an online environment where gigabytes zip by like megabytes do over here. 

Anyway, I don't claim to have all the answers, but what I do know is that Microsoft and Sony didn't sit down with their shareholders thinking up ways to make the gaming experience on their new products slower than ever before. There wasn't some kind of sinister mandate that games must install to the hard drive or else. It was more a matter of trying to reach consumer expectations for the latest in 3D graphics technology while precariously balancing the overall package in a way that's palatable to console gamers.

Gamers are an impossible lot to please. We want the best looking graphics right now without any hiccups or technical issues. We also want flawless online services that never go down. While the latter is all but impossible in America and most under-developed countries, the former represents two trends that are fundamentally at odds with one another.


Oltobaz1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby Oltobaz1 » February 4th, 2015, 2:00 am

I own a Wii U, great system, but games aren't as advanced technologically than their PS4 and X1 counterparts
yet still have small installs and updates. Some great games. As for the PS4 (don't intend to purchase the XB1),
I guess I'm getting used to installs and updates anyways, as a necessary evil. They're pushing the internet capabilities
too much though.

Vexer1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby Vexer1 » February 4th, 2015, 11:56 am

Yeah some argue that the Wii U is even still behind the 360/PS3 in terms of graphics, short download times is one of the few advantages the system has over it's competitors.

 


ptdebate1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby ptdebate1 » February 4th, 2015, 1:15 pm

[QUOTE=Oltobaz]I own a Wii U, great system, but games aren't as advanced technologically than their PS4 and X1 counterparts yet still have small installs and updates. Some great games. As for the PS4 (don't intend to purchase the XB1), I guess I'm getting used to installs and updates anyways, as a necessary evil. They're pushing the internet capabilities too much though.[/QUOTE]

Of course, you could argue that this is more a curse than a blessing. There's an argument to be made that visual fidelity reaches a certain threshold of diminishing returns where additional advancements in video or audio quality don't necessarily correspond to a better experience. This was Nintendo's philosophy driving the Wii and Wii U--if gameplay is king, then the rule of "good enough" should suffice for everything else, right? 

There are certain limitations to this perspective. It works well for Nintendo because their IPs generally eschew highly detailed visuals. They're also technologically conservative: with the exception of the upcoming open-world Zelda title, Nintendo games are generally constrained and focused experiences. Platform game, kart racing game, board-game-metaphor party game, strategy RPG; the Ur-types of Nintendo games have changed surprisingly little since the days when their consoles were powered by CPUs less powerful than the one in your wristwatch.

Finally, this leaves us with the question of whether or not advanced graphics technology can push gameplay forward. The easy answer is that this goal hasn't been satisfactorily achieved yet on either the PS4 or the Xbox One. It has, however, been achieved on PCs, namely in the realm of massively multiplayer online games, which offer complex worlds inhabitable by thousands of individuals working together to achieve goals. Many of these games have fostered their own virtual economy (see Eve Online) and rich cultural legacy (see WoW), none of which would have been possible before a qualitative leap in computing technology around the turn of the millennium. The uniqueness of these experiences to the PC platform (until very recent years) imbued the platform with a certain richness that was unattainable on consoles.

The PS4 and Xbox One are, in terms of hardware, very similar to standard PCs. The Xbox One even runs a version of Microsoft Windows right out of the box. The games for these systems struggle to distinguish themselves because developers' incentives to publish on legacy platforms are still very high due to the large install base of PS3 and 360 users. To achieve parity across all platforms inevitably stifles the ambition of current-gen efforts. Is it bad that consoles are more like PCs? Yes and no. Yes because great PC experiences like MMOs, sandboxes, and MOBAs have a chance to flourish on consoles. No because consoles no longer really have a separate identity.



Pimphand_Gamester1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby Pimphand_Gamester1 » February 6th, 2015, 7:35 pm

I still have my original Xbox and giant controller and the usb to pc adapter in case I ever want to use it on the PC again. I never really found any particular thing about it too special. It's one of those systems where there just isn't that much to say about it. It had a few exclusives, the others typically being that the PC version was better. The system was a bit large considering and the gamepad was considered a failure and why they quickly changed the design. I didn't mind the giant controller and it looks cool but the 360 design nailed it except for that battery compartment.

I think the PS2 typically tended to have the better games and GTA on the Xbox took way too long.

ptdebate1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby ptdebate1 » February 6th, 2015, 8:46 pm

[QUOTE=Pimphand_Gamester]I still have my original Xbox and giant controller and the usb to pc adapter in case I ever want to use it on the PC again. I never really found any particular thing about it too special. It's one of those systems where there just isn't that much to say about it. It had a few exclusives, the others typically being that the PC version was better. The system was a bit large considering and the gamepad was considered a failure and why they quickly changed the design. I didn't mind the giant controller and it looks cool but the 360 design nailed it except for that battery compartment.

I think the PS2 typically tended to have the better games and GTA on the Xbox took way too long.[/QUOTE]

I'm pretty sure the size of the Xbox was just due to the fact that it used standard PC parts--a 3.5" drive, full size desktop DVD-ROM drive, Intel motherboard, etc. If you compare it to standard consumer PCs at the time, it's rather small.

Of course, nothing can challenge the PS2's library. But the actual hardware itself was a bit of a mess--it didn't support actual anti-aliasing so developers had to use an unsightly dithering effect that looks like you're seeing double on all but the blurriest displays (and especially if you're using component cables). The early revisions were unreliable and frequently failed. The system featured only two controller ports, discouraging developers from creating four-player games.

FinalLapTwinkie1
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Remembering the Xbox

Postby FinalLapTwinkie1 » February 7th, 2015, 12:07 pm

Xbox is classic gaming? Yeah, I will agree the Xbox has some games that are classic.

I have one set up in my son's room. We have a Wii and Xbox 360 hooked to another television. They hardly get played anymore. My son wanted an Xbox One so I hooked the original Xbox up for him. The original Xbox is the first Xbox right? lol. Therefore the Xbox One should be called the Xbox Three.

All kidding aside it is hard to put the Xbox in the classic thread talk. It still is a fun system to play and the technology still seems modern.

ptdebate1
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Remembering the Xbox

Postby ptdebate1 » February 7th, 2015, 1:41 pm

[QUOTE=FinalLapTwinkie]Xbox is classic gaming? Yeah, I will agree the Xbox has some games that are classic.

I have one set up in my son's room. We have a Wii and Xbox 360 hooked to another television. They hardly get played anymore. My son wanted an Xbox One so I hooked the original Xbox up for him. The original Xbox is the first Xbox right? lol. Therefore the Xbox One should be called the Xbox Three.

All kidding aside it is hard to put the Xbox in the classic thread talk. It still is a fun system to play and the technology still seems modern.[/QUOTE]

I'd agree! It's similar to the Dreamcast in that way. The graphics still look awesome and the overall user experience is really smooth. I've never heard of someone having technical issues with an Xbox. 


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