David Cage, founder of Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream, thinks that 2017 would be just fine for the advent of the new console generation. Speaking with Develop, Cage, whose developer works exclusively with the PS3, said “I’m not that interested in technology or the next generation of consoles. If we could continue with PlayStation 3 for another five years it would be fine with me.”
Cage continues by noting that the industry itself is void of creativity, and that upgraded technology won’t necessarily lead to better games.
“I think the main challenges are on the creative side than on the technical side,” he said. “Are there technical things I can’t do on PS3? Honestly, no. The limitation is much more about the ideas we have. When you look at the past, you realised that the technology evolved [much] faster than the concepts we rely on. As an industry we have pretty much have been building the same games for fifty years, despite the platforms changing.”
The only upgrade Cage expects from the new generation relates to graphics. He sarcastically noted, “so, what do I expect from the next generation of hardware? You know, the usual. More polys, and higher resolution texture maps, and, horsepower, and, stuff. Wow. It’s so cool and exciting.”
It is surprising that the developer of a game that touted its high graphical fidelity and engaging narrative would be so dismissive of an increase in the graphical horsepower. Indeed, wouldn’t next-gen graphics enable the narrative and experience to be even more engaging? Though I have not had the pleasure of playing Heavy Rain, I have played L.A. Noire, a game with the same focus on narrative, and I can say that while graphically impressive, the experience would have been much more immersive without the occasional pop-up and odd animation. Add to that higher textures and more polygons, and yes, the game would become that much more realistic and immersive.
Cage’s comments also neglect how the increase in processing power can expand other aspects of a game besides the graphics. Larger game worlds can be facilitated — compare the size of the world of Grand Theft Auto III to that of Grand Theft Auto IV. A broader array of gameplay options can be provided — compare the variety in God of War III to that of the first two. And yes, all this can be accomplished with prettier, more realistic graphics.
I am in no rush to shell out the cash for a new console, and I agree that there are many games out there that feature a dearth of creativity and do not mechanically push the envelope. But on the flip-side, the current generation has produced a number of gems, many of which would not have been possible on the previous generation. One can only imagine what kind of experiences await us in the next generation of consoles.
[Image Source: Destructoid]