Xbox Scorpio And PlayStation Neo Won't Make Our Games Better - Creativity Will
We've been discussing PlayStation Neo and Xbox Scorpio each and everyday for a lot of months now, but the opinion of people out there has never been so favorable when it came to the sole, important question about this topic: would you need more powerful console coming from Sony and Microsoft? You'd be surprised to hear that, among people I've talked to lately, very few said that they needed or at least they would buy such upgraded platforms if those got launched today. Which is incredible to say and even repeat, considering we are talking about more powerful platforms and power is the most attractive thing we could possibly discuss in gaming.
Anyway, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 released just three years ago, gamers are not willing to get back to their favorite retailers and invest all over again $400+ on gaming hardware. Especially because they don't see great innovations on the way, they don't get the point in releasing and therefore selling new consoles now, at least not as developers do. But the Fallout 4: Far Harbor PS4 version's case could tell us something more about that.
Bethesda hasn't made its name based upon a technical point of view. Its games are traditionally filled with hilarious bugs people have almost learnt to live with, and overall graphics have never led the way in terms of innovation - maybe just TES: Oblivion, which launched at the beginning of Xbox 360's generation.
Fallout 4 (a post-apocalyptic RPG I literally fell in love with) has not been an exception. The game has been released just a few months before its presentation, this is true and lovely, something other developers and publishers should learn from; but graphics are simply outdated and many issues like frame rate have however been met by players throughout their adventures.
Things have been getting ever worse with Far Harbor's release. The third Fallout 4 DLC's story is based around a curious fog, which generates monsters of all sorts, more powerful and frightening than the others met in the original game; that fog, which is so important in terms of story and gameplay, is causing a lot of issues to the gamers.
When you get by it, frame rate has terrible dips, with the PlayStation 4 version's getting as low as 15FPS. Let's be clear, the game is unplayable in certain outdoor sections, which are the most dangerous, the ones where you need to be faster and more reactive than ever. Xbox One Far Harbor's version also goes up and down with the fps counter, but it's often much closer to the 30FPS milestone originally set by the developer.
A patch is releasing for PS4 so hopefully things will get better and better when it arrives on PlayStation Network. Anyway, people are wondering why such a big developer as Bethesda has so many troubles in making its game, which is overall, relatively pretty good on PC, run as it should on consoles. My opinion is simply they are not good enough - they're "old", let me be rough, and have very few knowledge when it comes to Xbox One and PS4 since they're born, as developer, on PC.
But, it is clear, gamers around the world are not getting to the same point I am. I was told many Reddit users think, for example, more powerful consoles would solve issues like this. Give developers more power, and they will make games run better, is the common opinion. Could this really be the solution?
I remember when I read, a few years ago, a DICE spokeperson talk about what he imagined new consoles could be like. I was surprised by having him say next generations of hardware should just be more and more powerful, without bringing anything actually new in the lot. Today's consoles have 8GB RAM? Tomorrow's will feature 16GB RAM. And so on.
It is embarrassing have people involved in video games, in making video games, say such things. First and foremost, games, I think, are about creativity. Creativity coming from developers making games and gamers playing them. It's not simply about raw power, otherwise we would just need robots making games and other robots playing them. It's not that simple.
And the fact here is Bethesda doesn't need more power. Fallout 4 is not the kind of game which is limited by the power of current gen consoles. It's an old gen game, come on, let's be honest. With the due workarounds it could run on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as good as it does on PS4 and Xbox One (like probably many other new titles out there).
I wouldn't object on Sony and Microsoft releasing new consoles. I mean, it's their right, they can do whatever they want and we are allowed to do the same - to buy or not to buy those new consoles - and to get angry if their just launched Xbox One and PS4 stop getting support. Which I don't truly believe is the case.
But that, the fact itself to provide developers with more power, won't make their games better all of a sudden. Developers need to use the creativity we just talked about to workaround limitations and even turn them in their favor. It's what we pay video games for. Forcing us to pay other $400+ in order to get "decent" games out there is just unacceptable.
Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation Neo will really need to show their deserve our money, and developers (including but not limited to Bethesda) will need too.