Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?

Anything to do with games at all.

Is gaming in a better place now?

Yes
14
50%
No
14
50%
 
Total votes: 28
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NickSCFC
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PostIs gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by NickSCFC » Thu May 09, 2019 1:57 pm

I tend to be pretty nostalgic on these boards, talking about how much better things were in the 90s with the PlayStation, N64 and Saturn.

As the generation comes to an end I feel like reflecting a bit and comparing this gen to last gen.

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Hardware

Last gen we had the overly expensive and difficult to develop for PS3, the stable 360 and the underpowered Wii.

Current gen we have the well rounded and great value PS4 and Xbox One S, the powerful PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, and an incredibly versatile and continually surprising Switch.

Winner: Current gen


Western software

Last gen, wow, Western developers really stepped it up. we were really spoilt when it came to great high quality new IP; Mass Effect, Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Gears of War, Bioshock and Portal in particular.

Current gen in a bit of a mixed bag, Sony's first party studios have delivered some amazing output like God of War, Spiderman, Uncharted 4/TLL and Horizon Zero Dawn, with the promising Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding coming soon. CD Projekt delivered one of the best games of all time with Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 looks to be even better. Outside of that, however, very little has impressed me, Microsoft and EA in particular have seen a real drop in the quality of their output as they've chased GaaS.

Winner: Last gen


Japanese software

Last gen it really did feel like Japanese gaming was dying, developers really struggled to adapt to the "HD era" and thanks to poor Japanese support for Unreal Engine 4. Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, PES and others that were previously generation defining series all started to look stagnant.

Current gen has been a huge improvement, Capcom are killing it right now with the fantastic Resi 2 Remake, DMC V and Monster Hunter World, PES plays like a dream and Nintendo, who spent much of last gen focusing on the waggle gimmick have delivered amazing and fresh titles like Mario Odyssey and Zelda BOTW, and then there's From Software with the excellent Bloodborne and Sekiro. The only negative points are the further decline of Sega and Konami.

Winner: Current gen


Innovation

Last gen was an absolute gooseberry fool show. Waggle, for me, was truly the darkest days of gaming. It all started with the Wii, Nintendo's lazy attempt to repackage and resell the Gamecube to a new audience. Waggle was everywhere and it never felt right. The elderly were flicking their wrists to Wii Sports, chavs were dancing along to Let's Dance on Kinect, and Sony was trying to get us to cast spells in interactive books with Move.

Current gen finally saw the Virtual Reality revolution. Kinect was ditched after the backlash caused by the mandatory bundle decimated their marketshare. The Wii-mote evolved into the Joycon and, while being an improvement, is no longer the focus for Nintendo. Move went on to become the controller of PlayStation VR, one of the more affordable headsets you can buy. The technology is still expensive and the games aren't quite as fleshed out as they could be, but I think it's clear to most that this tech has incredible potential going into the next generation.

Winner: Current gen


So, how do you feel this generation compare to last for you?

Last edited by NickSCFC on Thu May 09, 2019 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OrangeRKN
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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by OrangeRKN » Thu May 09, 2019 2:30 pm

The medium continues to grow and diversify, technology continues to notably improve increasing the experiences possible, innovation continues to take place, new genres continue to be created and older ones refined or reinvented.

So yes, gaming is in a better place than it was a decade ago.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Tafdolphin » Thu May 09, 2019 2:30 pm

Just wanted to check beforehand; is discussion of gaming culture and industry trends relevent here or are we just talking games and hardware?

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by NickSCFC » Thu May 09, 2019 2:35 pm

I don't have many fond memories of last gen to be honest. I loved the Mass Effect and Uncharted trilogies, and early in the generation I played Halo and FIFA online quite heavily but that was about it really. There was a spell around 2010-2012 where I was barely gaming at all, I was completely bored of it all.

It took The Last of Us and GTA V to pull me back in really, apart from PES I don't play online so I've completely avoided online gaming and all that "games as a service" bullshit that's infected it. I'm massively hyped for Last of Us 2, Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077 and the start of a new generation now.

Last edited by NickSCFC on Thu May 09, 2019 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by NickSCFC » Thu May 09, 2019 2:36 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:Just wanted to check beforehand; is discussion of gaming culture and industry trends relevent here or are we just talking games and hardware?


Add as much criteria as you want to.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Tafdolphin » Thu May 09, 2019 2:38 pm

Ok cool! Quick reply then, to be expanded upon when I get home;

Hardware and software: Better
Culture and industry: Much, much worse to the point where toxic gaming culture has reached beyond the bounds of the medium to adversely affect mainstream issues such as women's rights and politics, and industrial greed has led to the embracing of the worst tenets of late stage capitalism by publishers and devs alike.

Gemini73 wrote:You really are just an obnoxious little toad.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Balladeer » Thu May 09, 2019 2:57 pm

Waggle got good at the end of the Wii’s life for me, with Motion+ finally delivering on the promises that the Wiimote made. We didn’t have enough games that made use of it, though. That said, there were still a few vanilla Wiimote moments that made me smile: the manta raycing in Mario Galaxy, say.

Nick’s done the generation/era/whatever an egregious error in missing out the DS, though, even if he personally didn’t care for it (if anybody else fancies defending the PSP they can). It actually felt like that was where most of the era’s innovation resided, with games as diverse as Phantom Hourglass/Spirit Tracks, The World Ends With You, Nintendogs, WarioWare, Meteos (METEOOOOOOOS), Ghost Trick, Layton, and Picross DS showing that the touch screen and buttons input scheme was a belting one. I still have a lot of fondness for the DS.

I was less fond of the Wii, because I didn’t get on with Mario Galaxy or Wii Sports as much as others did, and because its Smash and Mario Kart weren’t the greatest. Twilight Princess was a belting opener, however; and we also had the likes of Xenoblade, Galaxy 2, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and Muramasa (hidden gem) bulking out the Great Games List. It was still a good machine, and showed that sub-par power doesn’t have to mean sub-par games (in case anyone (fools) thought it did). And if it got even a fraction of the people who bought it for Wii Sports and Wii Fit into other games, well, it was worthwhile.

I still prefer the Switch though. In its first year it released my two favourite games ever, which I could play on the train or the telly, and revitalised my interest in an entire genre with Celeste. That’s going to be pretty hard to top. It’s also been a blinding local multiplayer console and a haven of indie greatness. It does need to kick on now, but I’d say it’s a year of good releases away from becoming my favourite machine ever, topping the GameCube.


EDIT: Also as a Nintendonly gamer I’ve been shielded from most of the current-day industry shite that Taf refers to. :mrgreen:

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by jawafour » Thu May 09, 2019 3:21 pm

I've really enjoyed both generations!

> Systems I used last generation (in my most-played order): Xbox 360, 3DS, DS, Wii, PS3
> Systems I've used this generation (in my most-played order): PS4, Switch, Wii U, PSVR

For my personal gaming experience, the biggest changes have been:

- Platform changes (a big turnaround in my gaming from being mainly Xbox and Nintendo to being PlayStation and Nintendo)
- Media changes (I've switched from physical media to downloading; especially on PS4)
- Online gaming (I have embraced online play and have grown to enjoy it)
- Capitalism in gaming (Multiple versions of a game / season passes / "Micro" transactions / "Free" to start / loot boxes / in-game currency are all increasingly prevalent and, in my view, often bring about a distrust of publishers)
- The disappearance of gaming magazines ( :-( )
- Increasing cynicism (bad news gets the attention in this fast age of internet-based reporting)

But... I love using and playing on my current gen systems; to be honest, at this moment I'm happy for it to continue for quite some time rather then be brushed away by the arrival of newer, expensive consoles.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Cal » Thu May 09, 2019 3:29 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:Ok cool! Quick reply then, to be expanded upon when I get home;

Hardware and software: Better
Culture and industry: Much, much worse to the point where toxic gaming culture has reached beyond the bounds of the medium to adversely affect mainstream issues such as women's rights and politics, and industrial greed has led to the embracing of the worst tenets of late stage capitalism by publishers and devs alike.


And I thought I was going to be skirting the edges of acceptable commentary by merely suggesting that whilst contemporary gaming technology is fantastic (and it continues to get better), I'm not so keen on gaming's censorious progressive agenda... :shifty:

I can't wait to read your expanded answer.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by OrangeRKN » Thu May 09, 2019 3:30 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:gaming culture


Do you think it's still useful or relevant to refer to a monolithic or mainstream "gaming culture" (I know I just singled that phrase out from your post but I'm interested in your response)? My observation is that as gaming grows and diversifies it continues to split into more and increasingly disparate subcultures of enthusiasts, and that has been happening for a long time (and has always been true in some way anyway).

Undoubtedly popular elements of gaming culture are problematic and have grown increasingly toxic, but other parts aren't and haven't.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Balladeer » Thu May 09, 2019 3:38 pm

jawafour wrote:- The disappearance of gaming magazines ( :-( )

Good shout, but I wish you wouldn’t. :cry:

Incidentally I get Switch Player on a regular basis, but it just lacks the soul and humour of NGamer.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by OrangeRKN » Thu May 09, 2019 3:40 pm

Balladeer wrote:Incidentally I get Switch Player on a regular basis, but it just lacks the soul and humour of NGamer.


No change from you choosing to read NGamer over ONM then ;)

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Balladeer » Thu May 09, 2019 3:42 pm

You joke, but the few issues I got of ONM felt soulless and dead until Castle took charge. :P Love Castle.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Gemini73 » Thu May 09, 2019 3:53 pm

In terms of quality of games and the enjoyment I've had from them I'd say it's about even across both generations, with this generation only just tipping the balance in its favour with some titles due to technological advancements. I'm playing tonnes of great games from both this gen and the last.

Hardware performance is clearly superior this gen, (loving my PS4 Pro), but I've found front end UIs more cumbersome than they need to be, crammed with guff I'll never use. With that in mind I'd like to see UIs that offer a more relaxed approach to personal customisation next gen.

The unashamed greed of publishers this generation (predominantly from the AAA quarter) has blown way out of control. It's rare I buy a full price new game and feel like I'm getting the complete experience.

Last edited by Gemini73 on Thu May 09, 2019 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Tafdolphin » Thu May 09, 2019 4:10 pm

OrangeRKN wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:gaming culture


Do you think it's still useful or relevant to refer to a monolithic or mainstream "gaming culture" (I know I just singled that phrase out from your post but I'm interested in your response)? My observation is that as gaming grows and diversifies it continues to split into more and increasingly disparate subcultures of enthusiasts, and that has been happening for a long time (and has always been true in some way anyway).

Undoubtedly popular elements of gaming culture are problematic and have grown increasingly toxic, but other parts aren't and haven't.


You're absolutely right in that you can't lump everyone with a passing interest in games under one heading, just like you can't with film or literary culture. When I used the term 'games culture' I was definitely referring to a specific sub-section which is perhaps better referred to as Gamer Culture, that group who identify with games as more than a hobby and as something approaching a full blown identity.

It is the dissolution of gaming as a niche interest that has caused Gamer Culture become so radicalised over the past few years: a core group of (almost exclusively) white men, usually in the 25-40 age bracket who, as they were early adopters of the hobby, have designated themselves gatekeepers and feel the control of the narrative surrounding games has gotten away from them. As more and more people have taken to games and former stigmas erroded, this group has taken extreme measures, more often than not masked in sheep's clothing, to attempt to reassert control and attack those they feel responsible for their sidelining (usually women and minority groups).

That's specifically who I was referring to rather than gaming culture as a whole.

Gemini73 wrote:You really are just an obnoxious little toad.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by OrangeRKN » Thu May 09, 2019 4:17 pm

That makes a lot of sense. I like the Gamer with a capital G distinction (as opposed to a gamer just being someone who plays games), and I guess the reason that there isn't a different name for that subculture is because they self-identify as the only "true gamers" rather than as the smaller subset that they in reality are.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by KK » Thu May 09, 2019 4:19 pm

Balladeer wrote:EDIT: Also as a Nintendonly gamer I’ve been shielded from most of the current-day industry shite that Taf refers to. :mrgreen:

I think unless you go looking for it and spend your time on social media and engaging in and with YouTube personalities and streamers it can quite happily pass you all by. See also: eSports players. I haven't a clue what's going on there either.

But how I play and consume games as someone who identifies and grew up with the original 'PlayStation generation' is obviously going to be different to the latest generation who plays Fortnight 6 hours a day. Like television, videogames have become more fragmented than ever before.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Balladeer » Thu May 09, 2019 4:27 pm

KK wrote:
Balladeer wrote:EDIT: Also as a Nintendonly gamer I’ve been shielded from most of the current-day industry shite that Taf refers to. :mrgreen:

I think unless you go looking for it and spend your time on social media and engaging in and with YouTube personalities and streamers it can quite happily pass you all by. See also: eSports players. I haven't a clue what's going on there either.

But how I play and consume games as someone who identifies and grew up with the original 'PlayStation generation' is obviously going to be different to the latest generation who plays Fortnight 6 hours a day. Like television, videogames have become more fragmented than ever before.

This is very true, although it slithers into other areas of gaming. For instance, I listen to extended gaming music on YouTube while working or writing, and occasionally (I know I know) I’ll look at the comments and see something like, ‘Albino brought me here.’ And it turns out that Albino’s some Fortnite streamer/YouTube (ahem) ‘personality’. Also, following any comedic Twitter accounts dealing with gaming tends to lead to some YouTubery from time to time.

I was mostly thinking about the industry side though. Egregious micro-transactions, season passes, loot boxes, special editions you need a spreadsheet to track: all the dreadful hallmarks of the ‘TRIPLE AAAAYEEEEE’[/jimsterling] gaming industry. Don’t get me wrong, they’re coming: Nintendo has jumped on the season pass bandwagon with both hands of late, and we now have Mortal Kommerce 11 on Switch. But I reckon I’ve been shielded from the worst of it until recently.

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Cal » Thu May 09, 2019 4:28 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
OrangeRKN wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:gaming culture


Do you think it's still useful or relevant to refer to a monolithic or mainstream "gaming culture" (I know I just singled that phrase out from your post but I'm interested in your response)? My observation is that as gaming grows and diversifies it continues to split into more and increasingly disparate subcultures of enthusiasts, and that has been happening for a long time (and has always been true in some way anyway).

Undoubtedly popular elements of gaming culture are problematic and have grown increasingly toxic, but other parts aren't and haven't.


You're absolutely right in that you can't lump everyone with a passing interest in games under one heading, just like you can't with film or literary culture. When I used the term 'games culture' I was definitely referring to a specific sub-section which is perhaps better referred to as Gamer Culture, that group who identify with games as more than a hobby and as something approaching a full blown identity.

It is the dissolution of gaming as a niche interest that has caused Gamer Culture become so radicalised over the past few years: a core group of (almost exclusively) white men, usually in the 25-40 age bracket who, as they were early adopters of the hobby, have designated themselves gatekeepers and feel the control of the narrative surrounding games has gotten away from them. As more and more people have taken to games and former stigmas erroded, this group has taken extreme measures, more often than not masked in sheep's clothing, to attempt to reassert control and attack those they feel responsible for their sidelining (usually women and minority groups).

That's specifically who I was referring to rather than gaming culture as a whole.


Lots to explore there (most of which I naturally disagree with), but I can't go into it here as I'd quickly get shut-down (as well as being accused of derailing this topic).

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PostRe: Is gaming in a better place than it was a decade ago?
by Winckle » Thu May 09, 2019 4:32 pm

I'm going to avoid any identity politics stuff, and agree with what Taf said above about the hardware and software being generally of a higher standard, but loot boxes and microtransactions ruining game design. Cheat codes essentially being sold back to you in blind boxes.

Indie games are really good though, and the Switch is great for playing them on.

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