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Looking back in hindsight, the seventh generation was a huge clusterfuck. But I feel like it didn’t have to be this way

Content of the article: "Looking back in hindsight, the seventh generation was a huge clusterfuck. But I feel like it didn’t have to be this way"

I'll say it right away: companies jumped the gun hard by going for HD gaming so early.

Let's remember that the 360 released in 2005. A high-definition console releasing in 2005, in hindsight, is completely absurd. I'm not sure if you guys will remember, but Dead Rising had quite a bit of controversy because the text was completely unreadable on SDTVs, and that came out in 2006. In fact, the very first 720p channel on the US didn't show up until 2007! Indeed, I'd guess that HDTVs didn't actually become common place until around 2008, 2009 – coincidentally or not, it's around this time that we got 1, the PS3 getting a huge surge of popularity and much better public perception, and 2, the rise of HD remasters, kickstarted by the God of War Collection.

You might not know or remember this, but the PS360 could barely run games at native 720p, and yet, the idea (at least for Sony) was for that generation to actually be Full HD. It sounds laughable looking back. It's no secret that HD development exponentially increased costs, and I can't help but wonder what would've happen if companies went instead for a 540p resolution. Another thing worth mentioning, is that average performance across the gen dropped horribly during that generation. One just has to remember the huge clusterfuck that was, say, Skyrim on the consoles.

It didn't help that we got a perfect storm of sorts with the 2008 economic crisis, which is likely a big factor for the freakishing-ly long generation (seven years, EIGHT if we count the 360 headstart). Now let's remind ourselves that the PS360 had a measly 256MB of RAM. A PC with such RAM would already be obsolete by 2007, I think even earlier. The fact that next gen got 8GB of RAM is a ridiculous gap. And you could still get away with calling an 8 gigs rig low-end even today.

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It's funny to think that Nintendo was actually at the right "curve", so to speak. The Wii could be beefier, but that's about it. When the Wii U came out, that was actually the perfect time to introduce HD gaming, but since Sony and Microsoft jumped the gun so hard, it ended up feeling obsolete at day one, instead. Wii U should have been a good hardware for the time it came out, with a proper development curve.

We could be repeating the same mistake with 4k gaming, though it at least appears that devs will be focusing more on performance, either giving a locked 30fps (a rarity in the PS360, trust me), or lower resolutions @ 60fps. But time will tell.


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