The PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to be with us soon. That means a whole new bunch of games and an increase in how good our games look. At least, that’s usually what it means.
While we’re sure to get a whole bunch of new games, a developer has warned to expect less of an update to the graphics. As we approach photo-realism, it seems more and more likely that consoles are going to hit a graphical brick wall.
Back in the early days of gaming, graphical improvements were massive. The jump from the PS1 to the PS2 was staggering – possibly even more so from the PS2 to the PS3. This is true across the board for game consoles.
The graphical jump from the seventh generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, etc) to the eight generation consoles was much smaller. Sure, games looked better, but it was nothing compared to the leaps we saw before.
Part of the reason for this is that the PS4 and Xbox One have near photorealistic graphics and textures. There really isn’t much room to move when it comes to graphical power.
While the PS5 and Xbox Series X might not look better graphically, that doesn’t mean things, in general, won’t improve.
It’s often said by people that graphics don’t make a game. Sure, they can add some shine and polish, but they’re not the central pillar of a game. Minecraft is a great example of this. So are the hundreds of popular pixel games.
It’s likely that the next generation will allow for other improvements besides graphics. With a lack of improvement of graphical fidelity, the actual visual design of games will be front and center. More than that, bigger and better hard drives will mean much bigger and more complex worlds and quicker loading times.
There’s really plenty that these more powerful consoles will be able to do better. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that newer hardware means a jump in graphics. What we should be focusing on is an increase in the design of games. This means better AI, deeper systems and generally more realistic worlds rather than visuals.