Im­age prob­lem

We all do it – men and women. We flick through a mag­a­zine check­ing out what pleases and dis­pleases our eyes. Only then do we add in tex­tual in­for­ma­tion, hop­ing for it to val­i­date or con­tex­tu­alise those judg­ments. “Wow. That’s im­pres­sive for a mo­bile game.” Screen­shots in videogame mag­a­zines have al­ways had a big in­flu­ence on the games and plat­forms we con­sider buy­ing. And leaf­ing through Edge, it’s al­ways been easy to recog­nise – from a sin­gle screen­shot – what plat­form a game is run­ning on. But re­cently, it’s be­come hard even to recog­nise the gen­er­a­tion of a game’s hard­ware from screen­shots alone. And that’s not be­cause screen dis­plays have over­taken the res­o­lu­tion and the bleed prop­er­ties of printed ink; it’s mostly about di­min­ish­ing per­cep­ti­ble re­turns from in­creased com­put­ing power. So, hav­ing reached that mo­ment in the evo­lu­tion of the screen­shot, I’d like to make a re­quest to Edge: could you please give us a ret­ro­spec­tive on this medium? Static images were never fully rep­re­sen­ta­tive of game graph­ics, never mind game qual­ity. But – even in this (sec­ond) era of VR – they con­tinue to oc­cupy an im­por­tant role in our gam­ing life. Matthew St­ed­man Yet, oddly, the dif­fer­ence be­tween pub­lisher bull­shot and real­time screen­grab has never seemed more stark – and the fuss when the fi­nal prod­uct fails to live up to the pre-re­lease hype has never been greater. As for some kind of ret­ro­spec­tive, we’ll start pok­ing around in the Edge ar­chives.

Load­ing screed

I met up with my brother the other day to have a gam­ing evening as we caught up. I took round the new COD, since it would be a good game for some quick ac­tion and ma­cho ban­ter – or at least that was the plan.

First, we had to dig around to find the cor­rect ca­bles to charge his con­troller and sync mine that I had taken round. Then he had to in­stall the most re­cent up­date for his PS3 (he plays more Xbox One), and fi­nally he had to down­load and in­stall the lat­est patch. It was at this mo­ment, over an hour af­ter we set out to play a game, that I had a vi­sion for the fu­ture of gam­ing. A fu­ture where con­trollers were wired to the con­sole so they wouldn’t need charg­ing and would be per­ma­nently synced, where games were re­leased in their fi­nal form so that patches didn’t have to be down­loaded, and con­sole menus were stream­lined. I know I sound old. I just don’t feel that we’ve moved on much since when I was six. My ZX Spec­trum was quicker than this.

Of course there have been huge ad­vances, mainly in the area of graph­ics, and of­ten to the detri­ment of other, maybe more in­ter­est­ing paths. What would games and con­soles be like if com­pa­nies had spent all this money and time on de­vel­op­ing world physics, or en­emy AI, or on an ex­pe­ri­ence where it takes less than 30 min­utes to get from switch­ing a con­sole on to ac­tu­ally play­ing a game? I hope, with each new con­sole gen­er­a­tion, that a com­pany will make it their mission to re­duce wait­ing times, but in­stead they just seem to be get­ting longer.

So I’m left dreaming of an age where I can turn a con­sole on and be play­ing a game in un­der ten sec­onds. It sounds like the stuff of science fic­tion now, but the sad thing is, we had that age once al­ready. We lost it, and we called it progress. Stu­art Harper

“I just don’t feel we’ve moved on much since I was six. My ZX Spec­trum was quicker than this”

One Edge as­so­ciate was so put off by the or­deal of set­ting up and updating his new PS4 and copy of Blood­borne that he’s yet to so much as play the thing. Con­soles’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.