Di­a­logue

Di­a­logue Send your views, us­ing ‘Di­a­logue’ as the sub­ject line, to edge@fu­turenet.com. Our let­ter of the month wins a New Nin­tendo 3DS XL, sup­plied by the Nin­tendo UK store

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Edge read­ers share their opinions; one wins a New Nin­tendo 3DS XL

Coin dun­geon

When­ever I think about vir­tual re­al­ity I get a deep feel­ing about its scale that over­whelms me. We used to see VR just as a new fancy and cu­ri­ous gad­get, but it has much more to of­fer be­sides funny mo­ments. It’s of­fer­ing us a whole new world of pos­si­bil­i­ties to ex­plore. It’s not a just a dif­fer­ent videogame ex­pe­ri­ence, but a whole new medium which is go­ing to make an im­pact on en­ter­tain­ment, sci­ence, tourism, cin­ema, TV…

Vir­tual re­al­ity devel­op­ers now have the abil­ity to im­merse the player com­pletely; they can al­most lit­er­ally trans­port us to other worlds, be­cause the lim­i­ta­tions of the screen don’t ex­ist any more. It re­minds me a lit­tle of the leap from 2D to 3D graph­ics: ev­ery­one knew it was go­ing to be some­thing big, but I’m sure none of us could have imag­ined the point we’ve reached to­day.

For­get about phys­i­cal borders. We won’t have to pre­tend we are some­where ever again; we will sim­ply be there. That’s go­ing to cause a lot of trou­ble. Avoid­ing real-world ob­sta­cles (be that the screen, the con­troller, or your mum tak­ing you out of the ex­pe­ri­ence) has a price; not only a mon­e­tary one, but also a philo­soph­i­cal one. Con­stantly ex­chang­ing re­al­i­ties isn’t the best way to stay sane. The dis­con­nec­tion from re­al­ity will at­tain lev­els that we have never seen be­fore.

Also, new tech­nolo­gies are never cheap. Costs will be re­duced with time, but what hap­pens in the mean­time? We can an­swer this with an­other ques­tion: what hap­pened the last time a gam­ing tech­nol­ogy was too ex­pen­sive for our lit­tle pock­ets? The re­turn of retro game­rooms may not be far away. Ser­gio Abreu Gar­cía

Un­til VR is more widely adopted, that’s a fine idea. It would’ve spared the room we’ve had to sac­ri­fice for Vive, and would at least mean we’d get a match in mul­ti­player games. We tried a Vive FPS on­line the other day. Seven peo­ple were play­ing it world­wide. Ul­ti­mate evo­lu­tion

Nor­mal de­vel­op­ments within the gam­ing world don’t nec­es­sar­ily in­ter­est me that much. I’m prob­a­bly a closet cynic, qui­etly crit­i­cis­ing every­thing from a dis­tance. How­ever, with the long-awaited pub­lic re­lease of the Ocu­lus Rift, and its po­ten­tial to bring vir­tual re­al­ity (a fea­ture that I never truly be­lieved would reach the av­er­age consumer so soon) to the liv­ing room, the fu­ture of gam­ing ap­pears bright. No longer re­stricted to the game devel­op­ers and very wealthy that we ad­mire on­line, I’m ac­tu­ally hope­ful that I will one day get to try and maybe, just maybe, own a VR set my­self.

For the first time in a long while I’m ex­cited about the fu­ture of gam­ing. Af­ter all the dis­ap­point­ment of the ‘nextgen’ con­soles (which are un­der­pow­ered, to say the least), vir­tual re­al­ity prom­ises a unique way of play­ing our beloved videogames all over again. Over the years games have at­tempted to of­fer us play­ers more and more ways to im­merse our­selves; to leave re­al­ity and es­cape com­pletely into vir­tual bliss. Tech­no­log­i­cal break­throughs that I read about and ob­serve al­ways ap­pear decades away from reach­ing some­one like me, who oc­ca­sion­ally in­vests his stu­dent loan in new gam­ing tech.

How­ever, things have now changed. Vir­tual re­al­ity is real; it’s on the mar­ket. I know this is true be­cause Valve keeps re­mind­ing me on Steam that ‘VR IS HERE’. Th­ese bold words re­mind me that I’m not in some lu­cid dream se­quence. No, those fancy head­sets you’ve jeal­ously seen oth­ers use can now be yours for many, many pound coins. I was hugely wor­ried about the whole idea be­ing an­other gim­mick, like 3D. I think I

“In its cur­rent state, VR is too ex­pen­sive, and sim­ply lack­ing the li­brary of games it needs”

may be wrong. VR could be the ad­vance­ment in gam­ing tech that we re­ally need.

Although vir­tual re­al­ity is ac­tu­ally a real, buyable ob­ject now, there’s still the is­sue of fill­ing out your ded­i­cated gam­ing shelf with VR ti­tles. Ocu­lus launched with 30 games; that’s not a bad start, but what about the fu­ture? Yeah, there’ll be plenty of in­die ex­per­i­ments and ex­pe­ri­ences to be found on Steam and on­line, but how many triple-A games will fol­low suit? Not many, I fear.

It’s been a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion with Blu-ray for films. I re­mem­ber see­ing the first discs in my lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, re­al­is­ing how ab­sent a num­ber of iconic ti­tles were, and balk­ing at the ex­tra­or­di­nary price tag that came with it. It’s taken a while for high-def­i­ni­tion films to be widely ac­cepted as com­mon­place, and also to drop in price. I think that vir­tual re­al­ity will fol­low a sim­i­lar trail of ac­cep­tance. In its cur­rent state, VR is too ex­pen­sive, and sim­ply lack­ing the strong li­brary of games that it so des­per­ately needs. Un­like the gim­micky, dis­ap­point­ing stereo­scopic 3D, I ac­tu­ally be­lieve that VR does have a place in the gam­ing world. There are pos­si­bil­i­ties for it to be­come the norm, which is mas­sively promis­ing for the tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of gam­ing as a whole. Alexander Jones

Nei­ther Rift nor Vive are truly mass­mar­ket propo­si­tions right now, and won’t be un­til their prices be­come more af­ford­able. By the time PSVR ar­rives, soft­ware and pric­ing will need to be some­what less of an is­sue if Ocu­lus and HTC are to com­pete. Mon­ster box

As I closed in on NG++, near­ing the cen­tury mark in hours in­vested, my PS3 fi­nally died. But it died do­ing what it loved: read­ing the

Dark Souls disc, metic­u­lously sav­ing the game’s data, en­sur­ing that I never lost souls or progress that weren’t of my own un­do­ing. This is what it would have wanted.

Kale, a level-118 fighter, ex­hausted from hav­ing to re­peat­edly tap the square but­ton in or­der to gain hu­man­ity, pa­tiently fed the last of th­ese hard-earned cur­rency to a Daugh­ter of Chaos. Kale, pre­par­ing for yet an­other trek through Lost Iza­lith, didn’t know it then, but this brief rest at the Chaos Witch’s sis­ter’s bon­fire would be his last. That light, which had burned so brightly and had burned so long, fi­nally went out – iron­i­cally, in­di­cated to me by three blink­ing red lights. My PS3’s soul pe­tered out long be­fore Kale’s ever did.

Now, my copy of Dark Souls is for­ever en­cased in­side its glossy, black tomb. I couldn’t have dreamt of a more poetic and won­der­ful way to burn out, though: a war­rior, mid-ad­ven­ture, on the eve of Dark Souls III. PS3, I hope, that in time, like ev­ery Souls player be­fore you, you even­tu­ally come to see death for what it re­ally is: a sec­ond chance. A sec­ond chance to get back what you have lost: a shot at NG++. I pray that you never go hol­low, PS3, and may you burn as grossly in­can­des­cent as Lor­dran’s sun. And as for you, An­dre of As­tora, we have some un­fin­ished busi­ness to at­tend to. Kyle Char­rette

We’d tell you about the screw you can turn to man­u­ally re­move a jammed PS3 disc, but you’ve gone to all this poetic trou­ble and it just wouldn’t be fair. Have a New 3DS XL. Power-up fu­sion

Videogames are in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to new tech­nol­ogy. That’s not go­ing to change. How­ever, our ob­ses­sion with the new, clubbed to­gether with our un­der­stand­ing that retroac­tive ap­proaches to de­sign and tech­no­log­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions should be re­served for a £10 down­load-exclusive ti­tle, may lead to limited scope in the triple-A mar­ket. Just look at E292’ s pre­view of Ratchet &

Clank’s PS4 de­but for a prime ex­am­ple. An Edge staffer is be­sot­ted by a game’s 2016 tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments but less wel­com­ing of some de­sign as­pects that harken back to 2002.

Is a 2002 de­sign ap­proach inherently bad? Does it some­how re­quire a lesser de­gree of com­mit­ment or ef­fort from the devel­op­ers? The as­sump­tion is that if the au­di­ence pays £40 they de­mand a cut­ting-edge ex­pe­ri­ence, both in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal so­phis­ti­ca­tion and the con­ven­tions of mod­ern game de­sign.

But what is mod­ern game de­sign? It’s not judged by tech­no­log­i­cal ‘progress’ but rather by trends. The Souls games have seen pun­ish­ing dif­fi­culty be­come vogue, and Ubisoft’s suc­cess is slowly re­sult­ing in a back­lash against ob­jec­tive-abun­dant open worlds. If last year’s Yooka-Laylee fund­ing is any­thing to go by, late-’90s col­lec­tathons will soon be­come fash­ion­able again too.

It seems a lit­tle my­opic of Edge to think less of Ratchet & Clank’s 2002 de­sign ap­proach sim­ply be­cause it’s not in vogue. Give it five years and I’m sure the pub­lic’s crav­ings for PS2-era de­sign will be looked at through rose-tinted glasses and Ratchet

& Clank’s PS4 de­but will be her­alded as a hid­den gem. Who knows, maybe Sony has al­ready en­gi­neered a re­vival of 2002 de­sign philoso­phies with its PS2-on-PS4 scheme? Fer­gus Pear­son

It’s not that by­gone de­sign prin­ci­ples are past it, but their pre­sen­ta­tion against a 2016 vis­ual sheen can be jar­ring. And please stop be­ing mean about our eye­sight. Awak­en­ing

Hi there! I’m Arlo, I’m 12 years old! I re­ally loved your mag­a­zine and it has got me re­ally hyped up for Dark Souls III! Be­fore this, I didn’t know a thing about Dark Souls at all, but now, thanks to you, I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to it! I think the qual­ity of the con­tent in this Edge mag­a­zine is in­cred­i­ble! This is the first time I have had an is­sue of

Edge and I loved it so much I asked my dad to get me a sub­scrip­tion, and he did! I think

Edge is my favourite mag­a­zine of all time! Arlo Hes­kett Arlo! Tone down the ex­clams and maybe next time you can have the 3DS you asked for in all those bits we had to edit out.

Is­sue 292

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