It’s safe to say both machines and game developers have proved beyond any doubt that they are capable of delivering stunning visuals and graphics.
PlayStation 4 had the technical spec advantage from the get go meaning its visuals and overall polish in third party games is superior to the Xbox One.
Things like SharePlay have been a revelation on PS4 and generally the way Sony handled its launch have been key factors in seeing it emerge as the dominant force with more than 20 million units sold to homes worldwide, compared to XB1’s estimated 8 million.
However, what neither has done so far, in my opinion, is truly push the boundaries.
Let’s take Assassin’s Creed Unity and The Order: 1886 as examples, comfortably the most stunning video games to date in terms of graphics and detail.
But they will be remembered in many quarters for the wrong reasons. The Order received poor reviews for being dull, short and unoriginal. ACU was littered with problems and glitches which not only required several patches to sort it out but also prompted a grovelling apology from Ubisoft and the release of some DLC for free as compensation to gamers. In fact ACU kind of summed up the opening year. It looked amazing but is the same tried and trusted formula we're used to seeing in the previous generation.
This applies pretty much across the board. The likes of Bloodborne, Dying Light and this week Mortal Kombat X have gone some way to adding much-needed value. But developers must now start giving us as close to perfection as possible, and originality.
It says a lot that the dearth of top titles on either console has led, in part, to something of a resurgence in Nintendo WiiU sales and interest. Nintendo focused on releasing a consistent stream of top titles and it is working.
We know developers can harness the power of these machines, but what we haven’t seen is anything new, anything to really make gamers say ‘I need this’.
In fact most of the better games in the last 18 months have also been available on the former generation's consoles.
Rainbow Six Siege, Tom Clancy's The Division, No Man's Sky and the like have the power to change all that, but by the time they hit our consoles we could well be getting on for two-and-a-half years down the line.
And whatever happened to releasing a polished product? There’s a prize for the first game launch which does not require gigabytes worth of patches to fix something!
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