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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:34 am 
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So I grew up in the olden days when you put a cartridge into a console and immediately you were playing games.

I had several consoles while growing up, but for the last many years I admit that I never really owned any of the modern gaming consoles. So to try and see what modern gaming is like I purchased a few consoles and games. I now own a:

xbox 360
xbox one
ps3

But from what I've noticed, all of these consoles are requiring the use of internet more and more. It seems as if you can't even use them without downloading tons of crap from the internet every time I turn them on.

What ever happened to just inserting the game and then playing something? This one time I wanted to play a game, but before I could play the game I had to download a ton of sh*t. After that was done, I wasn't even in the mood to play the game anymore.

Also WTF is up with all these trophies and achievements and crap that keep popping up while I'm playing a game? When I had my NES, never did a small icon pop up and say "here's a trophy" good job playing the game. I honestly don't need any reward other than my own personal enjoyment with the game. It seems like I'm being rewarded for doing nothing sometimes, which devalues the trophy and makes it meaningless.

It seems like modern gaming is way more complicated than it needs to be. It should just be, put in the game and F-ing play it. Just think if movies and DVD's and Bluerays worked this way too.

You put in the movie and "oh no" you got to download something first before you can watch your movie and it's going to take 10 minutes. Give me a f-ing break.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:59 am 
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Well yeah. It takes away a huge part of what I like about consoles in the first place. At least the Wii U wasn't horrible about that stuff. It still felt kind of like a console.

Starting with the 4K re-release of Star Ocean 4, we are also now seeing video rendering options in consoles games.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:26 am 
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It feels absurd when a bought hardcopy of a game is more or less just a download key.

At least, trophies can potentially be great. Nes homebrew side, Scramble is an example of good trophy design. Basically, it's not just about getting an abstract high score anymore. Once can beat the game, the trophy system provides solid support for voluntary game rules like a no death run or only firing this many shots in a playthrough and so on. The first trophies (beat level x) have debatable use in this regard, but might help introduce the plauer to the trophy system.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:31 am 
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This unmotivates me beyond belief too. I don't own a switch/xbone/ps4 and I don't think I ever will, no matter how much I want to play the last of us 2 or super mario odyssey. I simply know what comes along with these new systems and I know it won't change. Certain publishers like capcom, activision and EA.... Ugh!! I run away like it's the plague.

I do like steam though because it has the occasional great game for cheap, and the bigger variety means I have a better chance of getting a game that doesn't have all this modern bs. It requires research, but the only other option is to be exclusively a retro gamer.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:40 am 
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Sumez wrote:
Starting with the 4K re-release of Star Ocean 4, we are also now seeing video rendering options in consoles games.

GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 had letterbox settings and pixel aspect ratio settings (for 4:3 or 16:9 TVs) back in 1997. A lot of later N64 games could run in high-resolution mode (480i instead of 240p) with a frame rate hit.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:18 am 
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Those are all options relating to your display though. Stuff that's nowadays handled by the console's own system settings.
The options introduced in Star Ocean 4 affects how the game is rendered on the PS4's own hardware, and has nothing to do with differences on your TV.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:43 pm 
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No, the N64 high resolution options really do increase the rendering resolution, increasing the hardware workload. edit: and some N64 games have an option to enable/disable AA.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Yeah, you'd naively hope that the N64 480i mode would actually re-render the 3D scene every 60Hz and thus be able to ultimately render each refresh at ≈300x224.

For good and ill, the N64 instead gives you a plain 448-pixel high framebuffer and the output stage (the creatively named Video Interface) draws from that framebuffer, optionally with flicker reduction (which is a vertical 1 2 1 filter)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:03 pm 
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Is that not configurable? There's a vast amount of resolutions the commercial games render at, as measured by N64 emulators.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:32 pm 
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Right. I didn't mean to insinuate that that's the only video mode.

There's standard library calls to set up one of 14 different video modes, with variants for all of PAL, NTSC, PAL-M, and "full screen PAL". More or less the combinatorial set of
* 320x224 vs 640x448
* bilinear vs no filtering for the scaler
* interlaced vs not
* 16bpp vs 32bpp

The actual Video Interface hardware itself supports full modelines with a fixed pixel clock (≈12MHz), framebuffer width, and a simple X/Y scaler to expand (or shrink) the framebuffer to the output surface, as well as a few other toggles (gamma compensation, dithering?)

I really should get around to writing that test firmware that will let me try generating arbitrary modelines.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Erockbrox wrote:
But from what I've noticed, all of these consoles are requiring the use of internet more and more. It seems as if you can't even use them without downloading tons of crap from the internet every time I turn them on.

You can literally just not connect them to the internet and use them exactly the way you're asking, though. It won't ever check for updates if you don't have the internet connected. Aside from games that are online multiplayer only, very few games require always-online. (It's generally a PR disaster whenever this is attempted.)

On PS3 it would check for updates whenever you started a game (though you always had the option to ignore the update and play anyway), but I very much appreciate that the PS4 will check for and download updates periodically when not in use so it's almost never a thing that gets in the way when starting up a game. Big exception: the first time you play a game it checks for updates right then and there, since it's the first your console knows about it.

The original version of the XBone was going to have some sort of always-online bullshit requirement but they had already realized this was stupid before launch and there was an immediate OS update to allow offline use.

AFAIK PS3/PS4 games always ship with the latest version of system software on disk, so if they do require an OS update it can be applied without using the internet. Not sure about XB1.

Erockbrox wrote:
Just think if movies and DVD's and Bluerays worked this way too.

Do you not actually own any blu-rays? A large portion of them do this already, generally to download new previews to play before you get to the movie. (Again, can usually be prevented by not allowing your blu-ray player to connect to the internet... but the off switch UI for this feature is sometimes annoying to find/use depending on the player, especially if your player is a video game system that you otherwise want to use with the internet.)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:36 pm 
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Yeah but if you don't update your game you don't even get a game, you get a glitch fest. Okay I exaggerate, but sometimes it's exactly that.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:42 pm 
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That's not an exaggeration, that is exactly how it is in many cases. Examples: Yooka-Laylee, Witcher 3... and many more. I think there are a few examples of PS4 games that won't even run, or at least aren't beatable without the initial patch. The Hitman Season 1 disc release doesn't have all the episodes on the disc, and will definitely require the extra download. It's all a placebo.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:14 pm 
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Indie games* rarely get a disc release because of all the overhead involved. It may become even less common with ESRB changing its rate structure recently. This doesn't affect people who play only AAA games, but I imagine that most people interested in both NESdev and modern consoles are also interested in playing indie games on modern consoles.


* Using ceoyoyo's definition: financed by an entity too small for venture capital.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:39 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
I think there are a few examples of PS4 games that won't even run, or at least aren't beatable without the initial patch.

I think there are more than a few examples of pre-internet games that fit this description as well. :P

But yes the situation is obviously different now. People expect post-release maintenance of problems, and similarly developers expect to do the same, and the release process has adapted to take this into account. ...and the reality of this is some games that would have been cancelled in a pre-patch era instead get released with the hope of recovering enough loss to make it to patch. Hard to compare this to the previous era, because they just wouldn't exist then, they would have just died before you heard about them.

A lot of glitches that people make a big stink about in, e.g. Assassin's Creed Unity aren't any more critical than the average NES game bug. Most game releases for consoles with a QA gatekeeping process like PS4/XB1/Switch are as playable as most games from the SNES era, but now there is a demand to fix even minor problems. If using Relm's sketch ability broke your save in Final Fantasy III in 1994, you wouldn't be getting a viral tweet about it with a patch the following week, you'd just start over, or give up.

Overall, if you want to play your PS4 totally offline, it's actually pretty viable, IMO. They have a testing process specifically designed to ensure this, and with extremely rare exceptions it does work.

...but taking patches improves the experience overall, and with a second generation the UI has gotten better (i.e. passive update downloads instead of up-front). In most cases you really can just ignore and skip the update when you start playing, but most people actually want the content of that patch, even though they're not happy about waiting for it at that particular moment. Initial install to hard disk is still a frequent problem, though... but at least that seems to be faster and less prominent in this generation than the previous one. (...and PC gamers were living with that one since the beginning anyway.)


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