File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 14: Next-Gen?

In this week’s episode, Shawn and Ron tackle a topic suggested by Gaming Today reader Joelteon7, and discuss the meaning of next-gen and console zealotry. What makes a game or a console next-gen? You can hear what we think, and we encourage you to offer up your opinions on the matter.

We also introduce a new feature titled Name that Game; where we read the retail box of a game from our collection and ask you, the listener, to hazard a guess as to what that game is. As usual, we continue with Rant or Rave and info on Filefront Frag Night for this week. Unfortunately, due to issues with the Linux server for BF2, we’ve put the Frag Night for this week on hiatus. Our ET: QW server remains up, if you’d like to hop in and play a bit.

As always, you can grab the podcast from this link.

Our podcast page continues to reside at http://podcast.filefront.com, and it’s home to all our past episodes.

If you think you’ve got something we should be talking about, or just a snide remark about our show, feel free to drop us a line at podcast@filefront.com. Maybe you’ll hear your submission on next week’s show.

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6 Comments on File-N-Forget Podcast Episode 14: Next-Gen?

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

On December 15, 2007 at 4:43 pm

I haven’t listened to it yet, but there is no such thing as “next gen” anymore. The PS3, Xbox360, and Wii are now the current gen. What ever comes after them is now the “next gen”, and the day it’s released, it ceases to be “next gen” and becomes current gen.

Joelteon7

On December 15, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Box read-out game: I think I know what the game is, but the title has completely lost me, so no guess from me. Good luck to those guessing however.

Main content: Cool that you talked about my idea. Glad you guys could run with it and I found it interesting what you had to say. I think I may have a possible source for the ‘console wars’ debacle…Sonic and Mario, anyone? Lets be honest, the technology between the Mega Drive and Super Nintendo wasn’t exactly worlds apart, so much so that I’m fairly certainly one game could be played on the other console (ok, with a bit of editing, but enough to see my point). Their stalemate made it become the consumers who would decide which one was ‘better’, to unsettle the stalemate. Thats since evolved with the new consoles. Just one theory, surely of many, but it makes some sense in the long run.

As for the meaning of ‘next-gen’, I think it has changed from its previous meaning of graphics upgrade in the consoles (during the X-bit wars) to something else. Since 3d and the ability to play on DVD’s, I don’t really think there has been much next-gen though, so we’re talking about ‘previous’ gen, really, that I think there was truly a point to which there was any vast step-up. Sure, we now have HD and waving like lunatics, but HD doesn’t make much of a difference to those who don’t have HD TV’s (which is the majority, whilst DVD over CD graphics quality is noticeable by the majority) and waving a stick is…well, waving a stick. I think Will Wright has the right idea in saying that the Wii is ‘next gen’ whilst the rest are not, but not truly. It IS still pretty much a Gamecube with waving technology added. Sure, it’s a slightly visually increased machine with a bit more technical doo-dar, but it probably is the closest to next-gen.

HD and Blu-ray games should mean bigger, more grandios games, but that simply isn’t happening. When you could get 100 hour games on the PS1 or 2, or the othe consoles at that time, the fact games seem to be getting shorter with the increase in graphics worries me. Okay, sure, not every game should be 100 hours long, but 6 hours? Unfortunately, those 6 hours also seem to be pretty mediocre as well. What’s happening developers? Have we forgotten how to make fully engrossing games that are highly interactive, brimming with gameplay?

Though in the end, you guys have probably hit the nail on the head and literally it’s just buzz words for marketing.

Anyhow, as I suggested last week, a simply suggestion for a newish podcast would be a review of the year in terms of gaming. I think it would be a nice way to round off the year, as well as seeing the thoughts of two people involved with the industry to get their perspectives on it; we give ours all the time, but yours is limited. Besides, what with better graphics, should be a lot easier :p

Norbit

On December 15, 2007 at 9:06 pm

“Lets be honest, the technology between the Mega Drive and Super Nintendo wasn’t exactly worlds apart”

The SNES was far more powerful. I believe its processor ran 3 times faster and graphically it could generate twice as many sprites and over 60 times as many colours than the Megadrive. It had twice as much main RAM and 8 times the amount of audio RAM.

I think you are right about it starting with those 2 consoles though.

“I think Will Wright has the right idea in saying that the Wii is ‘next gen’ whilst the rest are not”

I disagree with that 100%. If Sony had simply re-boxed the PS2 and stuck a 360 degree motion controller with it would that be next gen? No, it would be a last gen console with a new controller which imo is all the Wii is. The Wii doesn’t offer anything more than the last generation that the 360 and PS3 couldn’t add with just a new peripheral. I dont recall anyone saying the Eye Toy was a huge generational leap in gaming but that offered the first console motion control gaming. So does the PlayStation Eye but that seems to be overlooked also. The Wii is simply a clever peripheral like the Eye is.

“the fact games seem to be getting shorter with the increase in graphics worries me.”

I agree with that but online play is the thing that makes it OK with a lot of games. With good online play a game becomes infinite in length. I payed £20 for Battlefield 2 and so far according to my stats I’ve played it for over 412 hours.

I’ve been thinking about this and if graphics aren’t what make ‘next gen’ I believe the first console games that define this generation are the down-loadable ones like Warhawk that are online only. Those type of games you download from Live and PSN to only play online simply didn’t exist in the last generation and represent a real generational leap in console gaming.

Joelteon7

On December 15, 2007 at 9:54 pm

So perhaps then this generation is the online generation?

William

On December 16, 2007 at 1:48 am

eh… “next-gen” is just a marketing term. I wonder what they will call the next round of systems. I actually just hope we are at a point in time where systems will last much longer. I was tired of the years when new systems were coming out every year or two. I truly hope the Wii, 360 and PS3 are around and well until at least the year 2010 or later. It’s getting way too expensive to switch systems.

Ldysabella

On December 16, 2007 at 10:42 am

@William What are you talking about?? The PS2 has been around for seven years and counting. It’s still selling and they’re still making games for it. At the rate at which technology is progressing, how much longe4r do you want a system to last?

I don’t think asking the current Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles to last until 2010 is unreasonable, although I really believe that without some serious firmware upgrades, they won’t keep up as well with the PS2′s track record.
I know the PS3 is fully capable of some heavy firmware upgrades. I’m not sure about the Xbox 360 and I know the Wii is pretty tapped as far as room for new innovations that aren’t peripherals.

I know PCs are a different issue altogether but it seems that a top line, beast of a gaming machine will need to be replaced or at least overhauled in just two years.

I just think that technology is advancing so fast that “disposable” consoles and PCs are inevitable if we’re to keep up with the times.