A new console generation. A new batch of tech demos that mislead consumer expectations.
As perfectly evidenced by Gearbox's recent Aliens demo, savvy game enthusiasts don't take kindly to developers promising one thing and delivering another. The context and circumstances are much different with a hardware manufacturer (Sony) showing tech demos for new hardware, but the sentiment still stands.
With a PS4 tech demo upon us, let's take a look back at how past PlayStation tech demos compare to the respective system's launch titles and PC games at the time. By realizing a common trend between the three, we can get a better glimpse at what PS4's launch titles will actually look like, instead of blindly buying into a flashy tech demo.
In the mid-'90s, console and PC hardware were constantly leap-frogging each other, which is perfectly evidenced in the above comparison. Driving and fighting games will always look the best, due to smaller environments, less models, and A.I. to fiddle with. Nevertheless, Ridge Racer looks a great deal cleaner and smoother than Need for Speed on PC (a game used for PC bragging rights at the time.) System Shock never came to PS, but I have no doubt that it could have handled it, considering it ran the brilliant-looking (for the time) Disruptor. All this would soon change with the arrival of Quake and 3D graphics cards.
I can't fault the tech demos for the PS too much, since they focused on very small environments and singular detailed models. The polygonal models of Vagrant Story, Dino Crisis, and Metal Gear Solid would reach similar heights in time, but the launch titles were a good way off from that level of visual tour de force. This would be the last time that a system launch would outshine contemporary PC titles to such a great degree.
It was incredible to see the dance hall scene between Final Fantasy VIII's Squall and Rinoa realized in real-time 3D, before even watching it as a pre-rendered scene on the PlayStation, the same year. Square would make good on the tech demo with Final Fantasy X, three years later. The launch titles told a different story.
Comparing the dated models and lighting of PS2's launch titles to what was happening on PC at the time, with the Quake 3 and Unreal engine, it really hits home how manipulative and false these tech demos can be. Sure, that's what a game with an old man's face would look like but in what game would that even exist? As detailed as MGS2 was, Max Payne looked comparable (dare I say, better) on PC. PC had the PS2 beat out the gate and continued to pummel Sony's hardware, which never did offer the facial detail of those early tech demos.
Unlike previous tech demos, Sony cooked up a much more accurate batch of tech demos -- if not in performance, at least in representing something that actually resembles games. The target render of Killzone 2 was presented as in-game footage at the time, so I'm still unsure of how to judge it in reflection.
For the first time since the original PlayStation, launch titles compared fairly well with PC. I still can't decide if Doom 3 or Resistance looks better; though, I have my doubts that a PS2 can handle the scale of a max-player-count Battlefield 2 match, upon release. We never did get games that looked as good as the Final Fantasy VII and Killzone 2 tech demos, however.
At this point, there is a common link among these that we should recognize: launch titles never look as good as the initial tech demos, but usually look slightly better than the best PC games from the year before.
With hardware specs comparable to a high-end PC, we have no reason to believe the PS4 will be any different. So, dream about playing Crysis 3 and Max Payne 3 with all the bells and whistles enabled, and recognize those Unreal 4 and Square tech demos for what they are: a dream that likely won't be realized until next-next-gen console rumors start appearing on Destructoid's homepage.
This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.
KeithTheGeek GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO.
Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.BigDoniel 50 hours in and I can safely say that Xenoblade is the best JRPG I've played in years. Should hopefully be finished in time for X too!Pixie The Fairy One job down on day I should have off, now for the other job.CoilWhine I beat Murasaki Baby on PS Vita. Easy 100% trophy. That ending theme tho. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UhjLfeetxM8TheGwailo I have 34 games in my Steam queue alone, 4 on xbone, and a handful on handhelds. I have 3 days to make a dent. Time's up, let's do this!Archelon Community Question: To make up for yesterday, I decided to ask a second Community Question today. Have you taken advantage of any Black Friday deals today? If so, what did you purchase? Feel free to share pictures of your spoils, if you have any.Jiraya Some Black Friday artwork arrived today !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/VBD539P.jpg[/img]Lawman Black Friday is getting to me. All these games I kinda, maybe want that are at anywhere between respectable and deep discounts, but I'm not sure if I want to bite. I'm wondering if Godzilla's worth $12? After checking review scores, I'm not sure.Amna Umen Mission complete![IMG]http://i.imgur.com/SJKhuXP.jpg[/IMG]Serethyn Black Friday slowly seems to creep its way onto Continental Europe, but I'm not complaining! I managed to get my grubby little paws on a new physical copy of The Wonderful 101 for €20! Thanks, America!Archelon Community Question: Since I missed yesterday, I am going to do something a little different today. Are there any questions you would like to ask me for a change? If so, please feel free. I may add a second Community Question later today, as well.RexterNathan Isn't PES 2016 Free-to-Play model just the demo with extra crap thrown in?Fenriff Damn Gumo, you cold as fuck. [img]http://i.imgur.com/F9FUW14.jpg[/img]Atleastimhousebroken While partially responsible for one of the biggest jokes in the metal, Cold Lake by Celtic Frost, Curt Bryant is doing the soundtrack to the game Slain!. I'm digging the shitty garage band vibe. https://soundcloud.com/digerati-distribution/sets/slainLinkSlayer64 How is the Lightening thread STILL GETTING COMMENTS!?!?!?
P.S. I am trying to make Chex Mix, but we lost my special recipe I custom designed. sucks man.Torchman Got a deal on a Surface Pro 3 model that I wanted. Now I just need a deal on a PS TV in Canada and I'm golden.FlanxLycanth If you in the UK, don't have a PS4 and don't mind buying used/display goods there's a few reconditioned PS4 (12 month warranty) on amazon for £199. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010LUOVLW?ref_=gb1h_img_m-3_0047_32684ed3&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLESirDavies my dilemma this black friday is a PS4 for bloodborne and little else or like half the games on my steam wishlist. I know in my heart which one I'm going to pick.El Dango "You had all the lasagna you could ever eat, yet you kept going!" "This isn't about the lasagna anymore, Jon, and I didn't come this far just to quit! Tonight, I'm making sure my name will go down in history!"Pixie The Fairy Got DeSu2 Break Record from GS' Black Friday sale ($29.99). Love the Arrange CD. It's been far too long since I heard Meguro do something that wasn't tied to Persona. Also grabbed an extra copy of Freedom Wars since they were $5.