With all the modern games graphics getting better and better and sometimes almost photo-realistic… it’s weird to think that we’ll look back on today’s titles and think about how cheesy the graphics look in comparison.

When next gen comes, we’re gonna look at stuff from this gen and think… how the heck did I think this looked good?

I know you’re thinking “But some stuff already looks photorealistic right now… it can’t get much better than this” and this is exactly what I’m talking about. You may THINK it looks photorealistic NOW, but when you see what’s possible years from now, you’ll notice just how un-photorealistic that thing looked.

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20 thoughts on “Isn’t it crazy to think that today’s games are gonna look dated in a few years?”

  1. what happens is that people are thinking the difference of games from now to 10 years ago will be as huge as 10 years ago compared to today’s games. It will look different, but NOT that drastic

  2. Graphics have a long way to go with realistic lighting, shadows and reflections.

    Maybe 8K would be nice as well. And perhaps 240hz refresh rate. And throw in some AR/VR for good measure,

  3. There is a diminishing returns aspect to anything. Like how smartphone cameras have improved but not nearly as drastically in the last five years. Going from 480P to say 1080P is a much bigger jump than from 1080P to 4K. We aren’t going to get a mario snes jump to now in the next ten years. Textures have gotten better etc, but by and large its leveled off imo. It will be more gradual. Even something like mass effect 2 looks pretty nice imo and thats a 9 year old game.

  4. Some day, gaming nerds will sit around and laugh at all the crazy old dudes that used to sit in front of a screen to play. Back before the days that the games were processed in our brains and projected directly onto our retinas…

  5. There hasn’t been much gaphical improvement lately. And to make any noticeable jumps from now will require a lot more horsepower. I just don’t see it happening. RTX makes the outlook a little brighter but again, it needs more horsepower. It’s all going to depend on hardware improvements.

  6. There’s still gargantuan leaps and bounds in all areas yet to come.

    Audio has regressed, yes regressed for decades. You could find better audio when 3D audio acceleration used to be a thing. Now that VR is a thing, audio is finally getting the attention it deserves slowly but surely. Dynamic audio propagation and HRTF are now starting to be used even just a tiny bit. We’ve barely scratched the surface there.

    Raytracing today is all hybrid outside of Quake 2 and Minecraft and barely taps into it’s true potential. If you could take any existing game with AAA visuals and flip it into a full ray/pathtraced pipeline, it would be extremely different.

    Physics has been heavily underutilized in recent memory. If you’ve seen [Teardown](https://youtu.be/GCuCQSyqeXM) and [Boneworks](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ2lzV2LLwM), these are examples of some of the biggest advances in physics we’ve ever seen and these aren’t tech demos but actual releases soon.

    AI has barely been tapped into so far. It’s a hard design problem to ensure AI behaves believably but also plays fairly, but one area that will see dramatic improvement is AI response to the player. Red Dead 2 and the upcoming Last of Us 2 are great examples. To go even further, VR in the 2020s will integrate body, face, hand, and eye tracking allowing AI to read very deeply into a user’s emotional state and body language and respond much more like real humans.

    VR is still in it’s ATARI stages, and the leaps and bounds to be seen here will be far bigger than any console leap because you’re not just improving processing power, but are adding lots of new features and improvements – which affects your perceptual system directly rather than just what you see on a box – which is a more dramatic response to the change.

  7. Diminishing returns is only there when it comes to polygons right now, even then there’s still a long way to go, considering it depends on what the developers decide to focus on, e.g. a bush is not going to be geometrically complex most of the time. So most of this diminishing returns comes in the form of character models, however even there tons of improvements can be made. Hair, facial animations, skin textures, clothes textures and physics, movement animations, etc.

    Honestly I think we have hit a bit of a plateau, but not because tons more can’t be done; more that the technology hasn’t shifted as much as it did in the 2000’s and that things like physics, lighting and animation are extremely difficult to make look natural.

    VR is definitely the next push though. Since its literally attempting to mimick our vision it will take many more great leaps to be at an acceptable level, but when it is, 2d game graphics (no matter the quality) will be mostly looked upon as a relic of the past.

  8. I don’t know about graphics quality, but when next-gen consoles hit the shelves, 4k60 will become standard, while midrange PCs are still based on 1080p.

  9. This is why I can’t stop but laugh at the r/ps5 sub. People actually think, ACTUALLY THINK, the PS5 is going to be 8k , 32 GB ram, extremely fast cpu, SSD, all for the price of 500$. That is NOT going to happen. Yes , the games will look better, but all you’re going to get is MAYBE : 4k 30fps, a small SSD, backward play compatibility , 16 GB of ram, and a so-so CPU and even THAT will more than likely be more than 500$.

    If people wan’t games to look “Stunning” they have to shell out the money, how ever in ten years from now I think it’ll be more VR based, and of coarse bigger/better GPU/CPU.

  10. Moore’s law is essentially dead and computers aren’t doubling in power every 18 months like they used to.

    Unless computers are changed at a fundamental level or there is some out of left field breakthrough, we are starting to approach a plateau in processing power.

  11. i actually think it would be nice if more games try to NOT look more realistic. Go for a different artstyle.

    Games like BotW, Ni No Kuni, Borderlands.

  12. It depends on the person. I see many comments about some older games that they look bad or even the newest ones have reviews from many gamers that they look dated but there’s me, someone who think that almost every aa/aaa title from recent years look absolutely amazing. Maybe because I focus mainly on gameplay and enjoy small indie titles. Still remember times where I played pixelated point click adventures and just enjoyed playing it.

    My controversial opinion. I wouldnt mind if we could actually slow down with audiovisual progress and focus on new ideas in AAA gaming because right now there’s a big pressure to release games that look amazing but they lack gameplay elements. They are good because they look good instead of providing entertainment in game mechanics for example. In my opinion Ubisoft games are exactly like that.

  13. No they won’t. Nvidia and the lack of competition with graphics cards have majorly slowed down progress in graphics development.

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