Hardware is Gimmicks

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I don't know Yahtzee. It seems like you've decided to be against the new consoles before you even start and are now really stretching to find every possible criticism. Granted, that's basically your whole schtick, but imo most of the punches aren't landing here. But then, I'm still trying to reconcile the people who mock consoles for their inferior graphics with the people who mock new consoles for having nothing but improved graphics. Or the people who mock consoles for being too much like PC's with the people who mock every differentiating factor as a stupid gimmick. Haterz gonna hate I guess.

Of course they're going to add crap to the controller, its been happening every generation since gaming started. We seem to have settled on a preferred format (the ps/xb layout) but I expect them to keep trying to cram more onto it because that's what's been working for them since the 70s. It doesn't bother me that much actually because while these things usually mess up the launch titles, by the time I get around to buying a console, devs have either integrated it properly or choose to ignore it.
Really the feature I hate the most about the ps4 is the ability to pay a monthly fee to play online. So much content in new games revolve around online play so it just seems like a way to hike the console price by hundreds of dollars.

Deathlyphil:

Thanatos2k:
Every week he's harping on the next gen consoles. I really wonder if Yahtzee was around 20 years ago would he be using these same arguments about why no one should buy a Super Nintendo?

"Just better hardware and no backwards compatibility??? No thanks, I'll keep playing my NES!"

Every previous generation has added something new. Most noticeably graphics, but also the ability for deeper, more complex games.

This generation is the first generation that doesn't appear to add anything new. Graphics are getting better, but nowhere near the jump they've had every other generation. The only "new" features to those that don't indulge heavily on sites like this are the trackpad on the PS4, and the better version of Kinect. Neither are that interesting.

Graphics as in screenshots might not be getting better but the improved hardware does allow more objects (aka civilians, cars, enemies etc) and longer view distances than the last generation. I'm also hoping this will push devs into investing into better AI since graphics aren't changing much thus showing them off wont get sales, but a game with great AI would stand out. This gen opens the doors to more than just what looks nice in trailers, and honestly it's about bloody time consoles caught up as games I play on PC that aren't console ports have far better AI (see ArmA series as a great example)

RicoADF:

Deathlyphil:

Thanatos2k:
Every week he's harping on the next gen consoles. I really wonder if Yahtzee was around 20 years ago would he be using these same arguments about why no one should buy a Super Nintendo?

"Just better hardware and no backwards compatibility??? No thanks, I'll keep playing my NES!"

Every previous generation has added something new. Most noticeably graphics, but also the ability for deeper, more complex games.

This generation is the first generation that doesn't appear to add anything new. Graphics are getting better, but nowhere near the jump they've had every other generation. The only "new" features to those that don't indulge heavily on sites like this are the trackpad on the PS4, and the better version of Kinect. Neither are that interesting.

Graphics as in screenshots might not be getting better but the improved hardware does allow more objects (aka civilians, cars, enemies etc) and longer view distances than the last generation. I'm also hoping this will push devs into investing into better AI since graphics aren't changing much thus showing them off wont get sales, but a game with great AI would stand out. This gen opens the doors to more than just what looks nice in trailers, and honestly it's about bloody time consoles caught up as games I play on PC that aren't console ports have far better AI (see ArmA series as a great example)

I agree, but at the same time I am not sure how many people really feel that way. Look at the issue with the latest Grand Turismo game and the amount of people are upset about how the civilian bystanders look. The problem with AI programming is that it takes a lot of memory really fast so again they are going to have to pick their battles on where to focus their development, for the consoles still don't have enough memory for that since they have to dedicate a lot to other functions that run in the background with no room to upgrade.

Well, reading over the entire thing, the point of the new console generation was to move to x86 and away from proprietary formats, as the proprietary formats were making it costly to develop for multiple consoles. With the PS4 I'd assume the reason for the touch pad is due to the PS Vita having a touch screen of it's own, and they may have had plans to make the Vita double as a controller much like the Wii U pad.

The big problem we have right now is that the last generation lasted so long that it is partially responsible for generating complacency in the development world.

Gethsemani:
It might not be everyone's cup of tea (I know it isn't mine, I haven't even tried the function), but we should at least be gracious enough to admit that it is a giant leap forward in terms of experience sharing.

Well that may be true. I guess we could accept it is a much more effective form of what it does than what came before it. However doing so would feel not all that different than praising a new drug that makes it easier to spread herpes. Sure its a technological improvement, but for the vast majority of people it is an improvement of something that should never be desired in the first place. The "LP" community wont gravitate to use this as it is actually more complex for their ends and even then that was always a very niche demographic, certainly not large enough to warrant physical hardware revisions, creation of dedicated software, implementation and testing. That really is not nor ever has been the purpose of improved experience sharing.

Even if you assume this functionallity is in fact designed to be a benefit to the end user, Was there not enough dudebro/hardcore mentality from the last cycle already? Should we really be excited when what is arguably one of the most obnoxious sub cultures in gaming is given more tools to become even more obnoxious and self important at speeds once thought impossible.

It really seems that even at its most benign it will be akin to amplifying the voices of the unbearably tedious conversations that come up like when you encounter someone who is REALLY into WoW and you cant get them to shut up about this mundane event they did or that MacGuffin-y trinket they are working towards.

Then there is uncovering the motivation. If this was for the LP crowd, then why would uploading be linked to social networking, instead of directly to normal video uploading via Youtube? If it was for the average user, Sony would know that nobody cares what their friend did in CoD or GTA or any other game they personally were not involved in. What possible justification is there to make big technological leaps forward in enabling people to brag easier and louder than before? It becomes invaluable to Sony and Sony alone as it is little more than enabling players to willingly act as free peer pressure-ish marketing. They know every time a posted video goes up or new status update is added that links to that players networking contacts, even if 99.9% of those contacts ignore it, It becomes another opportunity to indirectly capitalize on that "Hey look what I can do" update and potentially plant a seed that might grow into "Maybe I should too". That is quite literally textbook freshman year, marketing 101.

I really cannot decide which is more offensive. Sony passing off marketing in innovations clothing? The end users to who are oblivious to this blatantly obvious marketing ploy? Or the end users who don't care and almost take perverse joy in being manipulated and exploited as little more than flashing billboard? Or those who cannot and/or refuse to even see why this is a major problem?

Gorfias:
Yahtzee appears to be holding out for more functionality from the Wii U than the other 2 consoles, noting the multiplayer function. I agree. I bought one this month. ITMT: I'll stick to my PS3 for more standard console gaming. I'll likely get the Wii U version of Watchdogs.

Considering that you aren't expected to own multiple tablet controllers for the wii-u, multiplayer is done with wii style or pro style controllers, that particular gimmick is never going to happen I think.

Anyway, I definitely don't agree that the dual shock is perfect as it is. Besides the fact that analog sticks are still terrible for a great many things, it also has far fewer buttons than necessary for less dumbed down gaming. As any avid PC gamer will attest there are just never enough keys to bind all the important functions close at hand, and controllers have far fewer buttons than keyboards have easily-reachable keys. The idea behind the touchpad, to add additional buttons to the currently lacking set of 8 (I don't really count start/select) is admirable. The exact position of the touchpad and the fact that multiplats or potential multiplats will never put in enough functions to make use of it for fear of not being able to port properly is what kills it. Also the fact that it's a fucking touchpad.

Adam Jensen:
You know what I don't get? Why do we only have four buttons on the right side? Why not at least one more in the middle? We've seen with last gen the ridiculous lengths some of the developers go to cram in all the controls on so few buttons. It's probably the reason that the console versions of Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed games can be played with one foot. Games started lacking crouch and jump functions because someone thought that iron sights/over the shoulder zoom and cover mode is essential to every freakin' shooter.

I understand the sentiment... but do you remember the N64 controller? That had 2 extra buttons... that were rarely used because they were awkwardly placed and made the controller a weird shape and size.
The problem with a button in the middle is that it would then be harder to quicky switch between the buttons availiable. For instance on the PS at the moment you press X, then need to Press triangle quickly, you subconsciously allready start to press whilst moving your thumb upwards. With the extra button you would be constantly pressing it accidentally!

The only thing I think could benefit extra controls are some mapping buttons in the centre where the track pad is, that would be like mapped buttons in PC gaming... Like being able to map a button that instantly switches to a particular weapon, or select certain team mate, which could eleiviate the current awkwards and fiddly multi-button presses.

Vigormortis:

Thanatos2k:

NES to SNES added four buttons. "Deeper complex games" is just a function of what developers can do with the hardware. There is nothing inherent about the SNES that produces "deeper complex games."

Exactly true, but you're missing the point. This is precisely why this new line of consoles is a marginal improvement on the last generation. At best.

And it had no backwards compatibility, which is now the most important thing ever!

Again, you're missing something in this assertion. Or rather, ignoring something.

Namely, context.

Back in the NES and SNES days, consoles were still new. The very concept of gaming consoles, and even video games in general, were viewed simply as fads, kids toys, gimmicky play things that no one would care about in ten years. As a result almost no one was thinking about the "future" of gaming nor the methods of playing them. Certainly not at a consumer level.

However, over the years, the number of games we've all accumulated have built up. At the same time, and more crucially, the number of devices we need to use to play these games and the variety of devices we need to use to interact with them have also increased. There comes a point where this sort of limited, locked-in system of hardware iteration becomes both stifling and tedious.

This is one of the primary reasons people are demanding backwards compatibility with newer consoles. The notion of effectively having to "abandon" virtually their entire back-catalog of games, especially in the realm of todays more social gaming environments, is unacceptable to many gamers; as well as being both antiquated and ridiculous.

So sure, complaints about backwards compatibility would sound ludicrous and petty "back in the day". However, today they are very much legitimate.

I don't think the context is very different at all. When I bought a SNES I had to keep my NES around to play NES games when I wanted to. I don't remember any of my friends crying about how they had to "abandon" their catalog of wonderful NES games. But now apparently that is too much to ask people for some reason. Or maybe it's just that the internet is now around giving people a new vector to complain about unimportant things. As a kid I'd move the SNES all over the house constantly from TV to TV as necessary so I wouldn't get in the way of my parents watching TV. Now people are too half-assed to unplug something at all.

Meanwhile, PC games even back then were backwards compatible. Would the Yahtzee of 1992 have said that everyone should only get PCs because that new console just wasn't worth it?

Deathlyphil:

Thanatos2k:

Deathlyphil:

Every previous generation has added something new. Most noticeably graphics, but also the ability for deeper, more complex games.

This generation is the first generation that doesn't appear to add anything new. Graphics are getting better, but nowhere near the jump they've had every other generation. The only "new" features to those that don't indulge heavily on sites like this are the trackpad on the PS4, and the better version of Kinect. Neither are that interesting.

NES to SNES added four buttons. "Deeper complex games" is just a function of what developers can do with the hardware. There is nothing inherent about the SNES that produces "deeper complex games."

And it had no backwards compatibility, which is now the most important thing ever!

No, there is nothing about the SNES that means the games are inherently better than games on the NES.

However, if you were to run Super Mario Bros o n the NES next to Super Mario (Land?) on the SNES, it is very, very obvious which one has better graphics. And the games industry has spent the last 30+ years drumming in to us that better graphics == better game...

I don't know about that. Pit a launch title of the PS3 against one on the PS4 and there is indeed a significant noticeable difference in the graphics. Just like late NES vs early SNES games didn't look that much better. (Compare Kirby's Adventure, one of the late NES games vs Super Mario World for example. The difference is MUCH smaller)

Thanatos2k:

I don't think the context is very different at all. When I bought a SNES I had to keep my NES around to play NES games when I wanted to. I don't remember any of my friends crying about how they had to "abandon" their catalog of wonderful NES games. But now apparently that is too much to ask people for some reason. Or maybe it's just that the internet is now around giving people a new vector to complain about unimportant things. As a kid I'd move the SNES all over the house constantly from TV to TV as necessary so I wouldn't get in the way of my parents watching TV. Now people are too half-assed to unplug something at all.

You're missing my point.

Back then, as I said before, gaming was a fad. A series of kids toys. Nothing more. And, home gaming was still really new to the mass market. Not to mention many gamers collection of games were relatively small, especially compared to todays average collection.

Today, however, video gaming is one of, if not the, biggest entertainment genres. More people are playing video games, on a wider range of platforms and devices, than ever before. Likewise, player have access to games at almost any time in any location and most players have online presences that are tied to a specific platform or service.

As a result, player collections are becoming increasingly larger. More people are playing, and keeping, more games than ever before.

In light of this, is it any wonder backwards compatibility is an issue? As I said prior, the notion of a new platform effectively requiring one to abandon his or her older collection, especially when that same person must also shift their online presence to another service[1] is antiquated and ridiculous. When platforms like PC allow users to play games from as far back as the 80's, it's no wonder people are complaining about the complete lack of backwards compatibility on the new consoles.

Meanwhile, PC games even back then were backwards compatible. Would the Yahtzee of 1992 have said that everyone should only get PCs because that new console just wasn't worth it?

Backwards compatible with what? Even PC gaming was barely a niche back then. And even then, in many cases, PC gaming was extremely hit-and-miss. Compatibility was a major issue.

Look, I get that backwards compatibility doesn't matter to you. You don't care that you need half a dozen different machines to play your collection of games. And that's fine.

However, that doesn't mean everyone else's genuine complaints about it aren't valid. Nor does it mean that convenience is a dirty word.

[1] For example, one must inevitably abandon their old Xbox360 catalogs when Live becomes more prevalent on XboxOne.

Thanatos2k:
He said the gaming controller. You're not going to play an RTS game - any RTS game - with a controller. Controllers are good for one thing, keyboard/mouse another, and joysticks/fightpads/whateverelse another.

But of things best controlled with a controller, the Dualshock is indeed perfection. Valve hasn't showed us anything, because they keep changing the design of their prototypes BECAUSE that innovation wasn't doing anything useful. Plus, I find Valve's vision of a symmetrical controller troubling to begin with.....

Well I think he's just not stuck in his mindset like you are.
There's nothing wrong with the idea of playing RTS' with controllers. The problem is playing RTS' with the current form of controllers. It's not set in stone that it will be like this forever.
Then again; I think that Sonys PS4 trackpad won't help that much considering its placement. Valves Steam controller on the other hand...this COULD be the first controller to comfortably play RTS' with.
The main difference between those is that Sony wanted "something new" on their already decent controller, whereas Valve designed theirs from scratch to solve exactly this problem: controlling mouse-driven games.

As for the trackpad on the PS4 controller:
I think it could be used to emulate simple mouse controls (scrolling maps and such stuff). Yahztee's points still stands: Couldn't it have been realized with the old controller design already?

Also:
Saying that Valves "innovation wasn't doing anything useful" is just utter nonsense. Pretty much anyone agrees that their main innovation (touchpads instead of analog sticks) is a plain upgrade. What they're doing is listening to the feedback and change the stuff that could have been better (touchscreen gone, more buttons). The really innovating part is there to stay because, apparently, it does work.
I want to test it myself though...

Yes and no, its all gimmicks until you set a standard by which game companies make games on. This is why the WII/WII U is getting the short end of the stick. Also BWC or no buy.

Thanatos2k:

Vigormortis:

Thanatos2k:

NES to SNES added four buttons. "Deeper complex games" is just a function of what developers can do with the hardware. There is nothing inherent about the SNES that produces "deeper complex games."

Exactly true, but you're missing the point. This is precisely why this new line of consoles is a marginal improvement on the last generation. At best.

And it had no backwards compatibility, which is now the most important thing ever!

Again, you're missing something in this assertion. Or rather, ignoring something.

Namely, context.

Back in the NES and SNES days, consoles were still new. The very concept of gaming consoles, and even video games in general, were viewed simply as fads, kids toys, gimmicky play things that no one would care about in ten years. As a result almost no one was thinking about the "future" of gaming nor the methods of playing them. Certainly not at a consumer level.

However, over the years, the number of games we've all accumulated have built up. At the same time, and more crucially, the number of devices we need to use to play these games and the variety of devices we need to use to interact with them have also increased. There comes a point where this sort of limited, locked-in system of hardware iteration becomes both stifling and tedious.

This is one of the primary reasons people are demanding backwards compatibility with newer consoles. The notion of effectively having to "abandon" virtually their entire back-catalog of games, especially in the realm of todays more social gaming environments, is unacceptable to many gamers; as well as being both antiquated and ridiculous.

So sure, complaints about backwards compatibility would sound ludicrous and petty "back in the day". However, today they are very much legitimate.

I don't think the context is very different at all. When I bought a SNES I had to keep my NES around to play NES games when I wanted to. I don't remember any of my friends crying about how they had to "abandon" their catalog of wonderful NES games. But now apparently that is too much to ask people for some reason. Or maybe it's just that the internet is now around giving people a new vector to complain about unimportant things. As a kid I'd move the SNES all over the house constantly from TV to TV as necessary so I wouldn't get in the way of my parents watching TV. Now people are too half-assed to unplug something at all.

Meanwhile, PC games even back then were backwards compatible. Would the Yahtzee of 1992 have said that everyone should only get PCs because that new console just wasn't worth it?

Difference is that back then there wasn't a standardized format like there is today. All physical games come as discs, CD's, DVD's, and now Blu Ray, which both new consoles can play.

Plus, we just had a generation of consoles that all had back compatibility (though the 360's wasn't always great in its emulation and Sony's only allowed for PS1 games unless you bought the right model). It feels kind of like a let down to have something that felt like a given a generation ago mostly abandoned.

TheSniperFan:

Thanatos2k:
He said the gaming controller. You're not going to play an RTS game - any RTS game - with a controller. Controllers are good for one thing, keyboard/mouse another, and joysticks/fightpads/whateverelse another.

But of things best controlled with a controller, the Dualshock is indeed perfection. Valve hasn't showed us anything, because they keep changing the design of their prototypes BECAUSE that innovation wasn't doing anything useful. Plus, I find Valve's vision of a symmetrical controller troubling to begin with.....

Well I think he's just not stuck in his mindset like you are.
There's nothing wrong with the idea of playing RTS' with controllers. The problem is playing RTS' with the current form of controllers. It's not set in stone that it will be like this forever.
Then again; I think that Sonys PS4 trackpad won't help that much considering its placement. Valves Steam controller on the other hand...this COULD be the first controller to comfortably play RTS' with.
The main difference between those is that Sony wanted "something new" on their already decent controller, whereas Valve designed theirs from scratch to solve exactly this problem: controlling mouse-driven games.

It's the FPS argument again. Controllers will NEVER be as good as a mouse at quickly and precisely pointing at and clicking things. And RTS games are about a whole lot of pointing at very small things and clicking on them, dragging boxes, and targeting enemy things. The only way to "improve" a controller is to change the game itself such that you don't need to do those things that a mouse does best.

Also:
Saying that Valves "innovation wasn't doing anything useful" is just utter nonsense. Pretty much anyone agrees that their main innovation (touchpads instead of analog sticks) is a plain upgrade. What they're doing is listening to the feedback and change the stuff that could have been better (touchscreen gone, more buttons). The really innovating part is there to stay because, apparently, it does work.
I want to test it myself though...

We'll see what their final product ends up as. Until then it's all speculation.

So, umm....serious question - does Yahtzee even like video games?

Not joking here, but every article of his that I've read is a complaint. I've pretty much never seen him praise something. Is it just his job to not like stuff and provide us with "insightful commentary"?

Cause I'm not sure if I have the tolerance for so much negativity.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Hardware is Gimmicks

The PS4 has a big thing in the middle of the controller that has the function of a track pad but which you can press in like a button. The Xbox One has a packed-in Kinect. It's the specter of hardware gimmicks in new consoles again.

Read Full Article

Here's a use: tricking players into thinking they're actually using finger-print scanners for opening doors and elaborate storage boxes.

Annnnd that's it. I'm spent. No more ideas here.

Sotanaht:

Considering that you aren't expected to own multiple tablet controllers for the wii-u, multiplayer is done with wii style or pro style controllers, that particular gimmick is never going to happen I think.

For my own purpose, being able to continue a game on the tablet while the wife/kids do something else is pretty cool. Also, I got Dance 2014. My daughter danced while I did karaoke on the tablet mike.

Will the day come where I, say, play football on the tablet, doing plays that will be unseen by my son using the pro controller? Possibly. If Gen 8 last 10 years, I have time.

Anyway, I definitely don't agree that the dual shock is perfect as it is.

Are the shoulder buttons still digital rather than analogue? If so, that stinks. I like the idea of using the analogue trigger for things like automobile speeds (slow or fast). Maybe some day, they'll even have Batman run without holding down A.

SKBPinkie:
So, umm....serious question - does Yahtzee even like video games?

Not joking here, but every article of his that I've read is a complaint. I've pretty much never seen him praise something. Is it just his job to not like stuff and provide us with "insightful commentary"?

Cause I'm not sure if I have the tolerance for so much negativity.

Well excessive negativity can be a drag at times, but I find it rather refreshing in general. Most other websites I visit, or even most of the other stuff on this site is pretty ungodly positive about how awesome and fresh the new consoles are, or how every game is 9/10 excellent.

Aside from the occasional fan-outrage I can find positive reviews of stuff just about anywhere, at times they're unavoidable. This is one of the few places I can hear about how a game sucks before I buy it.

TheSniperFan:

Thanatos2k:
He said the gaming controller. You're not going to play an RTS game - any RTS game - with a controller. Controllers are good for one thing, keyboard/mouse another, and joysticks/fightpads/whateverelse another.

But of things best controlled with a controller, the Dualshock is indeed perfection. Valve hasn't showed us anything, because they keep changing the design of their prototypes BECAUSE that innovation wasn't doing anything useful. Plus, I find Valve's vision of a symmetrical controller troubling to begin with.....

Well I think he's just not stuck in his mindset like you are.
There's nothing wrong with the idea of playing RTS' with controllers. The problem is playing RTS' with the current form of controllers. It's not set in stone that it will be like this forever.
Then again; I think that Sonys PS4 trackpad won't help that much considering its placement. Valves Steam controller on the other hand...this COULD be the first controller to comfortably play RTS' with.
The main difference between those is that Sony wanted "something new" on their already decent controller, whereas Valve designed theirs from scratch to solve exactly this problem: controlling mouse-driven games.

As for the trackpad on the PS4 controller:
I think it could be used to emulate simple mouse controls (scrolling maps and such stuff). Yahztee's points still stands: Couldn't it have been realized with the old controller design already?

Also:
Saying that Valves "innovation wasn't doing anything useful" is just utter nonsense. Pretty much anyone agrees that their main innovation (touchpads instead of analog sticks) is a plain upgrade. What they're doing is listening to the feedback and change the stuff that could have been better (touchscreen gone, more buttons). The really innovating part is there to stay because, apparently, it does work.
I want to test it myself though...

But the problem is that they might be good at rts and fps, but what about games like Ninja Gaiden or Street Fighter? Games that works perfectly with controllers but kinda crap with keyboard and mouse. I wouldn't want to play a fighting game with a touch pad, it would be a nightmare, analouge sticks are bad enough for this purpose as it is (hence why all controllers have a D-pad).

I think this article got me one step closer to understanding why i'm completely indefferent (and slighty annoyed) with the new consoles. I just struggle to see how they are worth the money and i'd really rather just have more cool games for my ps3 than be forced to pay a fortune for some crap that i don't even want.

Gorfias:

Sotanaht:

Considering that you aren't expected to own multiple tablet controllers for the wii-u, multiplayer is done with wii style or pro style controllers, that particular gimmick is never going to happen I think.

For my own purpose, being able to continue a game on the tablet while the wife/kids do something else is pretty cool. Also, I got Dance 2014. My daughter danced while I did karaoke on the tablet mike.

Will the day come where I, say, play football on the tablet, doing plays that will be unseen by my son using the pro controller? Possibly. If Gen 8 last 10 years, I have time.

Anyway, I definitely don't agree that the dual shock is perfect as it is.

Are the shoulder buttons still digital rather than analogue? If so, that stinks. I like the idea of using the analogue trigger for things like automobile speeds (slow or fast). Maybe some day, they'll even have Batman run without holding down A.

I'm pretty sure I remember the PS2 shoulder buttons being analog, used in MGS2 or 3. The triggers definitely are on PS3, driving games are pretty much the entire reason they have their current shape.

Sotanaht:

I'm pretty sure I remember the PS2 shoulder buttons being analog, used in MGS2 or 3. The triggers definitely are on PS3, driving games are pretty much the entire reason they have their current shape.

Yep. Dualshock 3s L2 and R2 are analogue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DualShock

I think the new pro-controllers' shoulder buttons are digital.

Can they split up the trackpad into 4 imaginary quadrants like having 4 tap-able "Start/Select" buttons? They could've just put 4 more buttons, but whatevs. Maybe it's good for drawing? I dunno. I'm trying to see how it's any better than an analog stick. Anybody with a PS4 notice anything specific that the trackpad is better for than an analog stick?

TheSniperFan:

There's nothing wrong with the idea of playing RTS' with controllers. The problem is playing RTS' with the current form of controllers. It's not set in stone that it will be like this forever.
Then again; I think that Sonys PS4 trackpad won't help that much considering its placement. Valves Steam controller on the other hand...this COULD be the first controller to comfortably play RTS' with.

Ya, the Steam controller might be good for RTS, but the one thing I'm wary about is the lack of hotkeys. Even playing something basic like Age of Empires II, the keyboard is great because it has 50 different hotkeys that I can press and quick select-different units/buildings. It might be possible with a controller, but it'd be like having multiple "shift" keys adjusting the function of all the other buttons. Mind you, "simpler"(couldn't think of a better word) RTS games could be made with the Steam controller in mind.

I want one of those controllers that was in the show The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
It had a turn wheel (something you can emulate with analog sticks), buttons on the back of the controller (something only nintendo seems to do), and buttons on the sides of the controller.

Can't go wrong with more buttons if you can feasibly touch all of them at the same time (which is why I personally don't like using the Dual Shock's Triangle & X buttons together, and why triangle is usually used as a "menu" or "swap" button.) This is why the track pad on the BACK of the Vita is rather nice. It doesn't interfere with your default buttons, and you can reasonably use it in conjunction with the others.

PS4's controller has things backwards by offering a trackpad button in the front and center of the controller. Without shifting one of your hands away from the other buttons or stretching a finger in an uncomfortable way that prevents you from simultaneously using a button or analog, you can't reasonably use the control at all.

I heard that Sucker Punch, in one example, is using the trackpad for interaction purposes, such as putting your thumb to it so the in-game character would do so on an interact-able object that he's supposed to use his hands on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuDVNoKxH54 This is the only instance I've heard of that makes sense for the button. But, this demonstrates that the button its-self can't be used during any action sequence without being a hindrance, and that the other buttons that already exist could simply adopt its functions in such situations..

But who knows, maybe it'll prove to be useful in some way, as I've yet to see what was in-mind when they decided to employ such a button in the first place. Who knows, it could be a great solution to some sort of interact-able dilemma that I (and most of Sony's studios) haven't thought of yet. At least in the case of Nintendo, we were immediately seeing the multiplayer aspect of the touch screen (which reminded me a lot of Dreamcast's VMU qualities.)

One type of game that I feel still can't reasonably be played on a console without alteration is a PC RTS game such as Command & Conquer or Age of Empires. The employment of a mouse with a large array of motion sensitivity and a large number of hotkeys is rather important (since the games are played in real time with a large amount of off-screen environment to keep track of) and the console ports seem debilitatingly restrictive by comparison. I can see how Nintendo's touch screen would aid such a game by adding a number of buttons and screens you can employ in your lap (since pressing anywhere on a screen suddenly or remaining on one screen while interacting with an instance on another is only possible with a separate touch screen..)

So I suppose the keyboard, the Dual Shock, and the DS are our pinnacle of peripheral.

Thanatos2k:
It's the FPS argument again. Controllers will NEVER be as good as a mouse at quickly and precisely pointing at and clicking things.

That's a rather extraordinary claim.

So, the mouse is the perfect method of input, and can never be improved on? What if somebody develops a controller based on a neural interface, where you don't even have to move a physical object like a mouse? Surely, one's brain activity directly connected to the computing device will be a lot faster (if properly implemented) than something as crude as a mouse?

I don't think it's a matter of if this is going to happen, but more a question of whether it will happen in 5 years or 10 years.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Hardware is Gimmicks

The PS4 has a big thing in the middle of the controller that has the function of a track pad but which you can press in like a button. The Xbox One has a packed-in Kinect. It's the specter of hardware gimmicks in new consoles again.

Read Full Article

I agree that the uses of the touchpad will require some creative thinking, but there are some advantages of a touchpad. Multi-finger gestures. Pinching, twisting, and whatever the opposite of pinching is called. I can easily see a game using it, for example to have a player crack a combination safe, or rotate items in the inventory.

Can it be done with clockwork turns of the sticks, or at the ready presses of the shoulder buttons? Yes, but now there are more options.

reiniat:
I agree, also im mad because they didnt added more shoulder buttons, or backside buttons. Why buy a next-gen controller if my Razer Sabertooth is much more useful and Valve is already doing something better?

I've got a humble Deathadder and it takes care of all my gaming needs. It's all a matter of approach...

Thanatos2k:

He said the gaming controller. You're not going to play an RTS game - any RTS game - with a controller. Controllers are good for one thing, keyboard/mouse another, and joysticks/fightpads/whateverelse another.

I don't know about everybody else, but I've never had a problem controlling an RTS game with a controller. I use Xpadder with an Xbox360 controller on everything that's possible, including several RTSes like Warcraft, Starcraft, Black and White, (whole series I'm talking about) and few others I can't really think of right now and never had any real issues.

Thanatos2k:

It's the FPS argument again. Controllers will NEVER be as good as a mouse at quickly and precisely pointing at and clicking things. And RTS games are about a whole lot of pointing at very small things and clicking on them, dragging boxes, and targeting enemy things. The only way to "improve" a controller is to change the game itself such that you don't need to do those things that a mouse does best.

I would argue against that. I don't see what the problem is with using controllers in FPS either even as they are. In fact, I find controllers to work better most of the time because mice tend to be too sensitive to aim effectively even with the mouse sensitivity turned way down. All it takes is a slight twitch to throw off one's aim when using a mouse while a control stick won't. It's also simply more comfortable overall to use a controller over a keyboard and mouse anyway.

immortalfrieza:

Thanatos2k:

He said the gaming controller. You're not going to play an RTS game - any RTS game - with a controller. Controllers are good for one thing, keyboard/mouse another, and joysticks/fightpads/whateverelse another.

I don't know about everybody else, but I've never had a problem controlling an RTS game with a controller. I use Xpadder with an Xbox360 controller on everything that's possible, including several RTSes like Warcraft, Starcraft, Black and White, (whole series I'm talking about) and few others I can't really think of right now and never had any real issues.

Thanatos2k:

It's the FPS argument again. Controllers will NEVER be as good as a mouse at quickly and precisely pointing at and clicking things. And RTS games are about a whole lot of pointing at very small things and clicking on them, dragging boxes, and targeting enemy things. The only way to "improve" a controller is to change the game itself such that you don't need to do those things that a mouse does best.

I would argue against that. I don't see what the problem is with using controllers in FPS either even as they are. In fact, I find controllers to work better most of the time because mice tend to be too sensitive to aim effectively even with the mouse sensitivity turned way down. All it takes is a slight twitch to throw off one's aim when using a mouse while a control stick won't. It's also simply more comfortable overall to use a controller over a keyboard and mouse anyway.

See, you can say "I have no problem controlling an RTS or FPS game with a controller" but that claim immediately falls apart when you play against someone who's using a keyboard/mouse and you get destroyed, as this is exactly what happens with FPS games every time the audiences meet (no one has tried with RTS games, but results would be identical).

You are not playing the best you possibly could be with crippled controls. Also, do you know why a slight twitch doesn't throw off your aim when using a controller? Auto aim features built into the game. You know why they're in there? Because aiming with an analog is horribly imprecise and would be extremely difficult - that's why they put them in there in the first place.

That's the trap with controllers - you don't even know how bad you have it because the game lies to you. On PCs, auto aim is considered hacking and cheating. On consoles - it's a feature!

Aardvaarkman:

Thanatos2k:
It's the FPS argument again. Controllers will NEVER be as good as a mouse at quickly and precisely pointing at and clicking things.

That's a rather extraordinary claim.

So, the mouse is the perfect method of input, and can never be improved on? What if somebody develops a controller based on a neural interface, where you don't even have to move a physical object like a mouse? Surely, one's brain activity directly connected to the computing device will be a lot faster (if properly implemented) than something as crude as a mouse?

I don't think it's a matter of if this is going to happen, but more a question of whether it will happen in 5 years or 10 years.

It's a claim backed up by evidence from the past. A controller based on a neural interface would probably indeed be superior, but they didn't improve upon a console controller/gamepad to get there - it's a fundamentally different input device. In this case, moving your hand is more accurate at pointing at something than pressing a button (dpad) or moving an analog stick to move a cursor to point at something. A quasi-trackpad (somewhere between pushing a button, moving your hand, and moving an analog stick) will still not beat this.

Pointing with your mind would indeed be faster than moving your hand. Maybe one day we'll get there. Until then, mouse is the best we have.

SKBPinkie:
So, umm....serious question - does Yahtzee even like video games?

Not joking here, but every article of his that I've read is a complaint. I've pretty much never seen him praise something. Is it just his job to not like stuff and provide us with "insightful commentary"?

Cause I'm not sure if I have the tolerance for so much negativity.

Look at it this way: anything he doesn't criticise, he likes. I do the same, and that comes from my art background, where we're supposed to point out where things could be improved in our opinion while implying everything else is fine.

KarmaTheAlligator:

SKBPinkie:
So, umm....serious question - does Yahtzee even like video games?

Not joking here, but every article of his that I've read is a complaint. I've pretty much never seen him praise something. Is it just his job to not like stuff and provide us with "insightful commentary"?

Cause I'm not sure if I have the tolerance for so much negativity.

Look at it this way: anything he doesn't criticise, he likes. I do the same, and that comes from my art background, where we're supposed to point out where things could be improved in our opinion while implying everything else is fine.

I've always found that to be a very poor and lazy method of criticism, since evidence and reason is what gives criticism value, not implication.

Far more likely, Yahtzee prefers writing subjects he can complain about because it's easier to both generate content about and makes for better clickbait.

Which doesn't invalidate his opinion (his complaints) or negate the entertainment value of his publications, mind you, but it does weaken his authority on the subject; especially when he (or anyone) claims he does this because he likes the gaming medium/industry.

There just comes a point where hating on everything ceases to convey legitimate interest and causes one to question how much interest they actually have in the subject vs how much they should have. Yahtzee has bills to pay, and he pays them with his content so his interest in the subject is somewhat forced.

But most regular readers like me aren't in that position of forced interest; we're just looking for something of interest (enlightenment or entertainment). So forgive me if I question how serious/genuine his message is the same way I question how genuine the cashier is when I know they're paid to conclude every transaction with "Have a nice day!"

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