With next generation gaming consoles only months away from release, there have been many great games shown to help consumers understand and visualize next-gen gaming for both the PS4 and Xbox One. Gameplay is typically the most important thing to gamers, however, nothing really says next-gen better than amazing looking graphics. It has happened a few times in gaming, that OMG effect that leaves people with their jaws dropped. Unfortunately this upcoming generation is not one of those times… yet.

I’m going to leave PC gaming out of this for obvious reasons. I’m only talking about specific non-upgradeable platforms released to us every few years. Also, I would like to make it clear that I’m not considering online services or any other social technologies and features implemented into these next-gen consoles, I’m only talking about graphics.

I’ve been watching many videos for Xbox One and PS4 games and I’m truly enjoying most of them and I’m very excited for both next-gen consoles, however, I just don’t see it. I’m having a hard time noticing the significant jump in graphics from those of the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Let me take you back a few years. As I mentioned above I believe that there’s only been a few times in my gaming lifetime where graphics took a huge jump and left me blown away. To me as a kid, the Atari 2600 to NES jump was a huge deal. I couldn’t believe that I was playing a game (Super Mario Bros.) that was only previously available at my local liquor store’s arcade machine. The second time I noticed the huge jump and definitely the most vivid memory was when the Dreamcast was released. I still remember the first time I witnessed NFL2K being played — I literally had a dropped jaw and I knew at that moment that gaming would change forever. Gears of War is another example of “epic jump” graphics.

This upcoming generation to me is more like a PS3.5 and an Xbox 360.5. I just don’t see that epic jump in graphics. Earlier today I had a chance to check out the new Forza 5 gameplay video for the Xbox One. I quickly referenced Forza 4′s gameplay for the Xbox 360 to see the graphical jump — and while I surely see a crisper Xbox One Forza, I don’t see that “epic jump”. I’ve heard a few people raving about the graphics on Bungie’s Destiny gameplay video from E3, I saw a polished game that could have easily fooled me for being a PS3 or Xbox 360 game.

Forza Motorsport 5 Day One Edition

Forza Motorsport 4

Destiny
PS4, Xbox One

Perhaps I won’t get to see those mind blowing graphics until later down the road for both next-gen consoles. Perhaps experiencing the “final product” in my own living room will tell a different story. This is neither a complaint or a disappointment, like I said before, I’m excited for both consoles, but I really think that I would’ve been just as satisfied if next-gen was years away. I mean look at games like Uncharted, The Last of Us, Halo 4 — those games look amazing. I know that I said that I wouldn’t bring PC gaming into this, but perhaps that is another reason why I wasn’t as impressed this time around. Maybe owning every console and being a PC gamer and setting every game to 1920×1080 has spoiled the shit out of me. It sucks to even think about never experiencing that feeling again.

PS4-TQ