Trends come and go, and sometimes they'll make a big return when somebody wants to capitalize on nostalgia. The 3D trend is still going, despite every other big film coming out in 3D nowadays and moviegoers complaining about skyrocketing ticket prices. Even gaming is still going through its own 3D phase--remember, Sony still sells the Official 3D Display.
In a recent interview with The Independent, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata talked about 3D gaming and its future--or lack thereof.
"I think when we launched the 3DS there was a kind of 3D boom, which is perhaps slightly on the wane again, but there are plenty of people out there that create 3D video and I think that some of those who create and distribute 3D video would be very interested in the 3DS XL.
"...But as human beings are this kind of surprise effect wears off quickly, and just have this 3D stereoscopic effect isn’t going to keep people excited.
"But I think it’s an important element, it makes graphics more impactful, it proves a sense of immersion that 2D doesn’t have, so I would say generally that 3D is better than 2D. It’s nice to have good graphics but not necessarily on their own, so I don’t think we’ll present [3D graphics] as one of the key features of our consoles but will probably stick with 3D as one of the minor elements of our consoles in the future."
Some things are better left in 2D.
Funny how it took a first-party Nintendo title to make me actually appreciate how 3D could be used in an innovative way. Continuing with that philosophy, Iwata went on to talk about how the Wii U's similar-to-current-gen specs aren't that important to him, and he's more concerned with making solid gaming experiences:
"I’m not against beautiful graphics, but my thinking is that unless the play experience is really rich the wonderful graphics won’t really help. I’m really looking forward to beautiful games coming out on Wii U though, with graphics that we couldn’t have done on the Wii.
"There’s definitely the chance for not only graphics, but also other features that our competitor’s consoles don’t have. But I think it will become increasingly difficult from now on to compete over graphics. This is because that no matter how much we increase the number of polygons we can display and improve the shading it will become increasingly difficult to tell the difference.
"... I think when we look at the design of a new games console we need a structure and concept that offers more than just good graphics."
My first video game console had wood paneling and I had a first-run NES, so I'm actually with Iwata on this. Super Mario Bros. came out almost thirty years ago and has primitive graphics by today's standards, but people still play it today--and more importantly, they have fun playing it. A great game stays great no matter how it looks.
Perfection in 1995, still perfect now.
What do you think about the future of gaming's visuals? With 3D slowly fading away and new graphics engines having to talk about how many particles they can put on-screen at one time while still pushing the "realism" card, what will it take for new games to stand out?
via The Independent