When gamers think about a next-generation console is often characterized by prettier visuals and more realistic graphics. The superficial improvements are indeed the simplest advancements to envision, however, there’s more to a new console than visuals, resolution and frame rate.
Microsoft hopes Xbox One X can show the ways in which a new console can improve a gamer’s experience, outside of prettier pictures. Besides, what makes a game great often times isn’t how beautiful it is. Right, The Order: 1886? What makes a game great is the sum of its part.
A large portion of that includes a game’s systems. How alive and reactive is the world around you? Does the world feel authentic and is it immersive? Does a game have compelling characters with an intriguing narrative? These are a few things that come to mind for me when thinking about a great game. Xbox’s Phil Spencer spoke about a conversation he had with an EA exec about improvements to one of their biggest franchises.
“I was on the EA stage talking to Patrick Söderlund about Madden, and one of the things he commented on was how the grass looks, and how it moves. He said if you had somebody circle 10 things on the screen that are different about running on Xbox One X, nobody would ever pick up on that, but subconsciously, as visuals get more lifelike your brain notices when stuff like that isn’t quite right. 4K can be just about the physics, maybe even just the way the trees move,” Spencer told TheGuardian.
Physics are certainly subtleties that some can miss while playing a game. That said, from what Söderlund sees, the small details are already easy to detect. Animations can become more sophisticated with a system like Xbox One X, as can game engines, which produce powerful game systems.
In my opinion, the greatest of example of a console unlocking innovative features is without question the Nemesis System. It originally made its debut in Shadow of Mordor back in 2014. The system turned out to be an incredible feature, and from many perspectives, a breakthrough in gameplay.
Xbox One X will launch this coming Nov. 7 and will mark a gigantic leap in power for the system. What remains to be seen is how developers truly take advantage of it, and what comes as a result. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Xbox One.