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04/11/2007

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Stephen

I'd argue that backwards compatibility is an issue for both films and music as well, in a certain sense; the slower pacing and long monologues (and monochromatism!) of older films and the starker, thinner production of older records (c.f. Pere Ubu's "Dub Housing," for example) may be a barrier to people trying to dig into media past. Sure, System Shock 2 doesn't look as good as Gears of War, but I'm not sure I'd have an easier time getting a sixteen year-old to cope with gated snare hits.

Casey O'Donnell

Wind Waker really hasn't aged. I mean, perhaps there could be more stuff going on, but visually is really is impressive. I think this would actually be an argument for innovative new game-styles and rendering techniques that might actually make the "underpowered" Wii more visually interesting than its NextGen brethren.

Now all we need to do is convince publishers that it doesn't have to be shader-shinny and texturific, and instead just look appealing. It would probably increase the ability for games to be valuable in that back catalog.

Walter

Funnily enough, I addressed precisely the difference you point out between Deus Ex and Wind Waker in a recent post, and the effect such a difference has on commercial longetivity. Check it!

Ferrous Buller

My theory is that the games which age best (at least visually) will be the ones with abstract, stylized, cartoony, and/or "cutesy" graphics, rather than the big-budget "realistic" games. As you say, it's the flip side to the uncanny valley: when game designers make a conscious choice not to make their games emulate reality, they're freed from the constraints and expectations of reality. Love it or hate it, Wind Waker's art design will remain timeless precisely because it's so vibrant and streamlined; whereas, say, Resident Evil 4 will look awful dated in 4 or 5 years.

Ferrous Buller

My theory is that the games which age best (at least visually) will be the ones with abstract, stylized, cartoony, and/or "cutesy" graphics, rather than the big-budget "realistic" games. As you say, it's the flip side to the uncanny valley: when game designers make a conscious choice not to make their games emulate reality, they're freed from the constraints and expectations of reality. Love it or hate it, Wind Waker's art design will remain timeless precisely because it's so vibrant and streamlined; whereas, say, Resident Evil 4 will look awful dated in 4 or 5 years.

Jens Alfke

C'mon, The Wind Waker is only four years old! It's a little early to start pinching it on the cheek and saying "my, you haven't aged a bit!"

You wanna talk staying power, take 16-bit Nintendo games. My 11-year-old son's been glued to A Link To The Past for weeks ever since I downloaded it to our Wii. In the past he's put similar amounts of time into Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island. (OK, and also Super Mario II, which is 8-bit.)

2D just holds up better, I think. Early 3D games get pretty clunky: I tried Mario Kart 64 again recently and it really hasn't aged well. Super Mario 64 is really showing its polygons (still fun, though) and Ocarina Of Time kept me reaching for the Windex to wipe the grime from the screen.

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