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History of video games/Eighth generation of video game consoles

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HD Rendering

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This generation saw more games rendered at 720p or higher resolutions, compared to the previous generation, which often upscaled from sub HD resolutions.[1]

To increase performance, many developers resorted to duplicating assets multiple times, which helps during seek operations on rotational media at the cost of ballooning game sizes.[2]

Major handheld consoles generally attempted to match the graphical capabilities of home consoles from the sixth or seventh generations.[3][4][5]

Improved online

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This generation saw the home consoles ease restrictions on cross platform play, allowing people on different consoles to compete when playing the same games with multiple versions across console and PC.[6][7]

Many Eighth generation home consoles and handhelds supported social media features in the console operating system.[8][9] Furthermore many consoles began easily allowing screenshots and recordings of gameplay to be shared from the console itself. Later on in the generation, a button was often included on controllers to facilitate this.[10]

With increased online support, this generation saw a corresponding decrease in local multiplayer support.[11]

Opening Up

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This generation saw major platforms become much more accessible for small and indie developers. For example, it was during this generation around 2013 that Nintendo eliminated the requirement for developers to own a dedicated office space to possess a developer kit.[12]

A number of minor, "Open" consoles were released this generation. Some consoles were fully open source or open hardware, having well documented hardware, software, or CAD files under a free or open license. Others used the term to simply mean the console was an open platform, meaning anyone could publish for it. Some would use the term open simply to refer to specific subsystems that were open, like case designs, or the fact that a piece of open source software was used for a core system. The most egregious examples simply labeled their platform as open, without giving any clear explanation as to how it was open. As a result this term became somewhat of marketing puffery, similar to the bit wars of the 1990's on a smaller scale, where the term was sometimes meaningful and sometimes not.


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  1. Peckham, Matt (6 November 2013). "Xbox One Resolution Brouhaha: When Graphics Matter, and When They Don't". Time. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  2. Fenlon, Wes (11 January 2021). "How Hitman 3's devs shrank the entire trilogy install size by over 80GB". PC Gamer. https://www.pcgamer.com/how-hitman-3s-devs-shrank-the-entire-trilogys-install-size-by-over-80gb/. 
  3. Linneman, John (18 October 2018). "Luigi's Mansion 3DS: GameCube port or full mobile remake?". Eurogamer. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  4. Bierton, David (17 August 2013). "Face-Off: PlayStation 3 vs. PlayStation Vita". Eurogamer. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  5. "Uncharted PS Vita Vs PS3 graphics comparison pictures". GURU Of High-Tech. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  6. "Cross-Platform Gaming Has Been Great". Kotaku. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  7. Life, Nintendo (17 December 2020). "Cross-Save Support Is Now Live In The Switch Version Of Hades". Nintendo Life. https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/12/cross-save_support_is_now_live_in_the_switch_version_of_hades. 
  8. Statt, Nick (7 October 2019). "The PS4's Facebook integration comes to an abrupt end, but it should only be temporary". The Verge. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  9. "Nintendo Support: How to Link or Unlink a Social Media Service (Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple ID) to a Nintendo Account". en-americas-support.nintendo.com. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  10. "PS4's Share Button Was So Great Everyone Copied It". Kotaku. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  11. Kantilaftis, Helen (27 August 2015). "The Decline Of Couch Co-Op". Student Resources. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  12. "Nintendo May Remove Office Space Restriction For Indie Developers" (in en). My Nintendo News. 20 January 2013. https://mynintendonews.com/2013/01/20/nintendo-may-remove-office-space-restriction-for-indie-developers/. 

Seventh generation of video game consoles · Ninth generation of video game consoles