Nvidia: Graphics don't matter? Ha!

In a recent Next-Gen interview, Nvidia's Roy Taylor argues that graphics are key to eliciting emotion from gamers in the same manner as movies. And to those who say "graphics don't matter," this GPU guy says "bollocks."

"They're talking bollocks. It's ridiculous to say that graphics don't matter," says Taylor, who is VP of content at 3D graphics firm Nvidia. "That's like saying, 'The quality of my TV screen doesn't matter.' Oh really? So then in that case, you can go watch 24 in black-and-white on a seven-inch screen," he laughs.

But before you call Taylor (pardon the expression) a "graphics whore," he does concede that gameplay oftentimes takes a back seat to visuals. "It is a fair criticism to say that sometimes graphics have been applied, not at the expense of gameplay, but without equal consideration to it," he says.

In particular, Taylor says that graphics will bring more emotion into games, arguing that gamers seldom become as emotionally attached to in-game characters as they would to characters in a movie.

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FarCry has/had excellent graphics, but the gameplay is boring. HL1 doesn't have the best graphics anymore, but it's still fun to play. On top of that, HL2 is boring Which proves that (ultra high, $600 GPU, realistic, WOW, etc) graphics don't mean anything in making a good game.

All these new games coming out are all about graphics, I'd love to see a new game with an original/interesting story line with exciting gameplay elements tied in.

Well, obviously a Nvidia VP is going to stress the importance of graphics... But we know better.

Lots of people around the world play emulated games from Genesis, Snes, Commodore, whatever. Do they care about graphics? No.

Lots of people still fire up their PSone or Saturn or N64 to play games from 1996. Do they care about graphics? No.

Do I need the pedestrians in GTA Vice City to have zillions of polygons to make the game more enjoyable? Nop. It's perfect the way it is. At least it runs smooth as silk in many outdated computers, whereas other games from 2002/2003 play like s**it in terms of gameplay AND frames per sec.

Gameplay is what makes a game fun and addictive, you can't enjoy playing something just because it looks nice. You won't be standing there looking at the faces in the cutscenes, you'll be shooting and driving. It has to be responsive, intuitive and FUN.

Graphics are important but so is gameplay.

In reality, graphics help make the gameplay more fun too. The better the graphics the more involved you get in the game. If the gameplay was excellent and the graphics crap, then you tend to get ****ed off easily. [This doesn't work in the opposite direction]

So yes they are both equally important, look at crysis, hl2 etc.

hes full of ****. look at gta. the graphics looked like snes ported but the gameplay kept you playing for a long time.

The Splinter Cell games offer the best of both, great storyline with amazing graphics, the use of lighting, excellent physics and textures just makes you addicted to the game because it feels so real and lets not forget the sound.

But I'm still not amazed by the graphics in games, sure they're good, but I want to see something really real.

Character faces need to start looking life like i.e. much more realistic than the graphics in the movie; animatrix with the black guy and asian women having a sword fight.

Graphics does matter, but I don't see it as the highest priority, the bar doesn't need to be set too high interms of graphics technologically imo, things like directx10 should still be developed, and better hardwares should still be released, but I don't think it's 'everything' there is.

For example, to the reference he made about we wouldn't be watching 24 on a black and white tv, I'm pretty sure there're some people that still watch it on SDTV and don't mind the lack of quality over HDTV, and there are people who also will rather stick with dvd over blueray, and will still be getting the same message from the movie and feel the same emotions.

A movie made in the 1950s on a low quality tv can still eliciting emotion as much as new movies with fancy effects, yes special effect helps a lot and probably affect a fantasy/sci fi film on a large scale, but there're other choices.
Of course I'm a graphic whore, but I'm not so much of a graphic whore where I'd upgrade my computer every year just so I can turn on cloud multi light soft shadowing or whatever if it's sacrificing half the game speed, in a fps where I'd be focusing on where the enemies I'm shooting is at.

Of course games need both... The trouble is that companies like EA etc pay more for somebody to sit and make a 100000 poly car 3d model, than sit and tweak the gameplay until its addicting. They rely on the visuals to bring short-term customers. Eventually, when the gamer gets used to the visuals (takes a week tops) and the gameplay isn't strong enough to keep him interested, the gamer will go on. Which actually suits them since a year later a new game will be out and they wouldn't want you to keep playing an old game... there's no profit in that...

nw_raptor said,
Of course games need both... The trouble is that companies like EA etc pay more for somebody to sit and make a 100000 poly car 3d model, than sit and tweak the gameplay until its addicting. They rely on the visuals to bring short-term customers. Eventually, when the gamer gets used to the visuals (takes a week tops) and the gameplay isn't strong enough to keep him interested, the gamer will go on. Which actually suits them since a year later a new game will be out and they wouldn't want you to keep playing an old game... there's no profit in that...

Well most games that are released are only intended for the short term, being able to complete it in 8 - 15 hours is the sole intention for most game creators, so they can bring out another game.

traxor said,
Well most games that are released are only intended for the short term, being able to complete it in 8 - 15 hours is the sole intention for most game creators, so they can bring out another game.

Except for Valve. Valve makes a game that lasts 6 hours then has you wait 10,000 years before the next installment. *cough* HL2:E1 *cough*

nice jaw dropping visuals are all good and wlel but without good gameplay it is just a tech demo........and has no soul.

a good game needs both

way i see it is it it looks stunning but has no gameplay, when you put it down in disgust you dont go back to it within 15mins. Gameplay is what makes you go back for more.

to me thats a sign of a good game no matter what it looks liek (stems back form the 1980s playing commodore 64 games, gameplay was more important then and is what made you come back for more)

lol i have to disagree with him on this one, i mean stunning graphics are awesome but without the gameplay it just doesnt matter! like somone else said, i turn down my settings (more for online) just so i can get better gameplay!
if it came to a game that looked like crysis but was boring as hell to a game like mario kart on the snes? i would pick mario kart anyday!

I love games with the best graphics! They look ****** than some older games because I have everything on low! Just so it takes 5 minutes to load rather than 10, and so I get 15 fps instead of 5...

i prefer gameplay over graphics any day, heck, most of the time i reduce graphics quality apply texture smoothing, increase gamma, brightness and contrast to make it easier to see the enemy == more frags :D

sure nice graphics and great physics are awesome, but without decent gameplay, they are nothing.

I'd still play enemy territory or rtcw over any of the new and high graphics shooters, i just <3 the gameplay of RTCW:ET and RTCW

Graphics can easily be part of the gameplay.

Graphcis makes you more involved in the game, it makes you feelit better . good graphics allows the "details" to be a lot more improtant, especially in adventure like games.


And good graphics can also be essential, look at MAss effect, without the graphics of the 360 and the quality and animation that allows to make the character look and feel almost real, with the best facian animatiosn and expressiosn I've seen, that game probably woulnd't have been as conceivable, certainly it wouldn't be nearly as good.


take the Baldurs gate games, the best CRPG games made, but everything was text and voiceovers.

now compare to Mass effect, who will hopefully have as good a story and gameplay, but add in the fact that you see them talk, you see their emotion as they talk and react to you. it's there, it's practically real.

Nvidia would be wise to recognise that its graphics are interwined with gameplay; a game with the worlds best graphics and worst gameplay isnt going to Win anyones praise. Much the same as movies with nothing more then endless special effects but no content have come under increasing criticism and falling profits.

But I think that using FFVII as an example, the graphics weren't all there, but the story line and gameplay elements made it an emotional game for many people. Image what it would be like with todays graphics...

I've never played FF VII before and my roommate urged me to play it on his PSone last year, but I couldn't get into it because I've been spoiled by the 360.

jimbo11883 said,
But I think that using FFVII as an example, the graphics weren't all there, but the story line and gameplay elements made it an emotional game for many people. Image what it would be like with todays graphics...

There is absolutely NOTHING to that game other than a storyline, the rest is just dull. I don't see what all of the fuss about it is to be honest.

Hmm...a representative from Nvidia, a company whose primary market is the sale of graphics processors, openly supports the idea that visuals are the only way to connect with gamers...wow, I didn't see that one coming... /sarcasm

Both graphics and gameplay are important, a game that plays amazingly well but has attrocious graphics will still be dissed, regardless of the advanced gameplay. So, I ask Nintento *cough*, why don't you invest in the best of both worlds :).

It all goes together, just like a good film. While a good plot and excellent gameplay will always go down well, sometimes they can be let down by poor graphics. Likewise, sometimes a game can look gorgeous, but just not be worth playing.

When it comes down to it, the really really good games can be remade on more advanced engines down the line.

Gameplay IS important but so is graphics. I'm sure no one would want to play games with Half Life 1 graphics no matter how good the story was and vice versa.

Idk i still play old nes snes etc games and have more fun then the games for ps3 that look great.. but i guess that is where the game play comes in.
Look at the Wii, has the graphics of a dreamcast and has been selling like crazy because of the game play.

MindTrickz said,
Gameplay IS important but so is graphics..

QFT

If you have a choice of 2 versions of a game. Both identical except one thing, and thats one has better graphics than the other. Which one are you going to take? I think thats an obvious answer lol.

While gameplay is important, so are graphics (which is why people spend an obscene amount of money of new extreme high end graphics cards).

WelshBluebird said,

QFT

If you have a choice of 2 versions of a game. Both identical except one thing, and thats one has better graphics than the other. Which one are you going to take? I think thats an obvious answer lol.

While gameplay is important, so are graphics (which is why people spend an obscene amount of money of new extreme high end graphics cards).

Yeah, but if you had two games, one with incredible gameplay and one with incredible gfx, which would you pick? Gameplay wins every time. Why? Because it's a GAME, not a movie.

Duh

ciaran00 said,
Yeah, but if you had two games, one with incredible gameplay and one with incredible gfx, which would you pick? Gameplay wins every time. Why? Because it's a GAME, not a movie.

Duh

That's the best quote I've seen on Neowin in some time. I totally agree with you.

ciaran00 said,

Yeah, but if you had two games, one with incredible gameplay and one with incredible gfx, which would you pick? Gameplay wins every time. Why? Because it's a GAME, not a movie.

Duh

Exactly

They'll start becoming more movie-like and will feature less game play. Kind of like all the old FMV games that came out for the Sega CD. Mostly sitting and watching instead of playing. Even though I actually liked some of those old FMV games like Night Trap (for it's cheesiness/b-movie horror style) and Dracula Unleashed

MindTrickz said,
Gameplay IS important but so is graphics. I'm sure no one would want to play games with Half Life 1 graphics no matter how good the story was and vice versa.

It depends on the game. If it's an FPS, you're going to need good graphics. For strategy games, RPGs, and platform games there are other options. You could go for a non-realistic look, or stick with 3rd person isometric views, etc.

ciaran00 said,
Yeah, but if you had two games, one with incredible gameplay and one with incredible gfx, which would you pick? Gameplay wins every time. Why? Because it's a GAME, not a movie.

Duh

Was about to post almost the exact same thing when I noticed this comment. People keep using the argument "if you had to choose between two games with the exact same gameplay, only one had crappy gfx and the other great gfx, which one would you choose?". Those people have completely missed the point! It's not about comparing a game with graphics or without. It's about focusing on gameplay instead of focusing on bloody graphics.

I've just ordered my Wii (my first console ever), along with Rayman Raving Rabbids and I'm gonna buy Wario soon. Because they are FUN games, and I could not care less how the graphics are, except the fact that it's functional (and fun, which you really don't need a gazillion polygons and shaders to accomplish).

MindTrickz said,
Gameplay IS important but so is graphics. I'm sure no one would want to play games with Half Life 1 graphics no matter how good the story was and vice versa.

I think you are taking the wrong analogy, Half-Life 1 is the best PC game ever because it was among the best in graphics at the time of it's release, and the ingenious use of NPCs & other innovative gameplay elements transformed it into a legend.