Switch - console-handheld hybrid hardware design
Splatoon - paved the way for online shooters with colourful cartoon art styles
BOTW - interactive freeform open world driven by physics and chemistry engines
As much as I dislike nVidia (I don't buy their stuff) I'm glad they're pushing ray tracing. It's going to be a good 5 years or so before we really feel the benefits of it, but that ground needed to be broken.
I can admit, I do see myself as a Nvidia fanboy cause I been a fan of their GPU for years, they do produce the best of the best a PC gamer can offer when it comes to the high-end PC. I do like what I'm seeing from Raytracing, yes it is still in the early stage of it's life, it'll be awhile before it's ready for prime time indeed.
AMD isn't gonna jump on it though, but then again, I'm glad they are just sticking making good CPU because I'm still enjoying my Ryzen 7 2700X.
Meh, I always seem to get more and more out of my AT...ahem...AMD cards as time goes on, my friends with nVidia cards seem to actually slow down. I've actually read a bit about this being nVidia feature creep. Don't update drivers, I suppose?
I was with nVidia right up to the GeForce 4 TI 4400 (which PNY replaced cross-ship RMA with a Quadro two years later HAH) but after that Radeons just seemed the better value. I build top mid-range every few years and maybe add some RAM in a year. I rebuild more often than people who buy top-end PCs but it comes out cheaper and I'm never too far behind the curve. AMD just hits that price/performance point.
Not many very significant contributions were made to the whole gaming landscape this gen. There are many mentions though.
Sony's simplistic model preserved consoles over MS's aggressive DRM at the beginning of the gen.
Nintendo's BOTW influenced open world games while also learning from games that Zelda had influenced as a series. They also essentially one-up'd the hybrid handheld model introduced by the PSVita.
A general open attitude towards indies enabled indie developers to flourish.
VR and all of the companies that support it have opened a new avenue for gaming, which can be seen by mass developer interest in it (and growing).
I think all of these have been said though.
I will single out the rise of digital distribution. Neither new nor revolutionary, but its impact is taking hold of the industry and reshaping the course of its business structure. Creators have more power than ever before and the involvement of large publishers is dissipating, for better and worse.
@Sevenizz: no one needs to revolutionize anything to make the greatest contributions.... I mean, you could argue that Xbox failed this gen trying to revolutionize and Sony won the gen by staying ultra traditional.
People are saying indies because in this generation many of them have had their awakening... There only so many FPS or jrpgs you can play before you begin seeking out different experiences. It just so happens that indies are right there at the ready to pick up the pieces where AAA has tailed off...
Games like dead cells, celeste, the Messanger, are making a huge splash because they are wildly gameplay driven and insane fun.
I give it to smaller companies like Activision for bringing back Crash Bandicoot and Spyro and setting the bar higher on what it means to make a Remake.
Also Capcom for staying true to their work on Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5. They're making free DLC too which is a business practice I hope more devs learn to do.
Everyone praising indis, but isn’t naming a single game or developer who’s ‘revolutionized’ anything this gen.
Nobody has revolutionized anything this gen. It has been mostly iterative stuff. Improving on past designs.
And games like Celeste, Furi, Superhot, The Messenger, Shovel Knight, Dead Cells, Rocket League are far more interesting and relevant than microsofts offerings, some, are more relevant than the entire Halo Franchise this gen.
Started off on the wrong foot but quickly got their act together.
Indie craze started on the Xbox 360.
Backwards Compatibility with Free Enhancements on Older games.
Play Anywhere initiative with 1st Party games bought once but can be played on Console and PC's.
Game Pass for $120 or less a year you can play tons of games including all new upcoming MS 1st Party games.
XB1X and XB1S high quality HW that also looks nice without the exaggerated Scifi looks of Previous Consoles.
Separate Shout Out to Sony for their VR initiative and to Nintendo for finally making a Cool Handheld.
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