Nvidia: saying graphics don’t matter is ‘nonsense’

“They’re talking nonsense. It’s ridiculous to say that graphics don’t matter.” Those are the words of Nvidia’s VP of content, Roy Taylor, in response to those that don’t believe graphics are important — Nintendo presumably included. Of course, since Nvidia and graphics technology are largely synonymous with each other, it would have been ludicrous to expect him to say anything else (Our chips totally don’t matter!) in his interview with Next Generation. “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.”

The counter-argument to be made here is obviously that the sentiment shared by many gamers and Nintendo doesn’t imply that we’d be happy to regress to terrible graphics. Instead, their stance has been that graphics have reached a “good enough” level and can no longer significantly enhance gameplay. The “24 in black-and-white on a seven-inch screen” argument doesn’t quite make sense, as the primary qualities of the show wouldn’t be particularly affected by switching to a 1080p television. Perhaps a better analogy would have Jack Bauer replaced by an angry, but not entirely believable sock puppet.

Taylor goes on to say that graphics can greatly improve in-game emotion, with technology aiding in creating detailed facial expressions and realistic movement. This is valid point, though it requires consideration of what experience the game is trying to convey. A title like Gears of War is absolutely made more fun by its intense and involving cinematic presentation, whereas a game like Wii Sports is less dependent on seamless worlds and nuanced characters. Perhaps a compromise can be reached by saying, “Graphics should be good enough for the intended gameplay.”


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