Ah, the graphics versus gameplay non-debate. Pretty visuals are absolutely fantastic, we all want the industry to keep advancing on that front. But give us some fantastic gameplay or unique mechanics, and we don't care if your game uses stick figures. If the story is compelling and shows us a brand new world, or a perspective we hadn't previously considered, we'll play it despite it looking like crud. Games have always been about the stories they tell and how fun they are to play. The visuals have evolved as time has gone on, but they are still more of a bonus than a deciding factor for the most part. It's like when a game has sex appeal. Do we need it in every single game? Technically not. But when it's there, it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Today's graphical advancement that has everyone in a tizzy is 4K. We had standard definition for our games for seemingly forever, then we moved on to high definition, and finally we've now reached the advent of 4K/Ultra HD. Just like the switch from SD to HD, 4K is now showing us stuff that we never dreamed we'd see before. Not only is it showing us more realistic worlds than we saw previously, it's even changing the way video games are released.
Games are releasing with even more options now than they ever have before. There's the ability to play with regular SD graphics, HD, or 4K. The latter is limited to systems like the PlayStation 4 Pro/Xbox One X, or high end gaming PCs at the moment. But there are more options now than there have ever been in previous years.
Yet, there are still some hold-outs. The Devil May Cry HD Collection is re-releasing for these modern consoles, but does not offer 4K support. There are guesses that perhaps Capcom just doesn't care about making the games contained within it as good looking as possible. This is fair, since the titles contained within the Devil May Cry HD Collection are from a different era when it comes to graphics. There's also the possibility that Capcom just didn't want to spend the money it would take to get these older games up to 4K standards. Both are valid possibilities, but it leaves the same question. Should we put much stock in the 4K hype?
As I've already mentioned, realistic graphics are simply the icing on the top of the proverbial cake. They're going to continue to advance as time goes on no matter what form they take. 4K is the big deal right now, but maybe the next big thing will be 2080i or MHD (Mothertruckin' HD), we just don't know. Frankly, in this age of so many already existing options and the unstoppable freight train of graphical advancement, I think many are sort of tuning out. The stunning graphics within video games continue on as a sort of background process. Just like how most of us leave Pokemon Go running (gotta hatch those eggs!), graphics will continue to get better on the peripheral.
This is truly only the best thing that could have happened, since it means we really will get that cake and eat it too. Developers will make video games look more and more real as time goes on, but since that has become such a norm, they'll simultaneously be improving games in other ways. The industry has existed long enough now, and the technological advancements become such a norm that everything else will benefit. More engaging and immersive stories will be developed, and even more unique gameplay and mechanics will spring up. 4K is the hot new thing graphics-wise, but my hope is that developers will shift away from the focus of making everything look hyper realistic, and go back to basics.