i think they are actually decent enough differences. You have to keep in mind, as graphics get more complicated the changes that can be made become smaller and smaller. We will probably never see anything like like the big leap from software to hardware rendering back in the quake 1 > quake 2 days. The changes will get smaller and smaller trying to capitalize on the finer details.
I agree with thecrowe. Graphics can only get so good. I don't think we will be seeing the leaps and bounds that have occurred in the past. When I think of leaps in graphics, Oblivion always comes to mind. The size of the world along with the detail allowed to the player to really feel like they were a part of an alternate world.
Here is what I think is going to happen in the next decade:
Higher resolutions- more pixels are always better and more appealing to the eyes
3d- I don't really care for it right now, but if 3d can make a breakthrough it could be the next "big thing".
Small details- including fine details on character/object models as well as improved facial/body animation and physics. These are all things that can help games feel much more realistic without looking much different than current generation games. The destruction element of the frostbite engine (BC2) really makes the game more fun and immersive for me even if it is not all that realistic. I would love to see strides in realistic physics.
Graphical artistry- Almost anybody can make a game with decent graphics these days. Video games need graphic artists that can differentiate their games and bring a real wow factor. This might be cliche, but I find WoW to have a great artistic direction. Even with its subpar graphics, it manages to feel like a real world you are playing in. Of course this is also due to the gameplay mechanics, but I think the graphics play a nearly equivalent role.
I think Game-play and Game physics are still two important factors in the success of the game.
I still have not found a game with a physics as good as the Half Life 2, it still looks beautiful.
Fear, When I played it, it really took me by surprise as I never thought a game could really scare me even a bit, but it did.
Games with absolute focus on the gameplay like Bejweled or Plants vs Zombies etc still keeps the player stick to the screen for hours and hours.
I agree that games have already hit a saturation point as far as the graphics is concerned, so adding better physics , mechanics and better destruction explosions, character modelling could move current generations game a bit farther.
Half Life 2 had good texture facial movements and the best physics to date in FPS, Fear had a pretty decent AI and immersion level, Mass Effect 2 and COD MW/2 were awesome in graphics and could still run on normal systems.
I don't think so graphics can provide good level of immersion if you have less elements in the game. Good physics, gameplay and elements in the game are must.
DX 11, well atleast for now I wont be missing it at all I can still play games with same fun and graphic depth as with a DX 9.
The difference really is not that big but in future more and more games will use DX 11 and DX 9 will get obsolete which is already happening. But I agree with oops because even though I only have DX 9, I still have fun playing PC games. And besides, DX 11 cards are generally more powerful than previous generations and I have one simply for that reason.
Ofcourse DX 9 has to phase out as soon as the win xp phase out too, marketing planning by software giants lol eh..
Yes The main reason for me buying 5850 was its power only with new hardware like DDR5 etc.,..
DX 10.1 to DX 11 the visible difference is the frame drops as of now..Dont see the so called big optimization and blah.
I think the next card I am going to buy would be a Nvidia 295, I don't care about the DX 11 crap anymore.