New consoles (so sweet!), 40,000 polygons (many emotions!), really textured rocks (wow!).
Have you ever seen concrete pipes so… beautiful? We’ve done it, we’ve made graphics look “real,” let’s go home. We’ve hit a point where it takes huge increases in detail just to produce a tiny improvement in perception, and huge numbers of people to achieve that.
Meanwhile, No Man’s Sky debuted at the VGX with a tiny team (four people!) and a whole universe to show. Rather than focus on the realism or beauty of the world, their trailer wanted to make very clear that they used procedural generation. Which is kinda odd, since it’s not like games are usually sold by the middleware improvements that reduced the number of people in the pipeline. To me, they weren’t only trying to impress viewers with a technological achievement, but, more subtly, to sell a promise about the kinds of worlds procedural design can create.