A Shower Of Thoughts

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The best from last-gen consoles; screenshots, video captures, and photo mode.

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This week I bought a controller for my Nintendo Switch and only when I started using it I realized there was no “capture” button in it. That meant not being able to take a screenshot or save a video recording of the games.

Only then I realised how important this feature was to me.

The new generation of home game consoles started this week - current-gen became last-gen, and next-gen became current-gen - with the releases of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. And they bring lots of promises for what "the new current-gen" is supposed to mean.

But just now, after not having a “capture” button on my controller, I looked back and realised what the most meaningful features from last-gen were to me: having the ability to take a snapshot of a nice looking or memorable moment of a game, while it’s happening, knowing that it will allow you to re-live it as much as you want in the future without having to actually replay the game and having to attempt to reproduce the moment is a brilliant feature which I love.

Combine that with Photo Mode - which granted, not every game has one - and you get a winner combo of game memories preservation and in-gaming photography.

More and more games are including Photo Modes that allow you to pause the game at any moment during gameplay and manipulate the camera, lightning, which characters are visible in the shot, and many more things, all in order to provide tools for taking great game moments. I love it.

I have spent a long time just doing “game photography” - which at the same time, makes me appreciate more the artwork, art style, graphics quality and in general the visuals of the games.

And being able to record videos has allowed me to re-watch great story moments and standout gaming experiences - beating a difficult boss, completing a challenge, or finishing a great set-piece - it’s a great way to go back to the game without having to actually play it again (which sometimes I simply don’t have the time to do, as much as I’d like!).

Besides the same promises of even-better looking, higher-fidelity game visuals that come with every new generation of consoles, it’s this peripheral kind of features that end up being the more important legacies of a console and its time.



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