(Pocket-lint) - Now that the Xbox One and PS4 consoles are on sale, with only the European launch of the latter yet to come on 29 November, we can safely say that we've entered a new era of gaming.
The last two weeks have gone past like a blur and much has been said in the Xbox One versus PS4 battle. But ever since Sony announced its next-generation machine in New York on 20 February, and showcased a number of games as launch titles or beyond, gamers have been excitedly discussing the quality of the graphics, or the potential of both the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's rival.
Some have pointed to games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, Forza Motorsport 5, or Titanfall as examples of why you should ditch your current-gen machine immediately. Some highlight Quantic Dreams' The Dark Sorcerer tech demo as to what we can finally expect our home consoles to be capable of. But we say, poppycock. If you think what you've seen so far is good, you'll eventually have your tiny minds chewed up, spat out, wrapped up in Semtex and blown. Mightily.
In seven or eight years' time, when we're possibly even looking towards the launches of the next-next-gen of consoles (the Xbox Two or PS5), games will be so many steps further on in performance and quality that it is hard to even fathom now what they will look like.
To prove it, we've taken a look at five top games that featured as launch titles for the current generation of consoles, either Xbox 360, PS3 or both, and their franchise equivalents at the tail end of those consoles' lifespans. The difference in quality is quite remarkable. And to think, we were blown away by the standards in 2005 and 2006. What would our younger selves have thought of the latest games?
FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup vs FIFA 14
The first FIFA game to come out for the Xbox 360 was a World Cup tie-in that many thought looked great and it was often touted as "the most realistic FIFA to date". Jump forward eight years and it's remarkable how different the latest chapter looks, considering it is using the exact same graphics hardware.
FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup (Xbox 360) - 2005
Definition, animation, just about everything has been improved. Even the gameplay is remarkably different, with the original feeling like it plods along in comparison. There's also a distinct air of automation about FIFA 06.
FIFA 14 (Xbox 360) - 2013
If this is an example, just imagine what FIFA 22 will look like on the Xbox One or PS3.
Call of Duty 2 vs Call of Duty: Ghosts
Er... This one really staggered us. We may have been wearing rose-tinted spectacles, but we remembered the second Call of Duty game - the first to hit "next-gen" - very fondly indeed.
Call of Duty 2 (Xbox 360) - 2005
But in comparison with later titles, even those that came just a few years after, it looks incredibly dated. It's almost as though it couldn't have been on the Xbox 360 at all.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Xbox 360) - 2013
When compared to Ghosts, the latest in the franchise, it's like seeing a Charlie Chaplin movie and comparing it to Life of Pi. That's also a great analogy in the respect that graphics aside, Call of Duty 2 is still quality entertainment. The gameplay seemed a lot less showy and more honest back then. And the World War II setting was a fave of ours.
Resistance: Fall of Man vs Resistance 3
There's a shorter gap between these two PS3 exclusive games, one a launch title and one coming out in 2011, but the difference in graphical quality is still there for all to see.
Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3) - 2006
The original was touted as a real graphical tour de force at the time, but in comparison it looks far less detailed.
Resistance 3 (PS3) - 2011
Also compare it to modern PS3 games like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls, albeit with the latter being heavy on visuals rather than gameplay, and you can see just how much developers have eked out of the PS3's graphics capabilities.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 vs Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14
Like with the FIFA comparison, EA Sports certainly found ways to get more objects and better textures in its games over the years.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 (Xbox 360) - 2005
We're just about to lose Tiger from the front cover and the title for next year's effort, so there's no more fitting time to consider the impact this franchise had made on gaming in general.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 (Xbox 360) - 2013
The one thing we will say about the 2005 game is that it came out in a much more innocent time in terms of money-making, with a buy and play what you bought model, rather than hoik all manner of paid-for content at you after you've already shelled out close to £40. We can almost put up with trousers that look like they've had too much starch added for that.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted vs Need for Speed: Rivals
Our final example is possibly the one with the least impact as the original 2005 Need for Speed: Most Wanted - not to be confused with the similarly named game that came out at the end of last year - still looks more than half-decent.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (Xbox 360) - 2005
Many driving games still look like that today.
Need for Speed: Rivals (Xbox 360) - 2013
But look at the more realistic detail on the cars in the latest entry to the franchise and you can see how much work and effort has gone into even the tiniest factors. It's scary to think how much more advanced car racing games can become if this is the leap in quality using the same hardware in just eight years. We bet there'll still be a Need for Speed game, that's for sure. The brand has now been going for almost 20 years.
To be honest, you can draw your own conclusions really. But when we found our first example in Call of Duty 2, rather than it making us look backwards in horror to what we thought was top-notch, A-one technology at the time, it instead made us look forward, to the potential of the new machines. We can only dream about the possible games that will be served over the coming years. And it has us very excited indeed.