It's Okay If You Suck At Old Rhythm Games. You Can Blame Your TV

Yes, games used to exist on a different learning curve than they do now. And sometimes, when we might backtrack to an older favourite like Parappa the Rapper, we might have a a hard time getting back in the groove of a forgotten, unforgiving skill set.

But over at Edge, Dewi Tanner explains that actually, modern TVs are part of the problem. The typical newer HDTV set has a high enough latency to interfere with precision gaming, Tanner explains. And although players and games may bear part of the burden, for certain kinds of rhythm action, the lag makes a difference:

Sadly, the majority of customers will never read this guide, or even realise that their TV has lag issues in the first place. For this reason the game tends to get the blame when the player feels that they are being punished unfairly by the game despite seeming to play correctly. This forces them to either mentally adjust their timings or to abandon the game entirely. Guitar Hero and Rock Band tried to sidestep the problem by offering calibration options and tutorials, but this doesn't solve the problem. It merely makes the game more forgiving; a dirty hack in a genre which prizes purity.

According to Tanner, other popular newer technologies, like the Kinect and the kind of touch screens used in many portable devices, are even worse. Was, as Tanner asserts, the PlayStation 2 the last truly responsive era of gaming? Presumably, existing technologies will continue to improve and bring down their latency and response times.

But for now? Next time your friends make fun of your timing, feel free to blame your TV.

How the HDTV killed rhythm action [Edge]

Image: Shutterstock


    Does that ring true even with Game Mode enabled on newer TV's?

      Yes. Game mode tends to not change the response times very much, if at all.

    If you plug your PS2 into a modern TV you will have all the same image post processing latency issues as well. This article forgot to mention that some HDTV's offer a 'Game' mode which normally turns off any image post processing.

      Game mode doesn't completely eradicate the problem.

      Like Michael said, game mode doesn't do all that much to improve matters. A significant amount of processing,, and hence lag, still takes place.
      Some details from a genius:

      Skip to 3:45 for the most relevant info.

      If you want the best colour and responsiveness, CRT still can't be beaten.

    I have been saying this all along, and it's why I will never abandon my trusty CRT.

    I just wish we still had the one with the SCART input so I could get some sexy RGB going.

    So if a CRT might be an alternative to the laggy HDTV, why is the twit in the stock photo smashing one?

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