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Your HDTV killed  PaRappa
Your HDTV killed PaRappa
July 20, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

July 20, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi
More: Console/PC, Audio, Design, Business/Marketing

"While PaRappa is, by modern standards, a tough and unforgiving game, there is another fundamental reason why you may struggle to enjoy old rhythm games these days your HDTV."
-Dewi Tanner, formerly of PaRappa the Rapper developer NanaOn-Sha, explains how the latency inherent in all HDTVs has all but killed tight performance-based games of previous generations in this fascinating editorial on Edge.

It's not generally known that that capacitive touchscreens (such as those in all of Apple's iOS devices) introduce performance lag, could that be why the Wii U's screen is resistive (like in the DS/3DS)?

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Ron Dippold
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(I think you have those backwards in the last paragraph - iOS devices are capactive, Wii U is resistive)

Frank Cifaldi
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Yeah, I sure did, thanks for the correction. Friday afternoon sloppiness!

Josh Gibson
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I try to tell people this all the time, it's hard to get anybody to listen when they have a 40-60" screen staring them in the face.

Joe Wreschnig
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Capacitive touchscreens only introduce lag if you're trying to recognize whether or not some sequence of events is a particular gesture because, for example, you can't confirm something is a tap until you've made sure it's not a drag; you can't make sure it's a two-finger drag until you're sure it's not a pinch-rotate.

The resistive touchscreens in the Wii U and DS don't have this problem because they're single-touch only. They only support one type of query, "Is the screen touched and where?" If you set up your touch event handlers correctly on a multitouch device, you can get the same level of precision. If you write custom gesture recognizers, or register for raw touch events rather than gesture recognizers, or are willing to mis-fire, you can have very precise low-latency programs running on capacitative touchscreens including iOS and high-end Android devices.

(On the other hand non-gaming devices are more likely to be triple (or more) buffered to better support multithreading and compositing. On the DS, the memory and CPU constraints made this not useful. But that's going to affect any future device that wants a modern rendering system.)

David Holmin
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My iPhone has considerably less latency than my Galaxy S2, and handles shooters quite well, but yes it's probably worse than DS/WiiU.

As for HDTVs, in rythm games specifically, the game itself can compensate for the latency because the correct input it predetermined (I think Guitar Hero does that?). This isn't possible in a game like Mega Man, though.