Other corners of the development world might be clamouring for the next generation of consoles, but creative director Cliff Bleszinski believes there's still more to be squeezed out of the Xbox 360, and that it's just a matter of 'code magic, time and effort'.
Speaking with EDGE, Bleszinski explained that the biggest challenge for the team, when developing Gears of War 3, was trying to push the Xbox 360 further than it had gone before, comparing the current point in the console's lifecycle with 'that point where in the SNES [days] they started using Mode 7 in ways you never expected'.
'We're now at at the point where it's not learning how to use the hardware, it's learning to trick the hardware into doing what you want it to do,' said Bleszinski. 'The first thing I was ecstatic about was the new lighting…we're at the point where an artist can just let the lighting breathe, a nice brick wall can just be a nice brick wall; it doesn't need 8000 pipes layered on it.'
The Xbox 360 is nearly six years old, but Bleszinski believes that the time spent with the console, getting to know its archetecture comprehensively, now allows developers to be more creative and look to exploit its capabilities with far greater results.
'With creative programming you can squeeze anything out of any given platform,' he said. 'Go back to the demo scene where these guys would take a 286 PC and in 38k make a demo that rivalled the most triple-A game of the time.
'It's just a matter of code magic, time and effort. I don't know how much longer the 360 will be around, but I'm sure that if we have a product coming out before the end of [its] lifecycle we'll continue to try and squeeze more water from that stone.'
Bleszinski's comments follow on from Ken Levine's statement earlier this month, saying that there's a 'tonne of juice' left in the current crop of consoles.