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Current Gen Consoles "Creatively Limiting"

Felix Kemp
343 Industries, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, Next Generation, Saber Interactive

Current Gen Consoles "Creatively Limiting"

According to Halo Anniversary Developers

The current crop of consoles have become "creatively limiting" for developers, who're eagerly anticipating the next line of successors. That's according to Saber Interactive, the studio behind Timeshift who have joined 343 in production on the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition. Speaking in an exclusive piece on CVG, CEO Matthew Karch revealed the 360 and PS3's relative processor power is holding developers back, and he'd be "shocked" if Microsoft didn't opt to release the Xbox 720 ahead of schedule.

"We're limited in what we can do right now in terms of games and that comes primarily from the power of the processors," Karch told CVG. "The best way to put it is it's kind of like being given a Lego set with 100 block and a set with 1000 - you can do a lot more with the second set. You have more wiggle room and more blocks to make something big and great."

The Xbox 360 is packing three IBM cores, while the Playstation 3 runs off a unique processor architecture dubbed Cell. While developers are still milking every cent from their engines, it's very clear we're edging ever closer to the visual ceiling on the current lineup, with the likes of Gears of War 3, RAGE and Uncharted 3 representing the absolute pinnacle of current generation graphical fidelity.

According to Karch, the next-generation of consoles will do "amazing things", especially when it comes to physics, where the increase in processor power with allow for more accurate recreations of elements such as liquid and cloth simulation, soft-body and join dynamics instead of the rigid system currently employed, and a jump in AI to allow for things such as truly dynamic crowds.

"Xbox 360 came out first this time and at least in North America they seem to be ahead," Karch revealed in regards to when the next-generation of consoles might begin. "So this time around - and I don't have any insight - I'd be shocked if they didn't come out around the same time" Karch had some kind words to say about the divisive appeal of OnLive and cloud-gaming, too. Be sure to check out the rest of his post over at CVG. [CVG]

Add a comment4 comments
Late  Oct. 14, 2011 at 09:33

What's the most likely media going to be, next gen?

I imagine some games are getting close to filling a Bluray disk now, so presumably they're going to struggle if we're using BD for the next generation - especially if we end up waiting 8-10 years between generations as this time...

DrTrouserPlank  Oct. 14, 2011 at 09:35

The only thing limiting creativity on this generation of consoles is the absense of many developers who are willing to consider thinking outside of the safe-as-houses gun metal grey/dog poo brown FPS template.

The idea that you need new hardware in order to pump out more killing simulators is laughable. It's made even more amusing that the claim is coming from a developer whose cookie-cutter formula for game design and popularising FPS games is what is in fact stifling creativity.

Being creative is a financial risk. Being safe and sticking to developing floating-gun simulators is very safe and profitable. Is it any wonder that creativity is hard to come by?

JonLester  Oct. 14, 2011 at 10:55

@DrTrouserPlank: You're right on all counts - especially the bit about creativity being a financial risk. However, there's still plenty of innovation out there. We're just too lazy to look for it in the right place. Expecting AAA to innovate with those enormous overheads is a bit unrealistic, unfortunately.

Asura  Oct. 14, 2011 at 11:42

at least with a new gen of console, the ports over to the PC shouldn't look as bad as they do now. The gameplay, design and controls will be just as **** no doubt.


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