We love John Carmack here at Dealspwn. Jon even wrote him a poem once. So when Mr. Carmack talks, we listen. In a new interview, the id Tech genius has revealed that he's really not all that excited by the prospect of the next console generation, suggesting that pretty much any creative vision a game director can come up with can be realised "pretty well" right now.
"When people ask how tapped out is the current console generation, PCs are 10 times as powerful but you really are still not technically limited," he told GamesIndustry. Any creative vision that a designer could come up with, we can do a pretty good job representing on current generation and certainly on PC. In many ways I am not all that excited about the next generation. It will let us do everything we want to do now, with the knobs turned up.
"If you take a current game like Halo which is a 30 hertz game at 720p; if you run that at 1080p, 60 frames with high dynamic frame buffers, all of a sudden you've sucked up all the power you have in the next-generation. It will be what we already have, but a lot better. You will be able to redesign with a focus on D11, but it will not really change anyone's world. It will look a lot better, it will move towards the movie rendering experience and that is better and better, but it's not like the first time you've ever played an FPS. It won't be like putting yourself in the virtual world. All the little things you can do on that, such as playing an audio cue over here, and turning your attention to that. That will be more of the discontinuous step like we've had with first going to 3D or first using a mouse."
Carmack, ever the outside-of-the-box thinker, has been concerning himself with curious technology rather than simply power boosting, and he spends much of the interview talking about VR headsets and their capacity for a deeper, more immersive experience. It's differentiating the experience, he suggested, that will make the most impact, and points to this generation as proof.
"Sony and Microsoft are going to fight over gigaflops and teraflops and GPUs and all this," he said. "In the end, it won't make that much difference. When you get to [VR], it makes a really big difference in the experience. Nintendo went and brought motion into the gaming sphere and while only having a tenth of the processing power was able to outsell all of them in all of these ways. I think someone has an opportunity to do this here. It takes a whole ecosystem though, but it is almost perfect."