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Next-Gen Consoles Ten Times As Powerful, Says Carmack

Felix Kemp
Games news, John Carmack, Next Xbox, Playstation 4, Wii U

Next-Gen Consoles Ten Times As Powerful, Says Carmack

John Carmack, the renowned id Software programmer responsible for the then-groundbreaking visuals of Wolfenstein, Quake and Doom, expects the next line of consoles - be it the Next Xbox or Playstation 4 - to offer ten times the power of our current boxes, and he's anticipating they'll release in the "next couple of years".

"The next-generation will be here soon, a couple of years," Carmack revealed to Eurogamer. Being an industry luminary, whose technical prowess extends from developing revolutionary graphics tech - like RAGE's mega-textures - to engineering rockets, Carmack wields an unwavering aura of respect and reliability. "It'll be another ten times as powerful as this [PS3, Xbox 360]. I'd be surprised if that doesn't last over a decade before people wind up saying, well, we've really tapped out everything you could possibly do on there".

But Carmack warned that in the next-generation, when we'll likely be seeing visuals as good as the computer-generated imagery witnessed in films, it'll become harder and harder for developers to make their games stand out. "The better games get the harder you have to go to give a delta people care about. That's going to be a challenge for the next-generation of consoles, to show what pack-in title is going to look so much more awesome than what you get on the current ones that people want to go spend $300 on a new console".

It's interesting stuff, especially from someone like Carmack who you would have thought would be buoyed over by the advent of new graphics tech. But he's a wise chap, very aware that graphics haven't defined this generation, so why should they instruct the next? The Wii is the clear winner of this current race, and Microsoft has relied on strong third-party support and the continued success of Xbox LIVE to continue pursuing their goals. The PS3, while by no means a failure, initially pitched its tent on the idea of groundbreaking visual technology. But that didn't quite go as well as planned.

We've already had murmurings that Crytek is hard at work on a fourth Timesplitters for the Next Xbox, and probably the Playstation 4, too. Next year's E3 is set to be very interesting. Nintendo will finally unveil the Wii U in full form, and I expect Microsoft and Sony will attempt to counter the blow by revealing next-gen consoles of their own. [Eurogamer]

Add a comment4 comments
Gunn  Jun. 16, 2011 at 14:23

My concern is that it will take longer and longer to make games and with the expense it will only be a select few companies who churn out "safe" games.

MrRobin  Jun. 16, 2011 at 14:51

They need to be. The next gen consoles need to be really very special to draw people back away from the mobile gaming market who aren't really that far behind current technology.

Phil  Jun. 16, 2011 at 15:30

Stating the obvious really. Heck my gaming PC is several times more powerful than my Xbox 360 or PS3 and yet it is over 2 years old. Take a modern gaming PC now (with a mid to high GPU) and I bet it is 8~9x more powerful than a PS3 or 360. Give it another year or two when they are released and bang - you've got 10x the performance!

Late  Jun. 16, 2011 at 15:53

Ten times the power sounds realistic - and perhaps even a little on the conservative side. I believe each gen is usually between five and ten times the last, but this gen has lasted longer than any previous ones - despite technology continuing to evolve as quickly as ever.

And I'll be amazed if Microsoft don't announce their new machine at next year's E3 (or even sooner). They can't afford to let Nintendo's machine be on the market too long before their own. Despite Ninty being mocked by the hardcore gamers in the current gen, if the U is significantly more powerful than the ps3/360, is out for a year or two before the new competition, has decent third party support, and has a decent online set-up, then it's likely it'll pick up a lot of hardcore gamers in addition to it's current casual fans. If a top multi-platform game comes out on ps3, 360, and U, and the U has better graphics and more online players than the other two then a lot of people will buy it - but might not if they know the next sony/ms machine is more powerful and only a year away...

$300 is probably a tad conservative though. I'm expecting to pay £400 for my next machine.
As for which machine I'll be getting - I've no real preference. Screw brand loyalty. Despite loving the ps1 and ps2 I went with the 360 this gen, and have no real preference for the next generation...

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