Carmack 'not all that excited' about next-gen

Id Software boss says Microsoft and Sony should focus on building experiences, rather than pushing technology with future consoles.

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Id Software boss John Carmack can be added to the list of designers who are not particularly enthused over the prospect of next-generation hardware. Speaking to Games Industry International, Carmack said Microsoft and Sony are too focused on boosting technical power, when they should instead be working on building new experiences for future consoles.

Carmack is not terribly excited about new consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

"Sony and Microsoft are going to fight over gigaflops and teraflops and GPUs and all this. In the end, it won't make that much difference," he said. "When you get to this, 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."

If a recent rumor proves accurate, Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's next Xbox will run on the same graphics card.

Carmack went on to claim that current-generation hardware is capable of supporting anything developers can think up.

"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," he said. "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."

In March, God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe said he "couldn't care less" about the next generation of consoles, further explaining that these new platforms will make "ambitious" projects more difficult.

The last release from id Software was Rage, a first-person shooter that was released in October and won generally favorable marks with reviewers. That game went on to become October's fourth-best-selling title in a month that saw the release of high-profile games like Battlefield 3, Forza Motorsport 4, and Batman: Arkham City.

Currently, the developer is working on Doom 4, which id Software denied as being "indefinitely postponed," as an October rumor suggested.

Discussion

503 comments
drangel_jam
drangel_jam

They can build experiences while providing better CPU, they just have to find smart ways to amortize. Cell phones and smart gadgets have been doing it for years now. I think that 5 years is plenty of time to have considerable technological growth.

 

Anyway,

Dear Mr. Carmack,

 

AI, AI, AI.

Artificial Intelligence.

Improve, A LOT.

That goes for the other developers.

 

Thank you for your concern.

 

Jam

rarson
rarson

"If you take a current game like Halo which is a 30Hz game at 720p; if you run that at 1080p/60Hz 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. [...] But it is not like the first time you have ever played an FPS. It will not be like putting yourself in the virtual world. [...] That will be more of the discontinuous step like we have had with first going to 3D or first using a mouse."

 

He's saying that the next-gen isn't going to offer much beyond 60 FPS at 1080p, which won't significantly enhance the experience. In other words, you completely misrepresented his opinion.

 

Terrible article.

plasticreality
plasticreality

I like how his comments are taken out of context. He recently developed an improved virtual reality interface and believes that virtual reality is the way forward at the moment. He's trying to spark interest in developing the technology. According to Carmack, if a major company like Sony got behind the idea we would have affordable virtual reality within a few years.

Apparently the technology he is working on is the best vr interface yet made and extremely immersive (even in its crude form). I'd say that's pretty exciting - I can see why graphical power is less impressive to him.

Tennies07
Tennies07

New consoles would be nice if they could really ramp up the graphical power of the system and do something innovative.  I'd much rather see developers, however, actually make some true AAA quality games.  When a game launches at $60, it should be worth $60.  I realize that that'll always be a personal opinion, and to each their own, but most games just leave a lot to be desired.  

 

I just find it sad that each year my interest is piqued by so many games, yet I'm ultimately disappointed by overly easy games, unfinished games, or games that just don't live up to their hype.  Maybe it's just me but developers seem to be getting lazier and lazier.  Screw this stupid yearly release and rushed launches crap, and for the love of god start making top notch games again.

jmc88888
jmc88888

We're only about halfway there with the top of the line x2 gpu's.  They need something far better than the best out there now for the PC, and be able to do it cheaper, and with less power.

 

DX11 just isn't next-gen.  Sure I LIKE DX11.  5850 did it decent.  My GTX 670 rocks it.  But a 690 isn't next gen.  We're about 2-3 gpu generations away from a feasible upgrade, and in the meantime, newer dx/open gl versions will come out, coding will get better.

 

Sure it would be nice to have 360 at PC level, but it's not like the 360 is that much worse.  Just no dx11 and lower res. 

 

The costs going up are a bunch of bull.  Maybe they need to pay for a decent number of coders to get to know the game and thus the first games are coded slower.  The games tend to be a certain length.  Use a certain amount of various aspects from music, to scene detailers, voice talent, etc. 

 

It's just not a big leap.  Nowhere near the leap that ps2/xbox made to ps3/360. 

 

Even then what they are probably going to bring out is like 2010 pc tech, and people want this small upgrade to be the console they game on until 2020 or so? If the reports are true 2010 pc tech should be changed to 2010 low end pc tech, because the 5770 budget dx11 card is hella faster than the 6670 that is rumored to be in it. 

 

These next gen systems are turning out to be more like sega cd upgrades.  But hey at least you got CD player with those useless upgrades. 

 

The pc tech AND coding just isn't ready for a medium cost (<600), let alone a low cost (<400) replacement for the 360/ps3 that is worth the upgrade. If you already ditched a low end dx11 card for a newer one, congrats, you already sold/got rid of a card better than the rumored 'next-gen' console graphics. 

 

Again here is a current $399 card that you can buy NOW for your PC vs the rumored one in 'next gen'.  This card ain't even next gen, and the 6670 sucks.

 

http://www.hwcompare.com/12511/geforce-gtx-670-vs-radeon-hd-6670-oem-1gb/

 

The 4870 IF it had dx11 would thrash this card....yep here it is.

http://www.hwcompare.com/10900/radeon-hd-4870-1gb-vs-radeon-hd-6670-oem-1gb/

 

Oh wait, let me play GPU limbo...how low can you go...how low can you go....

 

Here's a 3870, yep an ancient 3870 vs the supposed 6670 'next gen' card.

 

http://www.hwcompare.com/10918/radeon-hd-3870-1gb-vs-radeon-hd-6670-oem-1gb/

 

Well the earliest they had was the 3xxx ATI, and even the 3850 trounces the 6670.  Yeah there are 'lower end' ones that beat it, but you get the point.  If you got a medium/high end card five generations ago, your card is significantly faster than the rumored GPU inside the 'next gen' system.

 

Just amazing.  Carmack is right.  They need to focus on delivering a better experience, but that ALSO falls on game developers.  Not just hardware makers.  He seems to forget that.  Hardware makers make the hardware.  Game devs, make the games.  Console wise, next-gen isn't anywhere near, and while some company can idiotically create a new console whenever they want, it would be idiotic to put out a 1/4 step upgrade.

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

Do fanboys that expect Microsoft & Sony to go all out in graphics & power again with PS4 & Xbox 720 realize that most publishers/developers (along with the people that work for the companies like David Jaffe & John Carmack) are scared of next generation because of even more higher development costs of making games for next gen platforms? Because that's where it's only going to lead to with even more newer tech.

 

IMO, the only company out of the three that has a valid reason to make a huge graphics & power jump in the first place is Nintendo with Wii U. Microsoft & Sony SHOULDN'T EVEN TRY to do that with PS4/720 like they did with PS3 & 360 after Xbox & PS2.

 

For the sake of 3rd party developers involved in which more higher development costs would come into play next gen, they should really only try to match the Wii U in power & graphics, & all three console companies should make the hardware that's VERY, very easy for 3rd party developers to make games on as easier as possible.

 

Vodoo
Vodoo

We want the "knobs" turned up, Carmack! That's what next-gen is... bigger,better, MORE. I know iD is content with current gen because all their games are either in the dark, so you can't see any level design, or they have no interactivity within the level, using all rock-solid set pieces. iD is definitely NOT the developer it used to be.

YoungSinatra25
YoungSinatra25

Eh, respect his thoughts but...nah. It's time. I want more performance. Higher frame rates, more complex A.I. and so forth and the limitations are in the hardware it seems. But TBH I think devs have just become complacent and that's why we see such low levels of polish in big budget games. (Bf3 comes to mind) They're dependent on their hardware and not on their own technical skills like in the past. They need to be less ambitious and do a better job of balancing the technical feats with overall performance.

jakesnakeel
jakesnakeel

I just want a massive memory upgrade to the current consoles.  Graphics horsepower is acceptable.   But I would love be able to have multiple games loaded at the same time and be able to instantly switch between.  Or even to be able to browse the web without shutting down my games.

Gooeykat
Gooeykat

I like and respect Carmack but I think it's time for a hardware upgrade.  I agree in the end that fun and gameplay is what really matters but the current gen has gone just about as far as it can go technically.  He might be right though about the increase in cost to produce big budget titles but I don't think the leap will be as great as it was last gen.  

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Unless the next gen of consoles can make me a cup of tea In the morning, predict the winning lottery numbers and produce a sex slave resembling Kelly LeBrock when she was In Weird Science then Its just not good enough !

therebemonsters
therebemonsters

though rage was a crap game, it's good to see people with some sense in the industry.

 

i personally to give a crap if i see sweat driping or beards shaking, and it seems to be the only thing the next gen of consoles are all about...beard shaking power

 

sure, current gen consoles are at it's limit but how many devs have actually explored this gen's current capabilities besides gears of war on the 360 and uncharted on the ps3.

 

it's a scam and it's idiotic. we are getting a lot of good games now for this gen but if the next gen starts it's crap lauch games again for at least two years.

 

count me out. corporations can eat my ****

thundercave01
thundercave01

well i'm just an allround gamer got a 3ds(ninty and rpg) got a vita and a ps3...  had an xbox but it burned.. and got a kickass PC... now i'm realy looking forward for Beyond: Two Souls and the last of us, and i think its a fitting swansong for the ps3... and can't wait to get my hands on both of them... but altough these games look pretty especially on a 6/7 year old system... it is a grandpa of a console, in technical terms.  tough altough PC looks better you cant say by miles, yes 1920x1080, yes full msaa ect ect... where reaching a point that gameplay and graphics are getting stale...

yes BF3 looks awesome on a HD7970... its like 22 million. times more powerfull as the 7000 series that's in the ps3....  does it look 22 million times better... or does your fancy i7 or FX8150 resould in that much more advance in ai... they should but they don't, consoles and games drive the PC tech its bin that way ever sin's the PS2 but  now the consoles are about to be outclassed by smartphones and tablets... i'm ready for the new cycle to commence.... the friggin IPAD is capable of a higher resolution than your console... horsepower not there yet but in the next 2/3 years, think that for relevance other than buttons... we need an upgrade and like yesterday...

fajin36
fajin36

I think it's time for better hardware, and I find it astounding that one of the biggest proponents of great technology is suddnely doing an about-face.

 

Just to take a quick comparison of Skyrim on PC and Xbox (I played both versions extensively) one of the biggest differences was load times, especially when loading large areas...around 1-5 seconds on PC, and a whopping 30+ seconds on Xbox.  That's a huge difference.

Also, the xbox version would lag to load scenery sometimes, whereas the PC never did...it was a smooth, beautiful experience even with the HD textures.

 

I still enjoyed the xbox version, don't get me wrong, but once I played the PC version, I could not help but notice the massive differences between the two versions.

So yeah, it's not only about the visuals, but load times and frame rates too. Just having those improvements alone would make games more enjoyable.

 

If the next generation of hardware is to last anything from 6-8 years (As one would expect) but the power levels of the new consoles aren't significantly better, that means in 2020 we'll be playing games that look and perform pretty much like today's games. Personally, I find that totally unacceptable.

 

Gameplay is king yes, but newer and better tech does also drive the industry.

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

I am agree with him, they should work more on the Experiences than Graphic, specially new revolution on A.I system in video games!

BasiK3108
BasiK3108

They don't like it because the risks are going to be higher for them because with better graphics comes a higher cost of development which means that if one of their games doesn't do well they will loose a huge amount of money.

 

To me this argument is invalid because they can easily just focus on making a great game before release. This speaks to the mediocrity some developers have, for them is not about trying to make the best game possible is about what they can get away with. :S

 

Only thing that seems odd is the two people mentioned in this article are behind awesome games so they shouldn't worry to much.

gsbliss
gsbliss

I just want all games to run at 60 fps minimum.  Is that too much to ask?

MTNDewVoltage
MTNDewVoltage

I'm not excited because I have a PC. The next gen is already here for me.

macca366
macca366

"It will let us do everything we can do now, with the knobs turned up." Sounds good to me

y3ivan
y3ivan

Carmack skipping next Gen like a Boss!

ryogapower
ryogapower

last time i checked thats what they were doing. nothing at E3 for either's next gen machine and nothing but rumours as to when anything will be revealed or released. the guy may as well have not said anything basically.

Ibra8
Ibra8

I think next gen. will be in year 2565 or less

manicwagon
manicwagon

So we're going to see an ID title on the WiiU? Someone tell Carmack that until he remembers how to write code for the PC he should STFU

Vraeth
Vraeth

Maybe Carmack should focus on making good games.

mdboomer
mdboomer

Not really shock when you consider that their main rival Epic games is pushing for better next gen hardware to run Unreal 4.  Maybe Id should spend more time making games that don't take 10 years to come out.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Why would a guy who spent his whole life touting graphics and tech specs suddenly be down on next gen hardware? What a damn hypocrite Carmack is. Hey John, we don't all want weak future consoles like WiiU!!

Twikee86
Twikee86

I'm getting kind of tired of this talk. Whatever happened to man's quest for more power. It seems like a lack of ambition. As mentioned,  not only would the graphics improve but so would A.I., physics, and processing power overall. I think the better the hardware is the better and more engrossing video games can be made.

 

And the talk of them being able to do everything they want on this generation... Riddle me this- Why the hell does BF3 not look as good on consoles compared to PC and only has 12v12! (To name one instance.)

 

conspirethis
conspirethis

Coming from a guy who, yeah, may make great LOOKING games -- but severely lacks on A.I and physics.

 

So no wonder he thinks next-gen will not change anything, being texture-minded and all. And sales doesn't mean shit, look at COD for crying out loud.

 

I don't know where he's getting his info from but, all I've heard of the next gen consoles is the lack of pushing hardware. Look at Epic having to pressure them to at least equal last gen's leap.

 

Again, although I do highly respect the guy, he doesn't seem to be aware of physics and A.I. These areas can be improved incredibly, creating a foundation for potentially amazing new experiences. Plenty other areas that hardware can also allow for greater, and entirely new gameplay experiences.

theKSMM
theKSMM

 @drangel_jam Agreed. The increased CPU power could be used for improved artificial intelligence, physics, longer viewing distances, and bigger hordes or enemies.  And given the way that current games scale for a range of systems, it's clear that developers are alerady ready to use the increased power.

 

 If you compare current games on a game console to the same games on a high-end PC, there's no contest.  You'll immediately realize how much fidelity is being discarded in order to fit the constraints of a console.

rarson
rarson

 @jmc88888

 

Comparing PC hardware to PC hardware to demonstrate theoretical performance of console hardware is kinda pointless. Console hardware is consistently faster than their PC counterparts thanks to customization and low-level OS optimizations.

 

I've heard the 6670 rumor for a while now, and though I do think that MS will probably go a bit conservative this time around (and Sony probably as well), I think going with the 6670 would be setting the bar too low. These consoles aren't coming out until 2013 at the earliest, maybe even 2014, and by then that GPU will be severely outdated. Actually, if the 6670 rumor is true, then it's might actually end up being similar in power to the Wii U, which would be pretty hilarious given all the crap fanboys have been giving it.

 

Honestly, when AMD came out with their new 7000-series architecture, I figured the console manufacturers would be all over it, and given their intended timing of the new consoles, I thought a 28nm midrange Southern Islands GPU would be a perfect match. I'm quite confused as to why they would choose to use the older architecture. Southern Islands was a huge improvement in performance-per-watt and generates less heat. Hell, even a 7750 would be a much better choice.

theKSMM
theKSMM

 @Shinobi120 Most of the heavy lifting to get games to scale well across the spectrum of systems that run them is done by the engines (e.g. Unreal Engine, Frostbite, Havoc, etc).  I would imagine the area that has requierd the biggest cost increase for this past generation would be in the art department...bigger worlds with high-definition textures undoubtedly cost a lot more than their SD counterparts. (Think Morrowind vs. Skyrim.)

 

I may be wrong about this, so it would be interesting to hear a studio head weigh in on this matter.  Because regardless of the capabilities of the new systems, if new games reach $70 on any console, I'm out.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Sanguis_Malus  Kelly LeBrock?  She's 52! How old are you? Of course you don't want new consoles, you would be happy if you were still playing on a Atari 2600!

 

rarson
rarson

 @thundercave01

 

"its like 22 million. times more powerfull as the 7000 series that's in the ps3"

 

Actually, it's more like ten times. Does it look ten times better? Hell yes it does. Even with the high-res pack, the respectable graphics of the 360 version can't hope to match the PC.

 

"consoles and games drive the PC tech its bin that way ever sin's the PS2"

 

Uh, no. I'm guessing you weren't using decent PC hardware when the PS2 came out, because if you were, you wouldn't have made a statement like this.

 

"but  now the consoles are about to be outclassed by smartphones and tablets"

 

This statement is so absurd I'm not even sure how to reply to it.

 

"the friggin IPAD is capable of a higher resolution than your console"

 

The iPad's screen has about 1.5 times as many pixels as the TV that you have your console hooked up to. And the iPad doesn't render games at that resolution either, it upscales them. I don't see your point.

gameking5000
gameking5000

 @fajin36 

Elder Scrolls games on consoles have always had long times and occasionally choppy frame rates. Just remember that the even though tech will get better the graphics will also get better and be better than today's generation.

gsbliss
gsbliss

 @sonjoza How was Metroid Prime Trilogy a poorly executed release?  I thought it was fine for what it was, though I don't like shooting with the Wii remote, and missed the lock-on feature of the original games.

foxrock66
foxrock66

 @mdboomer 

And instead give us yearly shovel ware like COD? No thanks.

eriktkire
eriktkire

 @ChiefFreeman one thing you can say for Carmack is he has adapted with tech in a way that most, maybe even everyone else, hasn't.

 

Not that I particularly dig the side excursion he took into mobile phones, but he was doing it before pretty much any of the other major developers were willing to take it seriously, including Epic if memory serves.

 

And he does have a pretty good point.  The tools are out there even for current gen console hardware, it's just a matter of the many sub-par developments groups that are now thriving in the industry to learn how to tweak their preferred engines and exploit their art department's abilities.

 

Make better, code-polished games, not more gimmicky tech demos with a proven franchise/formula behind them. (I know that last one cuts close to Carmack, but remember, iD have handled their tech demo/franchise games WELL, unlike most).

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

 @ChiefFreeman It probably has more to do with Epic having more influence on next generation hardware... Also there's the problem of raising development cost he's a business man so he's not going to hesitate to spout BS that favors himself. 

 

To me current gen hardware isn't enough it kills some projects simply because the console don't have enough RAM to support the game... I know of some ps3 games where the developers openly stated that the hardware hurt the game...

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

 @theKSMM 

Carmack already said things look better on PC. What he said too was that such difference was not enough to warrant a new generation of consoles.

I see his point. If new consoles looked like current PCs It still would be nothing compared to the leap that was PS2 to PS3 for example.

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

 @rarson 

 

About your 1st paragraph, while it's true that you can't compare PC tech to PC tech for consoles, having a better GPU inside the consoles will STILL matter in the long run when it comes to better graphics when developers get used to the hardwares inside each console & would try to push out more better graphics as time goes on.

 

Heck, even the rumored 4870 (or 4850, etc.) that's inside the Wii U is a MUCH more powerful card than the 6670 or the 7670 (which is really a re-branded 6670). While developers (including Nintendo themselves) are getting used to the hardware & while launch titles may look like 360/PS3 graphics NOW, in about a year or two from it's launch, the graphics are going to come out more superior than what's on 360/PS3, & will beat the Xbox 720 & PS4 should they go with the 6670/7670.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

 @PodXCOM If you read the comment you will notice that I specified Weird Science era Kelly not present day. For the record I own every console from this gen, I have a top of the range Acer Aspire, a 2000 pound custom gaming desktop and an Alienware M17X Is paid for awaiting delivery.

It was a joke so don't try to diss me.

Sekhemket
Sekhemket

 @rarson Actually I built his pc, out of tears, feces and my own dandruff. So in your face!

therebemonsters
therebemonsters

 @rarson uh yeah..and i paid for it too! does that make them saints ? maybe from your perspective. maybe from your perspective if a person like you makes a crap product and are able to sell it to people you think they should thank you and adore you forever

BasiK3108
BasiK3108

 @foxrock66 well dude is been a while since doom 3 don't you think? i mean i agree i don't want COD crap but 8 years is just as bad IMO and remember time doesn't = good game as we saw with diablo 3.

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

 @Sanguis_Malus I'm Sorry.

 

I just want to see more Red Faction: Guerrilla and From Dust physics, and there's people who really don't care for the next-gen, and are happy just playing CoD. I hate CoD, and I want to move away from it ASAP.