Current gen 'to last until 2012' - Crytek

GDC Europe 2009: Cevat Yerli speaks about the next iteration of Cryengine and why games aren't going to get any better looking over the next three years.


COLOGNE, Germany--As the head of one of the highest-profile PC development studios in the world, Crytek CEO and founder Cevat Yerli is well placed to hold a session titled "The Future of Gaming Graphics." Crytek has been responsible for Far Cry and Crysis--two of the most cutting-edge games on the market upon their release, and he is currently hard at work bringing Crysis 2 to the PC as well as Xbox 360 and PS3.

Cevat Yerli addresses his peers.
Cevat Yerli addresses his peers.

Yerli was keen to stress that between now and 2012, we shouldn't expect games to advance much beyond what they look like today. "Games 'til 2012 will not look very different than [they do today], since engines are bound to console cycles." Yerli forecasts that the next major CryEngine upgrade will arrive in 2012, around the same time he believes the next generation of console hardware will arrive. That said, he fully acknowledges the strength of the Wii and the prospect of an elongated console life cycle and warned that if a new generation didn’t arrive in 2012-2013, then "it could be a long time."

While Yerli claims that the current graphical benchmark has been set, he says that we should still expect "huge gains in physics, AI, and simulation of special effects" over the next few years. He also says, in reference to the Fox animated movie series, that by 2013 "you will be able to do Ice Age in real time." Matching animated movies in real-time seems to be a major goal for Yerli, who used Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within as a benchmark for CryEngine 3.

"We wanted to beat the faces in the Final Fantasy movie, but doing in real time what they were doing offline. Every day I was getting posted images from the Final Fantasy movie," he joked. He then proceeded to show a video of the incredibly lifelike facial models in the latest iteration of the engine. "One face has more technology than the entire first Far Cry," he claimed.

CryEngine 3 is the company's current technology foundation, which Yerli claims will form the bedrock of the company's games until 2012. Yerli showed off a demo of Crysis rebuilt using the latest technology. It included 3D volumetric clouds, soft particles, parallax occlusion mapping, and a 7km view distance. Clearly, Yerli is undeterred by the criticism he received for the original Crysis and its high system requirements. “It was always my dream to have a game that I could play now, and then in two years when I upgrade my PC, play again,” he stated.

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Avatar image for bobskizzle

@shani_boy: HDTV's will keep their 1080p format for the foreseeable future, simply because broadcasters don't have the bandwidth to send higher-quality video (it costs a lot of money to upgrade the cameras at football games, for example). Movie theaters should be updated within a few years with 4k x 2k digital projectors, though. :)

Avatar image for poopinpat

well i bought crysis a couple years back and i just got a new PC and I am playing it again. I still cant run warhead at enthusiast settings smoothly lol....soon though soon! I would guess after playing warhead that there is still some room to improve the look of games on current hardware considering how much more optimised the expansion was. Runs better than the original even with v-sync on (which i kept off in the original).

Avatar image for midway_nights

well i am really waiting for john carmack's magic in doom 4. wow , cant wait. graphics of doom 3 are still very vividly remembered in this generation.

Avatar image for DjTIEST0

all i care is gameplay see u have killzone and halo halo is so much better in gameplay dont look as cool as killzone but it play smooth

Avatar image for Gorfix

wow i dont think the graphics can get better than crysis. but the new consles hardware comming out 2012 i hope that sony keeps the ps3 slim for awhile cause i just got one. and i am soo psyched for crysis 2 to come out i am going to pre order it right when u can

Avatar image for jack_ace1

Crysis was awsome and so was Crysis Warhead,about Crysis 2 it's going to be of the hook.What he says about graphics limitation can be explained like this,that after 2012 we may see our ownself in the games playing in Realtime,Yes it is going to take a death toll to upgrade our pc and who can pridect about those console's,but be sure it is going to be worth the wating.

Avatar image for shani_boy101

he's right, you know. Graphics have nearly reached their pinnacle (for games like Crysis only higher resolutions will make them significantly better), so devs need to start working on AI and Physics. i've heard rumours that the next level of HDTV's will be released for the public in 2012/13 (around 4096 x 2160, that about 4 times 1080p), that may be one of the reasons.

Avatar image for chumbucket843

wow crysis has the best AI and graphics in a game. physics have been beaten by ghostbusters but its still really good. crysis is a kick ass game and anyone who complains about it probably hasnt played it. we just need to get rid of hardware render pipelines and implement software pipelines as this will allow pc to shine graphically along with the consoles and you wont have to complain about games using old directx9 because it will be gone.

Avatar image for jmartinez1983

AI is where the advances need to be made. Graphics are great, but I don't care how pretty it looks, bad AI can ruin a game.

Avatar image for Rhastafurion

@Photoshark isn't that already the case? My PC is a budget gaming PC and is already more powerful than the PS3 or Xbox 360. Next gen consoles will compete by adding more PC features to a console system, a failure of an idea if you ask me.

Avatar image for solidine

Whatever. Gaming is getting to be to redundant, specifically because all everyone seems to want to do is make everything look really cool. Seriously, **** graphics. I'd like to assume others notice this, and eventually it will change. Programming better AI and the like would be useful for making games that actually are better, not just ones that look better. Having said that, I won't be rushing to buy a next gen console until I see that happen. There have been some really good games this gen, but so few have been worth it in the long haul that I can't justify running headfirst into next gen. Not everyone thinks that way, nor do I expect them to, but it looks like the more mainstreme gaming becomes, the more I'm being pushed away. I know I'm not alone in this belief, either.

Avatar image for Photoshark

Okay, we get the developers' drift in terms of technological advancement. Basically, what this brilliant guy is saying; by the time 2012 comes, PC hardware would have already overtook or completely eclipsed the specs of current-gen consoles.

Avatar image for Fyre8892

@slaggo Wait just a minute there. 28 million PS3s sold? When did this happen? Last numbers I saw (which were from August 5th of this year) had the PS3 at 24.6 million. I hadn't realized that Sony had sold 3.4 million PS3s in the last 2 weeks. Don't even start with me about missinformation. Isn't it odd how even with piracy (which must be so rampant) the 360 has a better game attachment rate per console (somewhere close to 8 ) than the PS3 (somewhere close to 5). The fact of the matter is that sales don't make the console (e.g. the Wii). I'm not saying the PS3 is a bad console, it isn't. I'm not trying to start some stupid fight here, but everything in my previous post was entirely factual.

Avatar image for akiwak

No way has all the juice been squeezed out of the current gen machines and I doubt everything that can be done will be done by that time. A couple of studios might figure how to reach near total potential by that time but I believe we will see the sweetest looking games at the tail end of these consoles life cycles between 2011-2014.

Avatar image for green_dominator

3 years is all we have left?? Eff that man..... I'm so freaking sick and tired of spending massive ammounts of cash on stuff.... VHS in the 1970's, CD's in the 1980's, DVD's in the 1990's, NES, Sega Genesis, Super Nes, Playstation, XBOX, Blue Ray, HDDVD.......It's insane to keep this up til the end of time.....personally I like how games look right now. GTA IV is amazing that never could have been done on PS2, alot of the games now look amazing, it's just people pushing the urge to exploit the new video card might be nice but what we have now is good, we don't need to upgrade for another 5 years at least....

Avatar image for incinera

@fire8892 Just show me someone using a pirated blue ray game in a ps3 and i shut my mouth.. lol just because you can burn a blue ray movie, it doenst matter it will work with games... there are lots of layers to crack before you can play a burned blu ray in your ps3, plus you have to modify the hardware.. up to now.. none successfull...

Avatar image for CapedCod

There could be a new gen of consoles, but let's be honest: none of them have really hit their full potential yet. Developers still haven't mastered the Wii's motion controls, Microsoft hasn't found a way to keep the XBOX from dying, and the PS2 was, last time I checked, out-selling the PS3. I would love to see the current consoles stay status quo for at least five more years just to see the advancements they make once the devs get a real grasp on everything.

Avatar image for GSgirl

We need more quality games than High tech games

Avatar image for slaggo

@ Fyre8892 your post is the typical post i see from microsoft fanboi's...the following link shows current sales for xbox, ps3, and wii...the only one holding strong is the wii: << LINK REMOVED >> also, it's been noted in past articles that microsoft uses figures from units SOLD (including directly to consumers and retailers) whereas sony uses figures to show units that actually are in the consumer's HOUSE (figures derived from registrations and records of units being sold from retailers when sony representatives go around to the local gamestop and such)....biiiiiig difference in terms of showing the number of units sold. i think so far, xbox has 32 million sold while ps3 is like 28....which isn't largely significant. it actually shows sony is catching up because of the lineup of games this year. PS3: as for "pirated" has the most because it is easily modded. the PS3 simply cannot be modded and it won't play pirated copies of a game... below are google searches of PS3 modding and 360 modding: << LINK REMOVED >>+the+PS3+be+modded%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a Xbox 360: << LINK REMOVED >>+the+360+be+modded%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a please do your research instead of pulling info out of your ass

Avatar image for LooseChangepor

I'll be honest, I love my 360 but if ps3 and 360 never came out i would be just as happy playing my ps2. If i had known that consoles life was going to be around this long i may of rocked with it a couple more years. I am in no rush for a new console, graphics are fine to me as is. I mean really how much more can they do thats gonna make me say wow! I'm glad this span is going to last at least 7 years and hopefully longer

Avatar image for EYE0NE

@ awheaten "This guy, though, seem alittle ambitious. I believe that the Cell, optimized properly, can produce CryEngine's graphics." And why would you presume to know more than the guy that made CryEngine?

Avatar image for PodXCOM

It would be really gay if we never saw another console generation. It would be the gayest thing ever! :(

Avatar image for Fyre8892

@incinera Well I can tell by your humorously terrible spelling of Microsoft that's you're not biased by any stretch of the imagination. The fact of the matter is that MS has sold more consoles than Sony. The 360 also has a better attachment rate (of games and hardware) per console than the PS3 and that does not include "pirated" games. Bluray games and movies are entirely piratable. It is entirely possible that the 360 has seen more piracy (likely due to the larger volume of actual sales), but the more popular games are the more likely they are to be pirated. I'm not sure where you get your alleged "facts", but I would work on doing some further research if I were you.

Avatar image for GearsofRage9

i dont get it all most developers care about now is graphics all i want is a good game thats worth playing and lets face it it only seems that were getting more and more shooters, rhythm games, and the same franchises doing the same thing us gamers want innovation don't think about the next gen think about making the current gen better

Avatar image for jtuds

The guy acknowledges the fact that the current consoles may have an "elongated" life that will stretch beyond 2012. Well, if sales stay high until then, you can bet that Sony and Mocrosoft won't be in a huge hurry to release a new system. If the Wii has shown us anything, it's that people are willing to forgo graphics for fun gaming. So I doubt we'll be seeing a Microsoft 720 or a PS4 if the only thing they offer is a bigger HD and better graphics. Maybe PCs will move to the next hardware generation in 2012 because they're more graphics-driven, but the next consoles will have to be much more advanced in a number of areas than what we have now, not just better in the graphics department. Microsoft's next system will undoubtedly include Blu-ray or something like it, and who knows what Sony will do. I think we'll see more integration of video games into home entertainment systems and an end to the stand-alone gaming system. Or, (and it's almost already like this) we'll be pretty much buying PCs that you connect to a TV. The PS3 is almost a computer when you think about it...the 360 is still more of a video game system but can be used for alot of extra things online, etc...

Avatar image for shawn7324

I trust he knows what he's talking about.

Avatar image for jtuds

2015 at least. The PS3 hasn't even been fully tapped yet and 360's controller-less motion thing isn't perfected or released. Maybe the Wii won't look any better, but this generation still has a lot of life left in it.

Avatar image for 2w-sephiroth

I cant imagine buying a wii2 or ps4... honestly? I am barely touching em as it is... we need more games, not better graphics...

Avatar image for solidstein

@anelzukic Yerli is right, graphics are hardly can get much better, maybe just a bit but you can always upgrade the AI, special effects and psychics which in most cases more important then graphics. Anyway I love this generation and I would prefer if it would retire in 2015 but not any later 'cause it would too long. Crytek is one of the most accepted companies in gaming even thought they only released 3 games and the 4th is coming. The version for X360, PS3 and PC of Crysis 2 should different of each other since Crytek want to use the most of each platform. I just hope everything goes good "wtf are u trying to say this makes no sense??? it sounds good but im not sure if im reading it right?

Avatar image for awheaten

This, in my opinion, is where the PS3 is going to out shine the rest of the consoles. This guy, though, seem alittle ambitious. I believe that the Cell, optimized properly, can produce CryEngine's graphics. However, I believe that 2012-13 being the end of the current generation is a little prematured. This current gen may end up going to 2016. Graphical, AI, and network peaks don't determine the end of a generation of console. Rather, it is just a part of the process. The main determination is... wait for it... MONEY and SALEs. Yes, that is what determine the move to the next gen. Every console has a peak of popularity. When the market reaches that peak, then consumers start looking and asking about the next console. Also, another part of it is the economy. All of these factors right now could change by 2012 to spurn a justification to put out a new console gen. However, it is very unlikely at least for right now given the current reluctance of consumer to spend and the current recession and job loss.

Avatar image for frogman666

what really bites is the older you get the shorter amount of time it feels before you get stuck buying a new console I still feel like I just bought my PS3 and 360 and at a starting price of 400 dollars each I cant see myself doing it again and Ive been playing since pong

Avatar image for the_mailman

My 9800GX2 has served me well over the last year and I doubt I'll be upgrading much over the next few years. This is good news. Just let the devs optimize the games as much as possible and utilize multiple cores/gpus etc.

Avatar image for oliver655321

Anybody with a pc really wont mind what games the consoles have.Its all a matter of havng great PC hardware.Updates are just a crucial part of not having hackers mess with inline gameplay.

Avatar image for Swiftstrike5

"since engines are bound to console cycles." I knew it was true, but... sigh... Funny thing is that console ports keep getting higher and higher system requirements, which doesn't make much sense.

Avatar image for Chronikas

Meh, I'm running an intel Q9650 quad-core at 3.8ghz on air with 2 gtx 280's in SLI at 1920x1200 resolution. Crisis Warhead runs between 40-60fps on all enthusiast settings with 4x AA. I don't think I could ask for much more. It would be nice to not have to upgrade for 3 more years. I could save a lot of money for a killer PC by then. Despite the consoles being less powerful, I'm still about to pickup a ps3 slim to go with my new Sony XBR9 because there is little to no software on my pc that I can play with friends while we sit on the couch. They both have their ups and downs.

Avatar image for Vasot

2012 end of the world prophecies are fairy tales... Mayans were superstitious fools. Average people always fear the unknown....

Avatar image for AnelZukic

Yerli is right, graphics are hardly can get much better, maybe just a bit but you can always upgrade the AI, special effects and psychics which in most cases more important then graphics. Anyway I love this generation and I would prefer if it would retire in 2015 but not any later 'cause it would too long. Crytek is one of the most accepted companies in gaming even thought they only released 3 games and the 4th is coming. The version for X360, PS3 and PC of Crysis 2 should different of each other since Crytek want to use the most of each platform. I just hope everything goes good :)

Avatar image for alaferty

So what do you think is gonna happen to a console if a PC can't handle it. Another $600 graphics toaster!

Avatar image for Dawg9000

Let the CPU melting begin!

Avatar image for alaferty

The Xbox 360 and PS3 are garbage compared to the quality of their previous gen. Xbox 6yrs before it died PS2 still worked when I got my PS3 I'm on my 3rd PS3 in just under 3 yrs and I didn't even consider purchasing a 360 becuase everyone and I do mean EVERYONE that had a 360 suffered the RROD. MY PC though $100-$200 a year max and I'm up2date. Research your product before you buy it and it should last a long time. FUQ consoles fanboys.

Avatar image for mlord5000

so long as ps4 has backwards compatibility I'm ok cause I was planning on upgrading my PC after windows 7 SP1 (its windows so it will suck when its new) is out anyway

Avatar image for TheMercMaster

The game is probabley going to blow up a computer within the first minute of the download.

Avatar image for Foggel

Better graphics would be amazing, but not necessary. I rate my games based on the story and content.

Avatar image for Tyuca

anyway it doesn't mean that my PC still be at the top to running games at 2012... sooooooo frustrating!! :( ...I hate that becouse is impossible for me to upgrade so fast my PC

Avatar image for Rhastafurion

There's nothing wrong with the graphics capabilities of today. Game makers are at fault if a game looks like crap, the engines are there. Crysis is proof positive of it.

Avatar image for AmitAmar

I didnt get it... He means that they will use CE3 'til 2012 or they will just start using it in 2012?

Avatar image for wo1f

Optimize you're current game so they work good on current pc and improve the gameplay. Instead of trying to make a engine for the next 3-4 years that won't work until we got 5x gtx295 in sli or whatever! ID Software knew how to make GOOD engine and good games back then at least the engine was optimized. Crytek engine isn't. PS: For the flamer i do a have a quad with a 295gtx and game run like crap maxed out.

Avatar image for campbell153

I dont know if this will be the case but... i think the PC gamers will have the advantage before 2012, there is allways new hardware being released for PC`s, so having to wait for the nex-gen console to arrive will drive us console gamers mad!

Avatar image for bisonfan2010

Even if new consoles come out in 2012 I think the ps3 and 360 will still hold strong for a longggg time. I mean look at the ps2 for example. 5 years after the ps3 comes out they are still making ps2 games! Granted it doesn't get many big titles anymore but still.