Epic: Graphics indistinguishable from reality in 10 years

Founder Tim Sweeney says games will reach photorealism in next decade, though doing so will create new challenges, he argues.

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Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney believes game graphics will be indistinguishable from reality in the next decade. Based on the current rate of progress, Sweeney claimed today at Develop, as reported by Games Industry International, that games will be "absolutely photorealistic within the next 10 years."

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"An indistinguishable-from-reality level of graphics," he added.

Along with this visual advancement, Sweeney cautioned, will come new challenges and difficulties that will require a great investment in research before full virtual reality is accomplished.

"That just moves the challenge of graphics to the problems we don't know how to solve. Like simulating human intelligence, animation, speech, lip-syncing," Sweeney said. "There are still a lot areas that will require ongoing research for probably the rest of our lives before we come close to approaching reality."

Sweeney's comments echo those of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) visual effects supervisor Kim Libreri, who said in August last year that game graphics will be "indistinguishable from reality" over the course of the next decade. Libreri worked on Star Wars 1313, as well as Super 8 and The Matrix.

Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal Engine as well as the Gears of War franchise. The company's most recently released title was March's Gears of War: Judgment. The studio is presently working on Fortnite, an Unreal Engine 4-powered PC game due out this year.

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