Bookmark and Share


John Carmack, technical director of id Software, said in an interview about his thoughts about next-generation video games and video game consoles. According to Mr. Carmack, one of the next-gen consoles will be released well ahead of the competition, one will lack optical disc drive and in general next-gen consoles will feature 2GB of memory. Moreover, the generation of game systems after next may rely on cloud computing technologies.

Next-Gen Game Console May Be Out Sooner, Rather than Later

One of the main reasons behind the success of Microsoft Xbox 360 is its release one year ahead of Sony PlayStation 3 as well as considerably lower pricing. Mr. Carmack believes that Sony might want to release its PlayStation 4 ahead of its arch-rival. Moreover, despite of the fact that both Microsoft and Sony claim that their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will have a decade long lifecycle, the game developer suspects that one of the companies may release the next-generation systems much sooner than expected.

“The whole jockeying for who is going to release the first next gen console is very interesting and pretty divorced from the technical side of things. Whether Sony wants to jump the gun to prevent the same sort of 360 lag from happening to them again seems likely. As developers, we would really like to see this generation stretch as long as possible. We'd like to see it be quite a few more years before the next gen console comes out, but I suspect one will end up shipping something earlier rather than later,” said John Carmack in an interview with Polish CD-Action magazine (excepts from the interview were published at DigitalFoundry blog).

Digital Delivery Model Is the Future, Optical Disc Drives Set to Disappear

Mr. Carmack seems to be a big believer in digital delivery model. Even though he said that the next-generation id Software’s title called Rage will be distributed on numerous DVDs or on one Blu-ray disc because of its storage requirements, he is sure that one of the next-generation video game systems will come without optical disc drive at all.

“I think that Xbox Live, the advent of that and the App Store with the iPhone are wonderful signs of the future of digital distribution. I think there's a decent chance that one of the next gen consoles will be without optical media. The uptake rates of people who have broadband connects surprised everyone this generation. It is higher than what the core publishers and even the first party people expected,” said Mr. Carmack.

Perhaps, the successor of Nintendo Wii, which will be aimed at casual gamers and not optimized for titles by id Software, may end up without optical drive. It is doubtful that the successors of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will not feature removable media since storage requirements of next-gen video games may grow faster compared to capabilities of broadband networks.

During the interview, Mr. Carmack also speculated that next-generation video game consoles will have at least 2GB of random access memory, which seems to be quite logical. Moreover, it is rather likely that even more memory will be available inside next-generation systems due to increased system requirements.

Cloud Computing May Take Off

But what will happen after the next-generation game consoles? The technical director of id Software believes that cloud computing may become a viable alternative to endless boosting of internal performance of video game systems. One issue that has to be resolved before cloud computing takes off in the computer game world is latency, which may be too high to play comfortably via the Internet.

“We talk about these absurd things like how many teraflops of processing and memory that are going into our game machines. It's great and there's going to be at least another generation like that, although interestingly we are coasting towards some fundamental physical limits on things. We've already hit the megahertz wall and eventually there's going to be a power density wall from which you won't get more processing out there. There'll be questions of whether we shift to a cloud computing infrastructure... Loads of interesting questions about whether you have the computing power in your living room versus somewhere else,” said Mr. Carmack.

Tags: Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, id Software


Comments currently: 3
Discussion started: 08/12/09 04:19:28 AM
Latest comment: 08/12/09 09:14:19 PM


I like this,near enough ever developer stands up to say yeah(I love id's stuff by the way), the internet is great..everyone talks bout more and more bandwidth, where i am the broadband is slow this has several effects.Lets take the PS3 for example open up the browser and a few tabs then try and close the waits for some kind of final handshake or time out of a portion of the page before it lets it grip loose, broadband companies the world over have still implemented draconian bandwidth limitations on their sustomers 2GB monthly allowance. That goes faster than most people type in facebook into their browser, in the age of better games more content there are still a large chunk of people out there who even though the ISP claims to be giving them broadband, will and are being shunted. Lets take "rage" for an big is the demo going to be to download?
If it is going to be cloud based the worlds internet connections really need a good look at. On a broadband connection with cable and wireless (Im in the indian ocean by the way) connection is choppy to say the least. Other people in other places are going to continue to feel the slow down...We arent ready at all for next gen esp if things are meant to be all nicey nicey online...bandwith is a thing reserved maily for buinesses and government, and they wont even let the average user go to places like facebook or a computer games online mag. So we will all be relagated to trying to use our poor home connection.Content delivery is still a problem (i payed twice for the orange box once at the store then again to my isp just to finish the instal)now what happens when someone tries to take things next gen and the requirements have shot up.
0 0 [Posted by: curtis007  | Date: 08/12/09 04:19:28 AM]

I don't think optical drives will disappear anytime soon. Digital downloads will supplement, not replace, games and applications delivered on CD/DVD/BD-ROM. I personally don't mind installing software from discs.
0 0 [Posted by: ddg4005  | Date: 08/12/09 08:53:12 AM]

I agree with ddg4005.
I strongly doubt that there won't be any optical drive in game stations any time soon, especially not for the "Wii 2".

One of the many things that attracts consumers is the box itself.
Its colors, its design, all of that are thought to attract the consumer's eyes.

For people who are used to the internet like us, it wouldn't bother us too much, but think about the 50 years old father who nearly doesn't know anything about how to use a computer, let alone use internet. Would he trust some new technology, and let his 8 years old son buy a game online? I doubt it.
Personally speaking, i'm 19 years old, and i just dislike having to download a whole game just to play it a few hours later.
Moreover, I enjoy having a box in my hands, and I usually buy a game because I see it for sale in a shop, not because I saw an ad telling me to buy it on the internet.
You want a full online shop? Check the Steam system. Sure it's nice, but seriously, how great is it? Just check their currency system and how they abuse it.

Also, if there is only online support, what should happen to gameshops? They share quite a lot of the succes of video games, because without them, a lot of consumers wouldn't know what games their sons want for their birthdays/Xmas/whatever.
Online shops just do not provide such services.

Overall, I'd say setting up a "no more box" system would just be idiotic, and it would fail at being the hoped success.
0 0 [Posted by: Kurata  | Date: 08/12/09 09:14:19 PM]


Add your Comment

Related news

Latest News

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10:48 pm | LG’s Unique Ultra-Wide Curved 34” Display Finally Hits the Market. LG 34UC97 Available in the U.S. and the U.K.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

12:52 pm | Lisa Su Appointed as New CEO of Advanced Micro Devices. Rory Read Steps Down, Lisa Su Becomes New CEO of AMD

Thursday, August 28, 2014

4:22 am | AMD Has No Plans to Reconsider Recommended Prices of Radeon R9 Graphics Cards. AMD Will Not Lower Recommended Prices of Radeon R9 Graphics Solutions

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

1:09 pm | Samsung Begins to Produce 2.13GHz 64GB DDR4 Memory Modules. Samsung Uses TSV DRAMs for 64GB DDR4 RDIMMs

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10:41 am | AMD Quietly Reveals Third Iteration of GCN Architecture with Tonga GPU. AMD Unleashes Radeon R9 285 Graphics Cards, Tonga GPU, GCN 1.2 Architecture