id Software co-founder John Carmack has distanced himself from the list of developers who are thrilled about the arrival of the next-generation hardware.
The legendary games programmer conceded that Sony and Microsoft should focus more on the experience offered by their upcoming consoles instead of focusing on a boost in technical power.
During an interview with Games Industry International, the id Software boss contended that pushing the technology will hardly play a significant role in the success of the future consoles, as it always comes down to the entertaining experience on offer in the end.
“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.”
Carmack opined that the technology being considered for the next-generation consoles will not be able to deliver a breakthrough experience. While gamers may get exposed to eye-popping visuals and a movie-rendering experience, they would not be treading into unchartered territory.
Currently actively involved in research with virtual reality, Carmack expressed his disappointment over the reliance of Sony and Microsoft on beefed-up technology instead of exploring options that could help in building experience.
The man behind ground-breaking first-person shooters such as Doom and Quake believes that the only way to move forward is to turn the attention from graphics to experience. The introduction of motion control by Nintendo has opened the gateway to countless possibilities, something that Sony and Microsoft should be looking into instead of prioritising visual enhancements.
The id Software boss went on to claim during his interview with Games Industry International that the capabilities of current gaming consoles are being underestimated. They have the potential to present any creative vision taking birth in the mind of designers. The current generation consoles and the PC are capable of delivering everything that the future consoles will offer, with the latter to enjoy an edge over their predecessors merely due to better graphics.
Instead of devoting his time to graphics-oriented technology, Carmack is working on the development of technology that will prove as ground-breaking in terms of experience as the motion controller originally developed by Nintendo. His research with virtual reality has already begun to show results, with a head-mounted virtual reality system offering players a motion-tracking display, promising to take the first-person shooter experience to new heights.