That’s right folks, the good people at Square Enix are predicting that the level of graphics we will see on next generation consoles in terms of actual gameplay will be on par with what can only be done via CGI today. Square Enix’s worldwide tech director Julien Merceron had this to say:
“I think that we’re still going to see a big leap in graphics,”… “In terms of technology I think we’ll see developers taking advantage of physically-based rendering, physically-based lighting. I think people will take advantage of global illumination, or at least some form approximation of global illumination, so that could have a significant impact on graphics quality.”
He then went on to say:
“It’s going to enable new forms of art direction, but it’s also going to enable deeper convergence between multiple media – being able to share more assets horizontally between movies, TV series and games. This means that when you’re doing a cartoon, or when you’re doing an animated movie, you could think about an art direction for the game that could be far closer [than current tie-ins]. Obviously it won’t be the same, because the processing power won’t be there, but you can think about art directions being way closer. And you can think about assets being re-used.”
While I would love for this to be the case, I’m not buying it one bit. The truth is that no matter how much we want it to, technology doesn’t progress that fast, at least not in a way that it would be cost-effective to mass produce without game companies losing tons of money. Does anybody remember that next-gen Madden CGI trailer that played during the Super Bowl a few years ago, it was epic and had us drooling at what the next generation of consoles would do. Fast forward to this generation and graphics are far superior to the last generation but they still don’t look THAT good. If you ask me will the graphics be better in the next generation of consoles, I would say absolutely yes. Will they be on par with CGI, not quite? I think that for that level of awesomeness we are talking about the generation after that which at this point is probably 10-15 years away.
But that’s just me, what do you guys think? Will we see CGI level graphics in the next generation of gaming consoles?