Carmack "not all that excited" about next gen, it's just "knobs turned up"
Posted: 20.06.2012 13:42 by Simon Priest Comments: 10
John Carmack from id Software is passionate about virtual reality technology and he thinks Microsoft should have backed VR research over Kinect. Nintendo got it right with Wii.

The Wii introduced motion gaming with a tenth of Xbox 360 and PS3's power, yet it outperformed them. The same opportunity exists for VR, believes Carmack. Next gen is 'meh'.

All that improved horsepower with the next gen hardware will deliver us exactly what we can do now, "with the knobs turned up," he said. That isn't exciting him.

"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," Carmack told "When you get to this, it makes a really big difference in the experience," he added, talking about virtual reality solutions.

"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." Technology isn't really an obstacle holding developers back.

"When people ask how tapped out is the current console generation, PCs are 10 times as powerful but you really are still not technically limited. Any creative vision that a designer could come up with, we can do a pretty good job representing on current generation and certainly on PC. In many ways I am not all that excited about the next generation. It will let us do everything we want to do now, with the knobs turned up," explained the Doom creator.

"If you take a current game like Halo which is a 30 hertz game at 720p; if you run that at 1080p, 60 frames with high dynamic frame buffers, all of a sudden you've sucked up all the power you have in the next-generation. It will be what we already have, but a lot better. You will be able to redesign with a focus on D11, but it will not really change anyone's world."

"It will look a lot better, it will move towards the movie rendering experience and that is better and better, but it's not like the first time you've ever played an FPS. It won't be like putting yourself in the virtual world. All the little things you can do on that, such as playing an audio cue over here, and turning your attention to that. That will be more of the discontinuous step like we've had with first going to 3D or first using a mouse," he added.

Carmack knows that VR headsets wouldn't be able to cover all aspects of video gaming especially when there are other people in the room but it will span the majority of experiences. Sony has already shown a keen interest with a proposed headset for 3D viewing, and he believes Sony could go further by next year.

"As a fully consumer thing, it is hard to imagine that happening in less than a year."

"Sony is already interested in this thing, and they are interested in seeing how they want to follow this up. I can easily imagine something like that. Sony conceivably could have a product out in the next year. I have no inkling on internal plans, but as a company I think they can do it," concluded Carmack.

Browse Polls   

Yes, see you on the holo deck


No, it is still too sci-fi for now



By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 20, 2012
I'd like to see it happen but all attempts up to now have failed. People are against waring regular 3D glasses already so VR glasses have it that much worse. But given the time frame there's plenty of time to make them small enough to make them work, so i'm gonna be an optimist and vote yes.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 20, 2012
I bloody wish it would, but I just don't think it's going to be commercially viable in a decade. Please prove me wrong.
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Jun 20, 2012
I really don`t think a holo deck would become a viable gaming platform,case in point kinect and ps move.While they are interesting gimmicks you can`t play for too long without getting tired and sick;mouse,keyboard and controllers are still the way to go but i guess it could work with you using a controller and instead of looking at your monitor you would wear some glasses but again i`m just not seeing it catch on.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jun 21, 2012
It will come eventually, and much work has already been done with an eye to a VR future for gaming and other applications (anyone for VR women? Yeah I thought so). I played the early machines in the '90's and while rubbish it proved where the future was. How far away that future is is not certain at this point, but within a decade is a tall order.
Imagine, if you will entering a street, a real street with all the buildings "painted over" using VR to create a living, breathing gaming world. You enter that street and FPS's take on a whole new 'reality'. Well, that's the vision in mind but it's still in early development. Carmack's just putting it out there, and perhaps giving a bit of a shove for Sony and Microsoft to start considering it more seriously. I agree that Kinect and Move are just a passing trend, a step toward VR and a temporary one at that but that is all they have at present.
Hope I'll still be around when the real thing comes online.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Jun 21, 2012
VR women? Plural eh?
I could live with that for a while :)
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jun 21, 2012
Hell man, I'd never leave home:)
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Jun 21, 2012
We're all thinking it....well, maybe men in some cases, but we're ALL thinking it ^^
By HenoKutus (SI Elite) on Jun 23, 2012
I have played a demo about 9 years ago on a show,they had 5 old computers to play a doom like game with a virtual helmet,in that time HD didn't exist so with the technology of today it will be quite impressive
Also everybody forgets that on Pc you have a feedback vest for Call of duty that was incredible,they were in the proces of releasing it for the PS3 as well with a special device -see 3RD space vest at TN
Works excellent if you are a Call Of Duty Fan -check it out!
By HenoKutus (SI Elite) on Jun 23, 2012
There already exist a prototype of a holographic tv without any form of glasses made by Philips about 2 years ago!
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jun 23, 2012
As Heno says, they have actually advanced quite a distance down the road to true VR, however it's it still some time away from practical domestic application (Kinect and Move - it's just one more step, nothing more). Those VR helmets....I tried them out in 1991 to be exact. A truly nauseating and bizarre experience but you could see then where things were headed.