Carmack: “There’s not one valid path to the next-generation of technology”

Thursday, 16th June 2011 19:15 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

id Software’s John Carmack believes that due to limitations with hardware and technology, Cloud gaming could cause consoles to die out within 10 years.

Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Carmack said the next generation of consoles are just a couple of years away and after that, hardware makers may realize technology has been tapped out.

“That’s going to be a challenge for the next-generation of consoles, to show that the pack-in title is going to look more awesome than what you get on the current ones that people will want to go spend $300 on a new console,” he said. “They’ll be able to do it on the next generation, but it’s going to be much harder. And whether it’s even possible another generation after that is an open question.

“There are lots of valid reasons to like a stable platform, to be able to have stable skill sets and tool sets to be able to build things in a controlled way without that terrifying jump.

“There are a lot of factors that can go on there. And shoot, once we’re out ten years cloud-based gaming is almost a shoe-in. It’s not a shoe-in this year or next year, but if you look ten years out, piping everything over a broadband connection, there are huge advantages to doing that. There are a lot of different factors there, where computing power is getting so ridiculously cheap and we carry so much of it around.

“People’s telephones could be their home console, and it just beams over to the TV set when they’re there and they want that experience. Do we want these separate walled gardens: here’s what we’ve got on our PC, here’s what we’ve got on our console, here’s what we’ve got on our mobile phone? There’s at least an argument that you wind up carrying around enough processing power with you to satisfy all of those and you dock them into different things when you go there.

“It could play out in lots of different ways. There’s not one valid path to the next-generation of technology…Cloud-based infrastructure has lots of interesting technical challenges of its own as well as development wins for doing things that way. That’s at least three directions things could go right there. And any one of them could wind up dominating in some way.”

Carmack added that he is happy with the current generation of consoles, and for the time being, he doesn’t feel “terribly constrained” as the current-gen isn’t “tapped out” just yet.

You can read the full interview through the link.



  1. DSB

    Cloud gaming is like the ultimate joker of modern gaming.

    It’s going to be extremely interesting to see where it’s gonna go. I reckon we need vastly better internet connections than the ones we have today, but in five years time, that will also be the case.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. ManuOtaku

    Call me oldschool but i dont like the Cloud Gaming concept at all, for me is not the future of gaming, and i hope we dont reach it in the short and middle term, i like my consoles and physical games, for DLC,Arcade tittles i said ok, but not for full games.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. sebbie16

    Everywhere it is cloud this, cloud that… My questions is, what good is the cloud if you lose connection to the internet or do not have access to it?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    #3 well like is name you will be left in the clouds when that happens, hence the name 8D

    #4 4 years ago
  5. NightCrawler1970

    For them it saves Billions, all what they need is making a small PS X hub that have build in Wifi and LAN, to connect on Internet, everytime you boot that Box, it connect to what server, and from there you can play games..

    Everytime they have a update, you don’t have to click on “Agreed” or “disagreed” and press X button…. if you connect during an update, you will get a message, updating in progress please try later…

    Every game-safes, and other stuff will be on there server, not at the home box..

    The good thing…
    1) no more homebrew shit…
    2) no more trade ins in games, because it could be Digital downloads only…
    3) if you need more GB in space you pay Xtra depend what price it’s
    4) no refurb shits, by UPS, because the box contains nothing but a PCI card wifi & LAN…
    5) for the gaming company saving billions…
    No producing DVD or blue-rays, so the production cost will be avoided..
    6) Games gonna be cheaper see point 5, $10,- or $19,-, normaly a game cost $59,-, will be now $40,-
    7) No shipping and handling from manufacture to retail store..
    8) Pirating is completely over, because you select that game you want on that server, and will be installed right-away, no download require…* for consoles pirating games can be over, for PC i doubt it….

    #5 4 years ago
  6. IL DUCE

    Piracy will never die…I’m alright with cloud gaming but I don’t know if it will ever truly eliminate consoles, and beaming the mobile phone to the tv is retarded unless you’re doing a transfarring type thing like konami revealed from phone to console…if not, what are you going to use to play it? The phone?…consoles have been around forever no matter how much technology has advanced the past 30+ years so I don’t think they are going anywhere, no matter what form they come in…I’m comfortable playing my 360 with a controller on my big screen…but like he said its prob gonna be 10 yrs until this is a realistic possibility…

    #6 4 years ago
  7. NightCrawler1970

    @6, It willn’t eliminate consoles, maybe in the future(im talking about 20 to 30 years from now), consoles will die, only handheld devices will remain…

    The future of gaming is a Holodeck basically a square room, you select the game you want like Battle Field 55, you become the player, no motion sticks or kintech shit.. just you, you in control, you get shot, you will feel the shot(sting, or rumble)… you have to run a mile and a half, you will run ya ass off in real(holodeck)…

    Thats the future of gaming….

    #7 4 years ago
  8. ExOAte

    Totally unrelated but Carmack looks like Hutch LOL

    #8 4 years ago
  9. TheWulf



    1.) That’s a bad thing when you consider that it also cuts out mods. Mods have kept old games alive for years. Have you seen the absolutely amazing stuff that’s been done with Morrowind and Oblivion? I look away for a bit and there’s always so much new content, content that even matches anything that Bethesda has put out.

    I recently saw the ‘Deserts of Anequina’ for Oblivion, and my jaw dropped. That was absolutely stunning and beautiful, so many art assets and content all done by one person. How she managed it is beyond me, but once I’m done with replaying Morrowind (thanks to mods), I’ll be going back to Oblivion to check out the Deserts of Anequina.

    Consider that this is true not only of Elder Scrolls games but Fallout too. I remember console owners begging for a way to play the motorbike mod for Fallout 3 on a console.

    2.) Steam’s had that going for it for a while now without the negatives of your point #1.

    3.) Steam doesn’t charge you for bandwidth, either. You can redownload something as many times as you like.

    4.) If you build your own computer you can be guaranteed that none of the parts will be refurbished or garbage.

    5.) This already applies to digital distribution on the PC and Steam, Steam takes a far smaller chunk of money from developers than any publisher would, which is why you have people cutting out the middle-man and developing so many PC-only titles these days, a trend that seems to be growing. There was a fad with Live for a bit, but due to the many and myriad restrictions of Live and the time it takes to get a game up on Live, Steam is a far more attractive alternative. Indie Superstar Jon Blow (of Braid fame) who used to sing the praises of Live now pretty much dismisses the service and sings the praises of Steam instead. And you don’t even need Steam, many more people are going into self-publishing now and doing it right, thus keeping most or all their profits for themselves.

    6.) Steam sales. Of which there seem to be 50 a week, where a triple-A game can be picked up for under five of your American dollars.

    7.) Digital distribution on the PC already has that.

    It seems to me that all of your pro-cloud arguments actually apply to PC gaming today. About the only difference with the Cloud is that you wouldn’t have to buy PC hardware, but then at the same time you give up the right to run mods. So it’s tit-for-tat. It’s just up to someone to decide whether they want mods and the freedom to use their hardware however they want, or to get things for a little cheaper.

    But I can assure you that in the long run the PC is going to work out cheaper regardless, cloud gaming will never have sales like those of Steam, and Steam sales will pay off.

    So then it becomes a matter of whether you just want to pay a little now or a lot later, or a lot now and let that be paid off in discounts later, discounts that will continue for the life of the machine.

    I think that a lot of people will get what they want out of cloud gaming by buying a decent-ish gaming computer, something you can get fo £4-500 lately, that’ll play the latest games. And whilst, yes, that does sound like a lot off the bat, it pays off with Steam sales and games generally being so cheap. Grabbing something for £10 on the PC when it’s still £40-50 at retail for the consoles does pay off.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. albo88

    who says PC is a stable platform lies to himself not to me at last
    PC Gaming to day is an totality open market with no rules
    witch mean bad very bad business for publishers
    just look at Rockstar Games lately

    #10 4 years ago
  11. NightCrawler1970

    @9, i was a computer gamer since 1992, bought my first computer was a P200, half year later, a new mainboard came out, the MMX.. i already have a ATX case, so i bought the P200 MMX slightly faster that the P200, than 1 year later, Pentium 2 300 came out, so i bought another computer the P450 with monitor and with a brand new system… than i deside to add a 3Com 5/10 Coax/LAN HUB to play Lan games mostly i play N4S, and Command & Concure, games…bought 2 logitech steering wheels later on… spend every 6 month New GPX cards on both machines… than i sold the P300 for the P4 1.7Mhz computer… because the old GPX card doesn’t fit in the new P4, bought a AGP card for my new P4 computer…

    I spended total in 10 years over $20,000… i think a Console is allot cheaper :D

    In PC world is, what you buy today, is old tomorrow, there is always a new GPX card, and you want it… now you tell me how much cost a State of the art GPX card with 4 DVI slots SLI included?? i go for $1200,- smackaroos, even some cards have now HDMI slots to connect to ya big ass TV…

    I didn’t say that PC sucks, but it cost a whole lot more than any console what is on the market now…

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Lounds

    I want the Matrix now

    #12 4 years ago

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