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

Thursday, 16 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.