Levine: Current hardware still has a “tonne of juice”

Monday, 7th November 2011 04:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

BioShock creator Ken Levine has said he doesn’t feel the need for new hardware yet.

“It’s clear there’s still a fair bit of juice left in these machines,” the Irrational Games boss told PlayStation Plus UK bonus feature Access.

“From a gameplay standpoint absolutely there’s a tonne of juice left in them. I as a gamer am not aching for the new machines yet.”

Levine gave a few examples of current genertaion games which still have the power to impress him.

“You look at Arkham City, Uncharted and Gears of War and you’re starting to see that these games don’t look old to me. They look very current.

“I was playing Batman the other day and he’s flying over this huge city, the snow is landing on the wings of his cape and you can see it hitting and melting. They still retain the power to visually amaze me.”

Levine admitted that it’s “challenging” to pull more and more from ageing hardware, but said BioShock: Infinite does so, using a “totally new engine built on top of Unreal Engine”, complete with new lighting and AI systems, among other improvements.

“I honestly don’t know how they do what do. It’s pretty amazing. They’re still able to drag a lot of juice out of these machines; lots of things left to explore.”

BioShock: Infinite, due on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012.




  1. TD_Monstrous69

    I agree with him, but I can’t help but think about it though as the years and days go by. Also, I kinda can’t help but think that next year (2012) might be when both the PS3 and Xbox 360 look to have reached their peak, and everything made after it will be technically-prowesed swang songs for the 2 consoles. Though maybe I just might be a little pesimistic.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Clupula

    I still think the PS3 probably has another 3 or 4 years left in it before it starts dying down. The PS2 didn’t hit its peak until the PS3 was released. I see the same thing happening here.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Jerykk

    The current generation of consoles is still capable of producing good-looking games but you can bet your ass that developers would love to have more memory. Working with 512MB total is painful and devs spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make sure that their games don’t run out of memory. Trying to maintain a constant 30 FPS is equally problematic. There’s only so much you can do with 5-year-old hardware and it’s becoming all too apparent when you compare PC games to console games.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Good looking games? Oh yeah. I just finished yesterday Uncharted 3.

    Frame drops are all over the place and it’s the same looking game like in 2009. I’m sorry. There is ZERO juice left in 512 mb ram and 7800 geforce console.

    This is possible today:

    and it’s not even Unreal Engine 4. My PC could run this demo without a problem.

    “I still think the PS3 probably has another 3 or 4 years left in it”

    LOLWUT? PS3 is done since 2009.
    I’m sorry, today is 2011 we are at the Direct X11 age with OpenGL 4.1.
    PS3 or 360 juice is over. consoles are toys now at best. Smartphones next year will have the same power as these two consoles.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Edo

    #4 Cool story bro.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. viralshag

    I agree with him. I don’t think the consoles are in their death beds yet, at least another year or two of good gaming to be had on both platforms.

    The PC might be ahead technically but for all that beauty, what is there that’s so far and ahead of everything else? Rage was supposed to be a technical marvel and that was pretty lame. BF3 undoubtedly does look superb on the PC but it’s not without its flaws and you can for the most part still have a similar experience on the consoles.

    Again, Skyrim will hopefully look much better on the PC but primarily, the experience will remain largely the same. Until something revolutionary comes out on the PC, what does it really matter?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    @6: I doubt that. From what i heard Bethesda said they got more comfortable with working on 360 and PS3. Don’t think they put any extra work into it.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. viralshag

    @7, that would be a shame. As long as I can use a pad at least I have saved a bit of money at least.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. GrimRita

    Its well and good to state that consoles still have more juice, but the problem for developers is, that for a variety of reasons they arent getting the best out of this ‘extra’ juice.

    The PS3 is far superior to the 360 but is simply too costly to exploit so developers are left with porting an average 360 experience to the PS3 and PC.

    It’s all well and good publishers/developers crying out for next gen when they cant even afford to work with current gen properly.

    #9 3 years ago

    Next gen isn’t due until 2013 anyway, so you’ve still got loads of time to drink todays juice before it goes sour, Ken.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Gadzooks!

    PS3 has hit the ceiling. Games are not getting any better tech-wise on it.

    360 games are still getting better though. Games like Gears 3 and Forza 4 look amazing and there is still the option for MS to allow direct-to-hardware development to fully tap the available power. It’s a far more capable machine and hasnt had the intense tech focus from devs as the PS3, which takes insane amounts of effort to get close to 360 visual quality.

    360 development from 3rd parties has been hampered by having to devote so much budget on getting PS3 code to near parity.

    If that money were not squandered on a lesser platform then we would see the 360′s potential sooner. The best is still to come though.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. absolutezero

    There might be more juice left in them right enough but look at the hoops that customers are starting to be asked to jump through it order to get them to work correctly.

    Battlefield 3 and Rage texture installs on the Xbox might just be the start.

    My own opinion is that I would prefer higher resolutions to take advantage of the amazing TVs we have available now and a solid 60 FPS. So consoles could indeed stay at the same quality levels of graphical fidelity but up all the things that get taken forgranted, which would lead to a much nicer experience.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. IL DUCE

    @5 I second that…lol

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    @6 No more than a year or two though.

    I tried playing some less-than-64 player BF3 yesterday by accident, and it really wasn’t any fun. The whole appeal of that game is in making the multiplayer matches feel alive and chaotic. With 32 players it just felt empty.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. mightyhokie

    @4 no doubt you know more about the subject than Ken Levine. Umm…what was the name of your game again? You know, the one you developed?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. viralshag

    @14, To be honest, I’m rarely joining the 32+ matches. I actually find 32 on most maps to be just right. It’s a little empty on maps such a Caspian but Metro, Seine and Damavand are probably my favourite and I think more than about 40 is too much.

    But yeah, two years at a max. Right now, probably until about mid next year, I don’t think we will see anything mind blowing on the PC. There is some great looking games, but nothing that’s really pushing the envelope in my opinion.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. fearmonkey

    Before seeing this article, I just watched a Arkham City PC vs consoles video, and while the console version looks good, the GTX with physx and Dx11 looks much better.
    Consoles can still produce a nice looking game, but when a game really takes advantage of a GTX480 or better card, it kills the console version.
    After you have played a high end PC game, the consoles just don’t look near as good.

    @9 “The PS3 is far superior to the 360″ – I don’t get why people still believe this….. The difference is minimal…. The theoretical performance increase that people talk about is something we will probably never see. Some games might look better on PS3 due to coding.
    If you actually read up on the GPU’s on the consoles, the 360 has the better GPU, plus it’s memory isnt halved, textures look better. If you don’t believe me, google xbox vs PS3 on a lot of games, the textures on the 360 look better. The Cell on the PS3 is the better CPU, but for most games its the GPU that matters. I’m no fanboy, its just the facts.

    #17 3 years ago

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