Carmack: “So much you can still do” with PS3, Xbox 360

Wednesday, 11th December 2013 03:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Id Software founder turned Oculus Rift CTO John Carmack is concerned that the rush to embrace new generation hardware has left the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360′s potential wasted.

Speaking with Wired, Carmack said he still “struggles” with the decision to make games for new systems or continue exploring the potential of odler hardware.

“There’s so much you can still do on the previous console generation. The 360 and PS3 are far from tapped out in terms of what a developer could do with them, but the whole world’s gonna move over towards next-gen and high-end PCs and all these other things,” he said.

“Part of me still frets a little bit about that, where just as you fully understand a previous generation, you have to put it away to kind of surf forward on the tidal wave of technology that’s always moving.”

But the tech guru also acknowledged that this concern has been raised every generation, and that he now recognises some of his reluctance as a soon-to-be nostalgic fondness for hardware he’s already comfortable with.

“Data has shown over the decades that that’s usually not as important as you think it is,” he said.

“Although I keep making new arguments where now we can say that we’re past the knee of the cost-benefit curve in terms of what we get with graphics, and people are saying that with the next-gen consoles, that okay, they look better but they don’t look nearly as much better as the previous generation. So does that mean people will stay happier with the current things? And I could make that argument with a straight face and play for it, but it’s probably going to be wrong,” he added.



  1. shogunknight

    It took him about eight years to finally realise this? Oh Well

    #1 1 year ago
  2. lookingglass

    There is certainly a huge cost associated with moving a giant game studio from one generation to the next. New hardware, new specs, new engines, it all costs quite a bit to develope and learn.

    That said, the purely PC architecture of the new generation is going to flatten costs more quickly than previous generations. The unique hardware of consoles past led to continual improvement over the course of their lives.

    The potential of the new hardware is going to be tapped relatively soon this time around. The engines and tech developed in the first two years will likely last the entire generation.

    All that remains true until streaming tech gets thrown into the mix of course. The Xbox One will be particularly interesting (and costly) around the five year mark if they seriously want to push cloud computing.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Erthazus

    No thanks. I don’t want another pre HD era with 15 frames per second with no AA and shitty distance view. I’ve had enough of this for 8 years on consoles.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. manamana

    ^ you are so predictable.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Erthazus

    ^ Yeah. I am. Because I want to play good games in good quality.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Joe Musashi

    No you want good graphics to inflate your epeen, irrespective of quality.

    Ulp! Someone’s challenged you on something. Better lash out and call them an idiot and rant a bit. Maybe post a doctored image with high JPEG compression artifacts to ‘prove’ something or other.


    #6 1 year ago

    He’s right.

    Stupid thing is that pretty much every single thing that you can “do” on next gen, you can still “do” on PS360.

    A measly upgrade, indeed.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Belmont


    So, You mean we can have something like KZ:SF on PS3?

    John Carmack is simply,Wrong !

    #8 1 year ago
  9. debug

    Being this anally injured because someone mentioned X360/PS3.
    Come on!

    #9 1 year ago
  10. POOhead

    guys talking shit, if he was right then rage wouldnt be a piece of shit game with horrible frame rates

    #10 1 year ago
  11. FlyBoogy

    Wasn’t he the one begging for new consoles and more RAM at QuakeCon?

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Junior

    I will agree with Erthazus on this one. I have always played on console, PS specifically, and it annoyed the hell out of me seeing frames drop, horrible looking games (took a long time for the ps3 to get where it is) and things poping up as you approached them. Another thing i hated is that when a person ran in game, it felt like it was running past the buildings at 100 miles an hour.

    I got the ps4. Just seeing a bigger world with smooth framerate made me happy. Also, the much faster UI and better social features made it a lot better.

    The article is right though, all indie games and some of the bigger games can still be made on ps3/xbox360 with good graphics and net a nice profit.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Panthro


    If you want to play games like KZ:SF then all you must really care about is graphics, because that’s all it is.

    A lifeless, drawn out tech demo just like the rest of the exclusive launch titles.

    They should have put more work into story centered games with interesting plots and characters instead of making things all shiny for the graphics whores.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @13 it’s no materpiece (especially in its latter half) but calling it a tech demo is really overstretching.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. lexph3re

    Panthro are you just repeating what angry Joe said? Sounds a lot like what angry joe said.

    Personally I think shadowfall shows a great future for games on ps4.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Dirk

    I’m fine with console games but get fed up with tiny levels, narrow FOV and limited gameplay that comes with using such old hardware. The graphics are still decent with the “old gen” but the lack of memory causes a lot problems.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Erthazus

    KZSF is possible on current gen. In fact I think it was developed for current gen at some point and was ported to next gen later.
    there are a lof of things that are possible on current gen with that game.

    @Joe Musashi, “No you want good graphics to inflate your epeen, irrespective of quality.”

    I want good graphics and good quality of my favourite games because I want to experience a game that is smooth and without jaggies. Are you stupid to not understand that? So far that’s the reality.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Gheritt White

    To be honest, I was ready for a graphical uplift too… however I really do have to say that I don’t think GFX *need* to look better than what’s available on PS4. Looking at The Order: 1886, it does everything a movie or TV show can in terms of conveying character emotion and that, for me, was all that was necessary in the first place.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. dexfx69

    Carmack is a dinosaur. Loved him in the 90s though when he was a passionate young visionary surviving on Coke and chocolate bars til the sunrise at his PC, creating the future of graphics.

    #19 1 year ago

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