Mikami: Engines, middleware more important than hardware

By Brenna Hillier
31 July 2013 00:02 GMT

Graphics are essential to the evolution of horror games, genre master Shinji Mikami has said, but more powerful consoles aren’t the most important factor in improving them.

In an PlayStation 4-focused interview translated by Siliconera, Mikami shared his enthusiasm for the new hardware.

“The PlayStation 4’s resolution is very high, so the picture is gorgeous,” he said.

“In regards to lighting, the parts that were rather sketchy in the past, can now be done with much more detail, which I believe is a big part of the evolution.”

But although Mikami continued to wax lyrical about what the PS4 allows in terms of lighting and other effects vital to a horror atmosphere, he said it’s not the new console itself which makes the difference.

“Rather than the evolution of hardware, personally, I believe that the evolution of engines and tools are very important in the developmental area of today,” he said.

“The PlayStation 4’s evolution is impressive, and as a framework, it’s great. However, I believe we’re entering an era where it’s very important to have the tools and engines to properly keep up with the PlayStation 4 itself.”

The Evil Within is being built on a modified version of one of the most impressive and under-utilised engines of this generation: id Tech 5. Combined with the PS4 and Xbox One’s grunt, it’s a heady combination – but it takes the skill of Tango Gameworks to make use of it.

“In the end, it’s the ‘hand of people’ or craftsmen who create the ‘quality,’ and as the hardware evolves, the demand for the craftsmen’s environment and abilities increase that much more in today’s era, where I’d like for us to continue producing well,” Mikami added.

“The PlayStation 4’s new specs , such as the ‘detailed expressions,’ are a crucial part in creating an atmosphere. We’re doing our best in those regards, along with its overwhelming realism, so please look forward to it.”

The Evil Within is coming to PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014. Phil checked it out recently and seemed impressed by the return to old-school horror over action.

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