Next gen graphics: the next level of gaming

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I often find myself thinking of what the ultimate graphics would look like in video games. Would it be like playing a movie in real time? Or maybe, just maybe we’d like to still feel like we’re playing a game instead of watching a film?

I stumbled across a video uploaded early this year demonstrating human skin simulation and realised that a new era of graphics is not very far away. Even though we’ve seen videos that have demonstrated the same promise, it always feels somewhat like a dream. Like it won’t materialise very soon. The description of this video states that the footage is real time video running one GTX 580. I’m currently running a GTX 560 Ti and can’t even begin to imagine what it would look like running this on my PC. I’d probably have to upgrade just about everything else in my PC to get decent frames.

The other question that remains is who will get us to the next level of gaming first? I remember watching a cinematic by Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain developers and the graphics quality of Heavy Rain. Could it be that even though console hardware get’s updated every couple of years instead of every couple of months like PC’s that the next gen PlayStation or Xbox would beat PC to it?

Have we almost reached the end of the line with PC hardware? How many years before CPU’s can only go so far? What does the new Unreal Engine have to offer us that could boost our gaming experience to even better graphics? The Unreal Engine 4 so far demonstrates what looks like a great cinematic, but is it very likely that our actual gameplay could feel more real than simulation. Looking at the video games of today some would thing that we’ve come light-years, and in certain ways we have, but in perspective to the ultimate would be goal, it appears that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what potential there is in our medium.

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Whether it’s human simulation or the creation of a whole new world and species, how much “real” do we actually want? Some prefer a more art like style, like Kingdoms of Amalur and Final Fantasy, personally I find it mesmerising but can’t help to think what it would have looked like in a more cinematic art style. I wouldn’t want to feel like I was in a movie, with everything looking exactly like our real world.

What are your thoughts on next gen graphics? What would you like it to look like and what platform do you think will get us there first?

Last Updated: October 24, 2012

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