Bruce Everiss, the veteran games industry marketer of BruceOnGames.com has asked the question: Is the Xbox 360 reaching the limits of its capabilities?
While he discuss how all consoles go through a similar development cycle, he makes an interesting point. The Xbox 360’s architecture has been pretty straightforward and easy to use from the word go. Not only that he talks about how good the development kits are as well.
With this in mind we can only assume that developers will be able to squeeze all that the console has to offer out a lot sooner than usual and actually peak way earlier.
Are we already seeing the best that the Xbox 360 has to offer?
Bruce quotes Rod Fergusson, the senior producer for Gears of War at Epic Games from his in depth interview with website Gamasutra, where he said that “â€¦with the two to three more years of optimization that we’ve had, we’re much further along than I think, three years ago, we thought we were going to get. So I think we’re certainly approaching the upper end of it, as far as what developers are able to do with it, but just looking at all the demos we saw today â€” ours and others â€” it’s clear that all the games just keep improving, and keep pushing that bar.â€
There is no doubt that the Gears of War games look absolutely stunning but it begs the question of whether or not we will see anything better ever released on the Xbox 360. While there are a lot of elements, such as artwork, that work towards the final presentation of a game we still have to wonder if we are already reaching the pinnacle of the 360’s graphic abilities.
The PS3 left developers struggling to squeeze all the power out of the Sony console at first but as time is going by they are most definitely starting to deliver mind-boggling visuals. Don’t believe me? Spend nothing more than 5 minutes with Metal Gear Solid 4 and you will be blown away. This makes you wonder how much more is still possible as developers learn new and interesting ways to utilise the PS3’s cell processors.
Both HD consoles still have quite a long life ahead of them and it’s going to be quite interesting to see if the 360 is capable of more than its current offerings and whether or not the PS3 is going to still forge ahead.
Bruce states that “Just like previous generations the absolute limit of capabilities is never reached, these systems are very complex and there is only so much time that can be put into wringing that last ounce of capability out of them. However it must be true that now the developers are nearly getting the most out of the 360 and that further improvements will be slower to come. It is the same in every platform cycle.”
If he is right then it will mean that the Xbox 360 will probably improve as time goes by, although the development will be a lot slower and less dramatic as what we have seen over the past two years.
Last Updated: September 4, 2008