Carmack: In five years, PC will be ten times as powerful

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Speaking about the future of gaming at a recent Nvidia event, tech guru John Carmack has predicted that PC gaming technology will grow in leaps and bounds over the next five years, leaving consoles eating dust. This, of course, is not really news – and is really just Moore’s Law. Carmack’s predictions are interesting nonetheless.

While it’s difficult to predict how far computing will advance in 30 years, “because we can’t wrap your head around these six or eight orders of magnitude” of advancement, he is able to look at least 5 years in to the future.

“Five years ahead, yeah, we can probably make credible comments about that. You’ll still be able to buy Xbox One or PS4 new five years from now – unquestionably. There will be tons of content developed for that,” he said.

“We’ll have 4K resolution displays on tablets and HMDs, and we’ll have another order of magnitude pretty straightforward on there with Moore’s law. GPUs are great at turning transistors into performance and we’ll have ten times the performance. It means that you can probably run that triple 4K display at double the frame-rate from one GPU. That starts looking pretty impressive.”

Triple 4K in five years? That makes next-gen consoles’ sub 1080p sound even decidedly unimpressive. Microsoft and Sony both think this next generation will be a long one, but I’m not so sure. Where consoles usually launch and are visually more impressive than the average PC, that’s different this time around. Right out of the gate the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don;t seem able to match the performance you’d get out of a mid-level PC.

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Read the entire 6 page transcript with John Carmack, Tim Sweeney and Johan Andersson at Eurogamer.

Last Updated: November 11, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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