Whilst speaking to VideoGamer.com, CEO of Crytek Cevat Yerli, has been quoted on saying that the rising price of components for the next iteration of the Xbox will make it “impossible” for the next generation of gaming consoles “to have the same kind of impact on the console business” when compared to the previous generations.
When further probed on the matter, Cevat continued to comment on the future of Microsoft, Sony and the Developers, “As a person who likes to drive technology-meets-game design as art, you can never have enough memory. Ever. Simple as that,” Yerli told us. “Memory is the single most important thing that is always going to be underbalanced – I’ve never seen a console where the memory was the right balance.
“Xbox 360, underbalanced. PlayStation 3, underbalanced. Simply because memory is the most expensive part, hence I wish there would be cheaper ways of doing memory so that memory doesn’t become an issue anymore.
“If they find ways to cheapen the cost to a degree they could triple or quadruple their memory. Just say, ‘Hey we’re going to have 32 gigs of memory’. That would be quite amazing because memory can do so many more techniques and tricks.”
He also made a comment about where he sees the future of the industry turning when it comes to what our games will feature. “The focus of next-gen is in a different area”, he said this in regards to being questioned about whether or not graphical fidelity will impact the next generation. This may well be a wise statement, especially given that “The Walking Dead” took the game of the year award.
“The current generation consoles, when they launched, were far ahead compared to PC,” Yerli continued. “But PC has caught up. With current generation consoles and what’s on the horizon – new ones – due to the fact that the cost of CPU and memory are so much more expensive than they were in the past, it is simply impossible to have the same kind of impact on the console business; to be so far ahead of PC.” “That was our guess already two years ago. That’s why we said back then that Crysis 3 is next-gen ready already. We did that without knowing the specs, but it’s not going to be much more than what we have done so far. And it turns out we were pretty much right. But the focus of next-gen is in a different area.”
When asked about his next entry into the market he said that Cryteks next title will use every single piece of available power in the current generation of consoles, going so far as to say that “not even 1%” was left unused. Supposedly maxing out the system. Could this be comparable to the original PC trial by fire which spawned the famous saying, “can it run Crysis?”
But with all this considered, it raises some concerns amongst my peers and me. After the tragedy that hit Japan earlier in the year, the price for basic computer components shot through the rough for a while. An estimated 50% increase on the price of hard drives is a prime example of this. Because so much was damaged at the time of the flooding, the only logical business move was to increase prices. Since then, there have been numerous more earthquakes and floods in the region, and this may well have a long term effect on the price of component parts. On top of that, if these components go up in price so much that buyers would rather shop somewhere else, it is entirely possible that we could end up with an inferior product. And if this is the case, it may well turn into that all to familiar situation wherein consoles are rushed out before being quality checked extensively resulting in the infamous “red ring of death” and “yellow dot of doom”.
So perhaps it’s not a good idea to max out the system at the minute. It’s an impressive feat to be sure, but it may turn out to be a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very interested in seeing what a fully maximised console title would look like, and I definitely plan on buying it to find out. But I just think that for now, we should run games at the industry standard, because as soon as we reach the consoles limits the fans will instantly want more and bigger, better titles that the system can’t deliver. Who knows? Perhaps this is just hyperbole on my part, but to me it’s a very real concern that may prove to be justified.