From the developer that built Far Cry and Crysis, Cevat Yerli speaks out.
August 17, 2009 - Cevat Yerli, Crytek's president and co-founder, gave a talk on where graphics have come from and where they're going at GDC Europe. Following much the same format as last year, he traced the evolution of Crytek's engines, from Far Cry and the first CryEngine through to Crysis 2 and the CryEngine 3. While no video was shown of the in-development, multiplatform shooter and follow-up to the CryEngine 2 powered, PC-only Crysis, Yerli again affirmed he believed a new console cycle would arrive sometime around 2012.
Until then, he believes Crytek will be ready to power games with its CryEngine 3, which is claimed to be "next-gen ready," and which will likely stay very relevant until Crytek releases another engine specifically designed for that next generation of hardware. Until the graphical renaissance Yerli sees occurring around 2013, games will have to rely on art style and use of physics to distinguish themselves in the coming years instead of sheer graphical muscle.
He also touched on the criticism of Crysis that it required too powerful a machine to run when it was first released. In Yerli's view, he thinks it to be more valuable to have a game that actually looks better when you buy new hardware instead of looking as good as possible right when you purchase it, since then you can grow with your game. Ideally he'd want his the engine following CryEngine 3 to have 3 to 5 times the quality and quantity of output of Crysis, so that games look like the most recent Ice Age movie.
So will we see new consoles in 2012? Or do you think that's too soon? Yerli seemed to doubt for a second that there'd even be a next-generation at all at one point during his talk, and in an off-hand manner cited the Wii's sales dominance and relative lack of processing power, which raises an interesting point – might we really not see a generation of consoles in the next cycle that are really that far ahead of what's currently available, and might that be because of what Nintendo has been able to achieve with the Wii?
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