Have we reached a graphical limit for console entertainment? Epic doesn't seem to think so - following comments made by VP Mark Rein earlier in the year, CEO Tim Sweeney has been heavily advocating the need for Microsoft and Sony to pursue cutting edge "raw performance".
"The thing that separates consoles from FarmVille
is the fact that consoles define the high-end gaming experience, Sweeney told Gamasutra
. "When you look for the best graphics available in the whole game industry today, you look at Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and those games are the best out there, bar none."
Despite the plaudits, though, he reckons that next generation consoles needs to bring a "dramatic increase" in computational power. "We measure that in floating-point operations per second, and now we talk about teraflops - trillions of floating-point operations per second.
"What we want is as many teraflops as is economically possible to deliver to consumers, because that enables us to create the best quality experience as possible, and that will drive people to buy a new machine."
But, Sweeney suggests that Microsoft and Sony must successfully persuade the public to buy into expensive new consoles. And games that show off that technology is the answer, according to the exec. Sounds like one hell of a balancing act. Are the manufacturers listening, though?