John Carmack Gives PlayStation 4 a Thumbs Up

While legendary id Software developer John Carmack didn't do somersaults or buy the entire PlayStation 4 team a round of drinks (at least not that we know of), he gave a virtual thumbs up on Twitter after the console was revealed Wednesday night. This is a good thing for Sony given Carmack wasn't quite so thrilled with the previous Cell-based PlayStation 3.

"I can't speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices," he said Friday morning via Twitter.

Carmack said last year that he wasn't particularly excited about the next-generation console hardware. He predicted that Sony and Microsoft will fight over gigaflops and teraflops and more, but in the end, their efforts won't make a difference. Bringing a new gaming experience will be the answer as Nintendo proved with the launch of its Wii console. Both Sony and Microsoft tried to mimic Nintendo's success, but both technologies felt somewhat "tacked on" compared to the Wii's native motion-sensing experience.

"In many ways, I am not all that excited about the next generation," he said. "It will let us do everything we want to do now, with the knobs turned up. Take a current game like Halo which is a 30 Hz game at 720p. If you run that at 1080p, 60 frames with high dynamic frame buffers, all of a sudden you've sucked up all the power you have in the next-generation. It will be what we already have, but a lot better. You will be able to redesign with a focus on DirectX 11, but it will not really change anyone's world."

Back in December, he predicted that the next-generation consoles will still target 30 frames per second instead of shooting for twice that amount. Carmack seemingly backed up a comment made by DICE rendering architect Johan Andersson who defended the studio's decision to lock Battlefield 3 at 30fps. He said that "huge levels, lots of players, great effects, destruction, vehicles and varied gameplay is more important than 1080p."

Even Epic Games chose to leave Gears of War 3 at 30fps despite being able to push the framerate further. "Our target is, and shall remain, 30fps," former Epic superstar Cliff Bleszinski said in an interview. "When asked about 60 we always respond that we'd rather have the extra juice to put more on screen and stick with 30."

But that was a "generation" ago. Will developers be more inclined to push tons of content and visual effects at 60fps on the new hardware sets? In the case of Sony, it seems the company has made the right hardware decisions with the PlayStation 4, a far different story than what was heard and seen from developers who struggled with the PlayStation 3's heterogeneous multi-core Cell processor and toolset.

  • feeblepenguin
    Breaking news! John Carmack Gives PlayStation 4 a Thumbs Up!
    Then the article is only semi related and seems to push that it will only be the same. But better.
    Then it ends on a questioning note.
    Dear tom, write better titles!
  • wannabepro
    I'd rather sucky titles than none at all.

  • supr
    has carmack even done anything worthwhile in the last 10 years?
  • bison88
    Got to give it to Sony. As crappy as the people were presenting the PS4 news during a 2 hour presentation, their direction is actually sucking this Microsoft fanboy in. Either way it'll be a difficult choice for anyone to choose between this generation of consoles. Console specific titles will nail people to the wall. On the plus side it seems as though consoles are going to a near-PC specs which not only may lead to much better ports, but a return of PC Gaming.

    It's a great year to be a gamer.
  • s997863
    "wise engineering choices" = bribing for good PR?
  • therabiddeer
    suprhas carmack even done anything worthwhile in the last 10 years?He has a hand in most every technological innovation for gaming. Maybe not necessarily in the creation, but certainly in other aspects. He is a really brilliant guy, watch this keynote (long, but oddly interesting the whole way through) from quakecon
    He is a genius that is actually innovating.
  • hajila
    John Carmack kicked my butt and everyone else on my team on Doom 2 back in the BBS days. He needs nothing else to earn my respect.
  • b4gg
    John carmack is the triple A dev/ engine dev equivalent of what Jonathan blow is in the indie games scene.
    A lot of people may have bad things to say such as arrogance or over rated but the mans mind is one that is truly unmatched in his industry... he builds space rockets for fun and takes on reinventing vr for a laugh... he is truly a god among men (in his industry)
    We need more people like him with a critical mind but a very open way of thinking, how many other companies open source there shit when they release their new engine?
  • aggroboy
    suprhas carmack even done anything worthwhile in the last 10 years?AAA title Rage, multitexture technology, rejuvenated VR technology, Armadillo Aerospace, father, etc
  • Quadacon
    I'm going to stick with Xbox