Id Software's John Carmack, who likely has already seen and fondled the next-generation console offerings from Microsoft and Sony, recently said via Twitter that a lot of the games running on these consoles will still target 30 frames per second instead of shooting for twice that amount.
This isn't the first time he's made the 30fps claim. Earlier this year, a fan told John Carmack that the human eye can't see more than 24Hz, the current frame rate directors use to shoot movies – except for Peter Jackson who just raised the bar with the just-released The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, filmed at 48Hz.
Carmack disagreed with the fan's "humans don't see more than 24Hz" statement, saying that it is "wrong on many levels". He then went on to explain that games running on next-generation consoles will likely continue to support only 30Hz/30fps games despite all the horses powering the hardware.
"There will still be lots of 30hz games, which I don’t think it is a good trade," he said. "If TVs didn’t add lag, it would be more clear cut." Now seven months later, Carmack still hasn't changed his tune.
There's a good chance many developers may stick to 30fps just so that more content can be packed into each frame. Epic Games is a good example of that which stuck to 30fps with Gears of War 3. "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."
For Gears of War 3, lowering the framerate meant adding multi-layered shadows, wind and particle effects, and levels that changed in real time. Sure, the next-generation hardware will be beefier and likely capable of 60fps, but sticking with 30fps may simply become a choice similar to what Epic Games made.
Currently the next Xbox is slated to make an appearance during E3 2013 in June, and a retail release sometime before Christmas 2013. The PlayStation 4 may also make an appearance next summer just so that Sony's PlayStation brand isn't left behind in the dust.