Epic Games, the folks behind Gears of War, know a lot about how games are made now. So there's a good chance Epic has a good handle on the future.
The company's Unreal Engine 3 powers a good chunk of this generation's titles. The ensuing generations are likely to have photorealism — and Epic's Tim Sweeney thinks that'll be de facto in 10 to 15 years.
"We're only about a factor of a thousand off from achieving all that in real-time without sacrifices," says Sweeney. "So we'll certainly see that happen in our lifetimes; it's just a result of Moore's Law. Probably 10-15 years for that stuff, which isn't far at all."
Over at industry site Gamasutra, Sweeney goes into great detail about graphic realism and reproducing the nuances of human behaviour.