Tim Sweeney is the founder of Epic Games, and when he talks about the future of video games, it's probably worth listening, considering the fact it's his job to anticipate the trends. When Gamasutra asked him what he'd like to see from the next generation of consoles his answer was relatively simple — more power and a more open platform.
Oh, and he also wants more integration with social media.
"There are great games with Facebook integration that enable you to hook up to social network sites and find your friends in there," he said. "To be able to do that from next generation games and consoles will be really valuable.
"To be able to go and easily buy and download games like we do in the iOS App Store on future consoles will be incredibly valuable to us as developers, and make it that much easier to get our games out without over-reliance on manufacturing a whole bunch of pieces of spinning plastic to ship to consumers."
But the power of consoles and their ability to provide a definitive high-end gaming experience must not be sacrificed.
"The thing that separates consoles from FarmVille is the fact that consoles define the high-end gaming experience," claimed Sweeney. "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. And so the big opportunities for future consoles is to bring that to an entirely new level by delivering a dramatic increase in raw computing 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. That's a big challenge with a new console — that you reset your install base from millions and millions of what you have today with current consoles back to zero. Then you have to convince everybody to buy the new hardware.
"To do that you need awesome games that provide a level of graphical fidelity that people have just not seen or even imagined previously."
The entire interview is a pretty insightful one, and well worth reading, head over to Gamasutra to read it in full.
The Future According to Epic's Tim Sweeney [Gamasutra]