What John Carmack Thinks Of PS4 (And PS1, Sega Saturn And N64)

In 2012, id's John Carmack wasn't terribly excited about what the next generation of consoles would offer. Even so, with the recent unveiling of the PS4, Carmack wasn't shy about offering his assessment of Sony's planned hardware.

"I can't speak freely..." suggests id has a development kit (or at least has documentation and is under NDA), which isn't unusual given the company's position in the industry. id made its name on x86, so for Carmack, coding for the PS4 will be like putting on a pair of old boots... except those boots are extremely spacious and have little nitro-boosters on the sides.

Carmack also commented on multi-core, providing a much need dose of reality for those fixated on the PS4's eight-core chip:

Much like the transition from single-core to dual-core and now dual-core to quad, the average game or application isn't exactly thirsty for additional parallelism. If that's the case, you're better off with four, faster cores than eight slower ones.

As with the gamble Sony took with the PS3's Cell processor, it's clear the company is planning ahead — five years, at least — and if the performance trade-off for the added silicon is 25 per cent, rather than 50 per cent, then eight is indeed "wise".

Carmack also responded to a question regarding the original PlayStation, providing us with this Twitter gem:

("SGI" refers to Silicon Graphics, the company responsible for the N64's Reality chip.)

I'm sure PS1 and Saturn fanboys would be rejoicing... if they'd had this ammunition 15-20 years ago. I suppose you could always get the T-shirt...

[Twitter, via CVG]

T-shirt template: JohnRinkenberg/Vecteezy.com


    "coding for the PS4 will be like putting on a pair of old boots"

    Seeming that rage wasn't even tested and didn't work for a large percent on PC....

      Still a great shooter IMO. And the texture drawn-in is actually a lot quicker than what I've seen in many Unreal3 games. Though that was never worth a mention a the time...

      I'm sure ID Tech 6 will fix all those PC problems though :) (I can't comment on PC version as I played the game on 360)

      Keeping in mind Bob, I'm sure PC's aren't the easiest to code for as devs aren't dealing with a standard platform (hardware wise).
      If we're going to see hardware closer to whats in a PC in the next gen consoles, I can only hope that PC ports are going to improve dramatically.

      But Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, etc worked pretty darn well. ;)

    Here's what Cam 'McBeard' Shea thinks of the PlayStation 4 ;)

    "Saturn was nuts" I don't think that was a compliment, wasn't Saturn fairly difficult when it came to 3D graphics?

      "Nuts" is somewhat ambiguous -- he could have meant "the nuts" (though I think that's unlikely). I read it as "it was nuts what you could do with it", but I'm not familiar with the development side of the console so could be wrong, definitely.

      If it is in the negative, you could still don the T to annoy your Sega-loving mates. ;)

        Saturn was so far ahead of its time, I remember reading about the specs of it, and with virtua fighter and daytona..... IT GAVE US 3D not the playstation, the playstation was built to try and be like the saturn and virtua fighter and thus crash bandicoot was born

        Last edited 24/02/13 2:57 pm

          it's always been my understanding that the Saturn was built primarily to be an awesome 2D machine which is why it's architecture was so complex for it's time because they realised they needed 3D to compete with Sony, could be way off though!

            Yes, this is what i heard back in the day, that the Saturn was built for 2D (staggering when you consider what Sega was doing in the arcades at the time)

        Or that it was just plain crazy. I mean, quadrilateral instead of triangle polygons? That's the realm of the Mad Deities of Graphichalla there.

        the saturn was well known to be a pain in the arse to develop for due to its wacky multi-core hardware... so he definitely didn't mean it as a compliment and this is one of the reasons it didn't get that much support

    Sounds like a lot of devs are on board with the choices Sony made for the PS4.

      That's not surprising, really. From a developer perspective, the PS3 was a pain in the arse to code for and the vastly different architecture between it and the machines you actually do the development work on (ie. PCs) and other consoles like the X360 made porting and cross-platform development a nightmare, and PS3 ended up being the odd one out in terms of ease of code portability. The move to x86 architecture brings it in line with both the development platform and the competition, which is a great thing for developers wanting to get their game out to as many gamers as possible.

    I will still take one of those t-shirts

    "Saturn was nuts" is refering to the twin cpu's, seperate 2D graphics chip and seperate 3D accelerator, this was in 1994 when duel core cpu's were unheard of and no consumer equipment had dual processors exept for high-end pentium pro servers and super computers.
    To make good looking games on Saturn required juggling at least 4 processors.

      It was a 2D dream machine really :)

    Maybe that's why id hasn't revealed anything about Doom 4, they couldn't because its coming on next gen consoles.

    PS. sarcasm.

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