When Graphics Stop Improving

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

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PopRocks3591887d ago

Graphics will probably never stop improving. They continue to make all sorts of new concepts and engines for existing CGI animation software. So I imagine video games will keep developing for years and of course decades.

The point when graphics stop improving is when imagination or creativity is no longer a factor.

kneon1887d ago

There is a long while yet before graphics in video games will stop improving.

Once game systems and display technology reach the point where looking at your TV is indistinguishable from looking at the real world then we can consider it the end of the line for graphics improvements. But I don't expect to see that in my lifetime.

RetrospectRealm1887d ago

It'll probably end when they get to the point of taking a video/picture with a special camera, where you can then interact with said video/picture on the computer, then they'd gametize it.

Myze1887d ago

Have to look at Hollywood movies to see the pinnacle of computer graphics (Avatar, The Avengers, etc.). It will be MANY years before powerful supercomputers have the ability to render those type of graphics in real-time. Much less the most powerful home PCs, and even less, consoles. Then, you have to think about the fact that even that CG from the movies will be improved as years go on (for movies).

Ulf1887d ago (Edited 1887d ago )

"There is a long while yet before graphics in video games will stop improving. "

You have absolutely no basis for that statement, other than falsely believing that Moore's Law will continue on its course (which it won't). OTOH, anyone with any tech knowledge knows that semiconductor fab tech is darn near end-of-line, as far as advancement goes, and that the quality you get from a single movie frame is rendered over several hours, from and entire farm of machines.

No better gfx is a very, VERY real consideration for the future of gaming. Your statement about how you don't expect to see lifelike *real time* renderings in your lifetime are very true. You won't. No one here will.

kneon1886d ago


Yes the die shrink using current materials will soon reach it's limit, but that doesn't mean the end of the line for Moore's law.

There are other materials, processes and technologies that will continue to push performance forward. And some could potentially offer a dramatic jump.

While I don't believe any of Ray Kurzweil's overly optimistic predictions we still have a long way to go before performance improvements stop.

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BosSSyndrome1887d ago

I do think there is a point when resolution and graphical fidelity both reach a point when they're too similar to reality to improve. In that case we can still evolve the AI, physics, etc., but I don't think graphics can improve forever and I don't think they will for very much longer either.

PopRocks3591887d ago

Of course aspects like that can improve. But when talking about graphics, I'm mostly referring to visual representation. We can make things look as realistic and lifelike all we want, but why not take all of that further? That's why I think graphics are only limited by imagination.

madjedi1887d ago

@ulf No moores law is running out for silcon. which is why the industry is investing billions to find a replacement material/s.

So i guess quantum computers will never see the light of day.

jcnba281887d ago (Edited 1887d ago )

Not really. The naked eye can barely see beyond 1080p visuals so what is the point in improving the graphics?

Better graphics does not equal imagination and creativity.

New gameplay mechanics, story, music = imagination and creativity.

jmc88881886d ago (Edited 1886d ago )

People also forget that 1080p is not the end all be all, that the eye can distinguish hundreds of frames a second and notice hundreds more.

We have 4k coming out, 16k is on the horizon (and so on), you have holographic television coming at around the end of the decade (think Star Wars up from the table communications)...with that you have a new avenue with video gaming, you have Virtual reality headsets finally gaining traction, and we even have people like Microsoft finally fooling around with very early style Star Trek The Next Generation Holographic rooms.

....and it's not going to stop there people. Each of these aspects can be upgraded and all of it will require more power.

We have a tendency today (like most present thinkers in past times) that where we are is the pinnacle and we cannot get any better. Wrong.

If we as a human race stop trying to improve, we die...that's a fact. So push the limit on tech, on fusion, on space and don't believe the 'graphics won't get better' or 'we don't have the money'. Only small minded people that created and enslaved us with derivatives want you think that way. Sadly most don't care and will just follow those morons.

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Jagsrock1887d ago

Graphics as we know them might reach a threshold however the way we play will continue to evolve until finally the boundary between game and reality is blurred to the point where virtual reality becomes a real possibility. Virtual reality is the next step.

Heavenly King1887d ago

When gaming becomes VR, I will stop playing games.

Jagsrock1887d ago

why might I ask? Don't you want to be part of the action, to be able to do things you can't in the real world in an environment that still feels real. If we strive for realism and realistic graphics, becoming a part of the game and removing the barrier created by our tv screens seems like it should be the ultimate goal.

BitbyDeath1887d ago (Edited 1887d ago )

Don't know why anyone'd stop playing when VR arrives.

Imagine playing a game like Journey where you get to ski through deserts, fly over mountains and see amazing sights all in the one game.

jetlian1887d ago

why not go to the dunes? to many limitations on motion controls

BitbyDeath1887d ago

You can't fly in real life unless you have a jetpack. And goodluck getting one of them.

Intentions1887d ago

They will just keep adding textures and fine tuning everything =P

Oh and adding a shit load of polygons to models and other stuff =P

zeddy1887d ago

i would love a holodeck.

tweet751887d ago

when i got the ps3 i thought how could graphics get better and I still feel that way. Most ps4 games wont seem that much better because even with bigger processing you cant improve much.

madjedi1887d ago

We will see a huge improvement not just in the sense of going from a ps2-ps3 graphics wise.

You can take any current gen game and pick out all of the little flaws it has due to the machines limits and see how this upcoming gen improves on it.

Pop ins, load times, low res textures, stupid ai, fake physics ect.

Till we make the switch to 4k games we won't see a huge graphics leap, but that will likely be the ps5 or later. Likely whenever 4k tvs are reasonably priced.

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