"Every five years or so (although this console cycle will be longer) a new, more powerful crop of consoles hits the market. The Wii was an exception, but in most cases the new hardware brings a pretty tangible leap in visuals from the previous generation. On the technological side, graphics firms like Nvidia and ATI are pushing their engineers to create even more robust GPUs to power PCs and consoles alike. This is all being pursued not just for the sake of "technological progress," but also to get ever closer to that oft stated goal in the game industry of 100% realistic, lifelike graphics. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney recently said that he thinks it'll be at least 10-15 years before that's achievable.
While the advancements in technology are all well and good, and we certainly love beautiful graphics in games, should the game industry really view ultra realism as the ultimate goal? We're beginning to wonder if this is truly the right direction for the industry. There are numerous problems with the "make everything realistic" mindset. We take a look at several of them on the following pages."