bit-gamer.net

id Software wants longer console lifetimes

id Software wants longer console lifetimes

'Stability on consoles is good,' said id Software's Tim Willits at E3 2011.

The creative director for id Software, Tim Willits, has commented at E3 2010 that he'd be happy to see current consoles enjoy a longer lifetime, as next generation consoles would only prove to be disruptive for developers.

'Stability in the consoles is good,' Willits told Eurogamer, who says it lets developers focus on making better games rather than chasing polygons.

'If they want to stack another year or two on this generation I'd be more than happy. I know somebody is working on it somewhere but I don't want to hear about it,' he continued.

'[Stability] allows us to focus on the game. You get a technology locked down then you can focus on the design. If you spend too long working on the tech it's so much more difficult. When you know what the platform does you can focus on what is fun.'

Willits did point out, however, that id Software's latest id Tech 5 engine has been designed to carry easily over to the next generation.

You can check out the trailer for id Software's next game, Rage, below. It'll be released on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 later this year. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

You can check out other news from the show via our E3 2011 News hub.

23 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Tangster 9th June 2011, 12:40 Quote
But...id haven't made a decent game in years.
cjoyce1980 9th June 2011, 12:42 Quote
If thats the case then the next round of consoles will need to be loaded with lots of RAM to help extend the lifespan, as the most common complain from most devs seems to be the lack of RAM
Spuzzell 9th June 2011, 12:48 Quote
Its taken you 6 years to "focus on making" what looks to be dumbed down Borderlands with zombies, id.

I'm not sure the breakneck pace of console development (really? I mean, REALLY?) is what's stopping you being creative.
jrs77 9th June 2011, 12:55 Quote
Let's see... Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft (the current console-brands) have and had lifecycles of some six years. If this isn't going to change, then I don't really see a problem there, as six years is a very long lifespan for electronics these days.

I see more a problem on the developers side, who simply aren't that good at developing games. It takes them way too long because they focus too much on graphics. Graphics aren't that important tho, but we want fun to play, innovative and interesting games.
Mentai 9th June 2011, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
If thats the case then the next round of consoles will need to be loaded with lots of RAM to help extend the lifespan, as the most common complain from most devs seems to be the lack of RAM

They apparently cut ram out of the Vita to keep the price the same as the 3DS. Usually I would think that wouldn't matter, since handhelds never used to have direct competition with an upgradable system (e.g. PC) outdoing it, but now they have upgraded SKU's on iPhones most years...

I expect cell phone games to start surpassing some Vita games graphically in a few years. Man that feels weird to say.

On topic, I agree with Spuzzell. Rage should have been out 2 years ago when I might have cared. Now their tech isn't even impressive (see Battlefield 3).
Sensei 9th June 2011, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentai

On topic, I agree with Spuzzell. Rage should have been out 2 years ago when I might have cared. Now their tech isn't even impressive (see Battlefield 3).

Yep, would have to agree
Ipatinga 9th June 2011, 14:25 Quote
Yeah... lets keep consoles for decades... freaking old hardware like now...

Stop bitching and start to release games faster (or at least don´t take a century to release one).
Narishma 9th June 2011, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentai
They apparently cut ram out of the Vita to keep the price the same as the 3DS. Usually I would think that wouldn't matter, since handhelds never used to have direct competition with an upgradable system (e.g. PC) outdoing it, but now they have upgraded SKU's on iPhones most years...

That's just a rumour that was debunked a while ago by Sony.
jrs77 9th June 2011, 14:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ipatinga
Yeah... lets keep consoles for decades... freaking old hardware like now...

Stop bitching and start to release games faster (or at least don´t take a century to release one).

The hardware of current consoles is actually fast enough for games. They just need to release good games instead of only pushing graphics.

I can't say it often enough, but gameplay > graphics !
azazel1024 9th June 2011, 15:00 Quote
By that logic we should still have a PS1, or maybe an SNES. A 6 year cycle is a long time. I certainly don't run a video game company, but working in IT, if it took us more than 6 years to develop and release a decent product we'd be hammered. Really unless you are attempting to recreate a unique sandbox the size of the moon (and all pre-coded) the thing really shouldn't take you more than 2 years tops once you have final dev hardware. If it does either you've got a bad team dynamic, poor leadership, lack of experience and skill or bad upper management.

6 years is plenty long enough thank you very much. If you want console games to even smell like the PC variant, let alone look remotely like it longer than 6 years won't allow you do that. Sure you can get away with more on a console because you can code directly, but 6 years of CPU and GPU advances is a hell of a lot, let alone longer than that.
SMIFFYDUDE 9th June 2011, 15:03 Quote
But nobody is focusing on making better games.

I want lose my memory and to go back to November 1998, there were more classic games released in that 1 month than were released in the last 5 years.
Phalanx 9th June 2011, 15:04 Quote
They just want a longer lifetime so that they can actually RELEASE a single game in the lifespan of the hardware ;)
Zurechial 9th June 2011, 16:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMIFFYDUDE
But nobody is focusing on making better games.

I want lose my memory and to go back to November 1998, there were more classic games released in that 1 month than were released in the last 5 years.

This seems to be the sad truth; as rose-tinted as it risks being.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Carmack
“When we started on the game six years ago, I looked at the consoles and said ‘These are as good as the PC’, and our development strategy was to develop live on all the platforms. And now we’re looking at PCs that have ten times the horsepower of the consoles. I’m making a large change in my direction just saying ‘We should be building things efficiently on the PC and then deploying on the consoles.’ And we didn’t make that as crisp of a distinction as we could have.

“My development system now has twenty four threads and twenty four gigs of memory, and we can start putting on half a terrabyte of solid state drives, and these are the things that are gonna drive the development process on the PC. I’m actually as excited about how we’re developing tht titles in this coming generation as the graphic enhancements and things that I’m gonna make.

“…it is unhappily true that we have these consoles here running at sixty frames per second, and we could have these massively more powerful PC systems that struggle sometimes to hold the same framerate because of unnecessary overheads. If we were programming that hardware directly on the metal the same way we do consoles, it would be significantly more powerful.”

Courtesy of RPS.

Just thought the above quote might be of some interest for this topic. I get the impression that the creative side of the team (and probably the beancounters) might be content with aging console hardware for the sake of stability, but that the technical gurus like Carmack are tired of trying to cram their ideas into whatever an X360 can handle. Or maybe I'm reading his words out of context and with the bias of a PC gamer. It could be that Carmack enjoys the task of coding the engine efficiently to achieve multiplatform parity; I don't really know.

On the other hand, the last paragraph highlights the other big issue with multiplatform development, the same issue raised by AMD recently (and later retracted if I recall correctly) - That the overheads caused by DirectX and OpenGL bloat are holding back the performance of PC games when compared to coding to the metal as on consoles.

As someone on RPS pointed out in the comments though:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backov
Sure, the PC would be faster if you could program direct to the metal. It would also be faster if it was magical, because that’s what would be required to get direct to the metal across the entire range of PC hardware.

Mr Carmack was asked a question, and he answered it. Either that part where he said “but that can’t ever happen” was redacted, or he just thought it was obvious.

There's been a lot of sound and fury over whether this is actually a worthy topic of discussion, or if it ever makes sense to think of a gaming-centric OS distribution to cut that bloat and overhead out; but it certainly makes me wonder.
I remember seeing launch titles on the PS2 and thinking "wtf. My PC is considerably more powerful than a PS2, with a faster processor, faster dedicated GPU and way more volatile storage. Why can't I get visuals like that in my PC games? Is there really so much processor time being used by Windows, an array of drivers and a bunch of background processes that do things I don't need to run my games?"

The answer is probably 'no', and though it likely has an impact, a lot of the performance difference likely comes down to the overhead caused by abstraction in DirectX/OpenGL and so on - A combination of the problems of hardware variety (something many of us here would hate to lose) and Windows-based PCs being 'everymachines'.
Additionally, we know that console games cut corners to achieve those visuals at solid framerates. When we were playing Morrowind in 1600x1200 on PC, the PS2 was playing at 640x448; and the parity in resolution between console and PC games these days (pushed by the 'HD' fad) is showing the inadequacies of the consoles up.
I've still always wished I could have an x86 Gaming OS to get the best out of my PC for games without just turning it into a console with a keyboard & mouse, but we certainly won't see that from Microsoft any time soon judging by their attitude to Windows gaming; And as much as I'd love to see Linux filling those shoes I can't see it actually happening any time soon, if ever.
Bauul 9th June 2011, 16:15 Quote
Somewhat amusing coming from the company that was all tech and no design for so many years.

I understand where he's coming from, the the truth is devs haven't been polygon chasing for a few years. The best looking game ever released (in terms of engine power, if not design) is arguably still Crysis, and that came out four years ago.

No doubt this is driven by the locked down consoles, but there is the fear that when a next-gen console comes out you'll get two years of devs simply getting to grips with the added power instead of making good games.
thil 9th June 2011, 17:42 Quote
Wait, this is coming from id? A company whose every employee eats ones and zeros and shits machine code asking for easier dev conditions?
OCJunkie 9th June 2011, 18:43 Quote
"Stability"?!?! Are you freaking kidding me, Xbox and PS3 are already what, like 5, 6 years old? That's pretty much 10 average PC upgrade cycles. How much longer does iD need a console to stick around before they get off their asses and release something decent for it... Rage just looks like a complete ripoff of Borderlands anyway.
rogerrabbits 9th June 2011, 18:54 Quote
ID are over totally estimated, one trick ponies, imo.
thehippoz 9th June 2011, 19:13 Quote
rage doesn't look like borderlands to me.. totally different art style- remember in borderlands you ran around with a dildo shooting vaginas.. yes that's exactly what it was

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/8009/46867702.jpg
jrs77 9th June 2011, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
rage doesn't look like borderlands to me.. totally different art style- remember in borderlands you ran around with a dildo shooting vaginas.. yes that's exactly what it was

I actually liked the graphics of Borderlands and Firefall will use the same art-style fortunately. Gameplay needs to be fun, graphics are overrated.
2bdetermine 10th June 2011, 00:08 Quote
Quote:
id Software wants longer console lifetimes


Is like saying let's stop any progress we had made and returned to Stone Age era.
Thedarkrage 10th June 2011, 00:57 Quote
I have to say id have really lost all relevance to most gamers PC or console they even said they wouldn't jump in on the wii U like anyone cares! and Nintendo do fun almost better then most
azrael- 11th June 2011, 11:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
<SNIP>

As someone on RPS pointed out in the comments though:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backov
Sure, the PC would be faster if you could program direct to the metal. It would also be faster if it was magical, because that’s what would be required to get direct to the metal across the entire range of PC hardware.

Mr Carmack was asked a question, and he answered it. Either that part where he said “but that can’t ever happen” was redacted, or he just thought it was obvious.

There's been a lot of sound and fury over whether this is actually a worthy topic of discussion, or if it ever makes sense to think of a gaming-centric OS distribution to cut that bloat and overhead out; but it certainly makes me wonder.
I remember seeing launch titles on the PS2 and thinking "wtf. My PC is considerably more powerful than a PS2, with a faster processor, faster dedicated GPU and way more volatile storage. Why can't I get visuals like that in my PC games? Is there really so much processor time being used by Windows, an array of drivers and a bunch of background processes that do things I don't need to run my games?"

The answer is probably 'no', and though it likely has an impact, a lot of the performance difference likely comes down to the overhead caused by abstraction in DirectX/OpenGL and so on - A combination of the problems of hardware variety (something many of us here would hate to lose) and Windows-based PCs being 'everymachines'.
Additionally, we know that console games cut corners to achieve those visuals at solid framerates. When we were playing Morrowind in 1600x1200 on PC, the PS2 was playing at 640x448; and the parity in resolution between console and PC games these days (pushed by the 'HD' fad) is showing the inadequacies of the consoles up.
I've still always wished I could have an x86 Gaming OS to get the best out of my PC for games without just turning it into a console with a keyboard & mouse, but we certainly won't see that from Microsoft any time soon judging by their attitude to Windows gaming; And as much as I'd love to see Linux filling those shoes I can't see it actually happening any time soon, if ever.
Even though the PC is the last in a long line of platforms I've used (coming from the venerable Commodore 64) I distinctly remember my thoughts when gaming was about to be moved from the DOS platform to the Windows platform. That was around the release of Win95 OSR2, if memory serves correctly, which incidentally was the first version of Windows to ship with DirectX.

I remember contemplating the added bloat. All the processes which would run in the background during gaming, and which had nothing to contribute to the gaming experience. I wondered if Microsoft perhaps intended to freeze those processes while gaming (I was still youngish and idealistic at the time :)) or take other steps towards maximizing performance. Alas, that never happened and even if DirectX has gotten better with every version I still cannot shake the feeling that there an inordinate amount of wasted resources when gaming on Windows.

Considering that these days only two major players in the GPU space remain, which should simplify development, I'm once again wondering if it wouldn't be possible to optimize performance by cutting through the layer of fat that is Windows.
greypilgers 13th June 2011, 13:37 Quote
Why does everyone continue to post all these interviews from ID? ID are irrelevant now, trading on past glories for decades. Who cares what they think - there are many more relevant minds out there we would rather be reading the thoughts of.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums