San Francisco (CA) - John Carmack has confirmed that id Software will be developing a new rendering engine for the next generation of game consoles. According to Carmack, the updated platform would 'co-exist' with the current one, allowing id Software to design a series of 'cross-generational' games.
"I intend to develop it like that, so you have an idTech 5 version and then have everything working the same [with] an alternate data set that you can render with a different version," Carmack told CD-Action in a video-taped interview transcribed by EuroGamer. "So, the hope would be that if we do get some flashy new graphics hardware on there that we would possibly have the option of releasing a game cross-generational like that. Same game, same design across everything but different media set, different rendering engine."
The co-founder of id Software also noted that major industry players were actively "pursing" variations on massive multi-core processor integration.
"There's lots of interesting things about that, about how we need to think about things on the game development side to take advantage of that. We talk about these absurd things like how many teraflops of processing and memory that are going into our game machines," explained Carmack. "It's great and there's going to be at least another generation like that, although interestingly we are coasting towards some fundamental physical limits on things. We've already hit the megahertz wall and eventually there's going to be a power density wall from which you won't get more processing out there."
Finally, Carmack hypothesized that Sony would be the first manufacturer to release a next-generation console.
"The whole jockeying for who's going to release the first next gen console is very interesting and pretty divorced from the technical side of things. Whether Sony wants to jump the gun to prevent the same sort of 360 lag from happening to them again seems likely," said Carmack. "As developers, we would really like to see this generation stretch as long as possible. We'd like to see it be quite a few more years before the next gen console comes out, but I suspect one will end up shipping something earlier rather than later."