John Carmack Believes Next-Gen Consoles Will Continue Targeting 30FPS Games

Subject: General Tech | December 21, 2012 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: xbox, ps4, gaming, games, consoles, carmack

While Nintendo has continued to pump out new gaming consoles, both Microsoft and Sony have been sitting on the current Xbox and PlayStation hardware for years. For example, the Xbox 360 is seven years old, and yet the Redmond company does not appear to be in any hurry to advance to better hardware with a new console. Sony is in a similar mindset with its PlayStation road map.

There have been rumors for the past couple years on the next Xbox and PlayStation, but there is one thing that is certain. Once gamers do (eventually) get a new console though, it will have substantially better hardware than the current generation. And considering that the latest games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have started to push the hardware to its limit, developers are clamoring for better hardware as their engines outgrow the consoles. Visuals are still increasing on iterative console games but the frame rates are starting to slip as a result. PC gamers have Eyefinity, multi-GPU, AA, AF, higher resolutions, and unrestricted frame rates. Meanwhile, developers that want games on both console and PC platforms have to contend with the fact that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are limited to a frame rate target of around 30 FPS. (And the latest games are jast barely able to achieve that target.)

Unfortunately, while many console gamers likely expect the next generation of consoles to set the frames per second bar higher, a statement by John Carmack suggests otherwise. On Twitter the id Software founder stated that “unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee that a lot of next gen games will still target 30 fps.”

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It is an interesting statement from the mind of a game developer. When next generation consoles do come out, they will likely push more than 30FPS on average as games built on (tweaked) existing engines will run faster on the updated hardware. However, it seems that developers are more concerned with pushing visual quality instead of framerates. As developers start pushing the new hardware, the framerates will fall towards the 30 FPS target, much like the current generation of consoles are experiencing. I suppose gamers that want unrestricted fram rates will have to stick to PC gaming for the forseeable future. 

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Carmack is much more optimistic about higher framerates on PC games.

Do you think gamers care about higher framerates on their consoles?


Source: Shack News

December 21, 2012 | 12:39 PM - Posted by ho1mes (not verified)

Sounds like PCs will continue to be held back by the next gen console.. wow.

December 21, 2012 | 02:00 PM - Posted by mrGREEK360

Wow disipointing. I jumped ship I'm already a PC gamer again. It's sad to see that next gen consoles won't have even have a high end current gen gpu. At minimum it should have a Gtx 680 in terms of power as all the next gen engines use that for their tech demos, but in reality we won't see anything better then a 660 if that. I believe all three companies went ati for its apu/gpu and not Nvidia. I hope they have a hardware skew teir like pc.s but much more controlled. Have 3 next gen Xbox skews with all progressively better hardware . A 299 499 and 599 it might sound expensive but we need the power to be future proof for the next 7-10 years. If not then the steam box is the future for the living room for hardcore tv gamers. I have my Alienware x51 hooked to my 60" 3dtv with a nvidia Gtx 670 ftw.

December 21, 2012 | 02:04 PM - Posted by clonzelda

so is this a console problem or a developer problem? when Rage was release for consoles Carmack said that Rage was running at 60fps, so if they can do it how come other developers dont target the 60fps for all console games? are they just too lazy?

December 21, 2012 | 08:03 PM - Posted by Nilbog

This is a console problem. However RAGE is a special exception.
John has said at Quakecon keynote (just after RAGE was released) that they were targeting 60 FPS from the beginning of development. So they built the game around this idea. He has said that they sacrificed quite a bit to get it running at 60 FPS on consoles.
Other developers aren't lazy (they might be) they just dont want to sacrifice all the visual goodies just to get 60 FPS.
If i understand this correctly, you either get visual goodies at 30 FPS or you get 60 FPS with not so many goodies. I do believe that all of the CoDs are at 60 FPS though you can tell they dont look as good as rage on consoles. Which i find a bit funny.

December 22, 2012 | 03:35 AM - Posted by Fozee (not verified)

Did they sacrifice basic game design as well to get 60 FPS on consoles? RAGE was so bad I honestly can't help but shrug off anything Carmack says now. The sub-par gameplay may have been balanced out by a great engine, but it simply isn't. This megatexture business isn't superior at all, wide open scenes look great but the majority of the game takes place indoors where it just looks awful. On top of that, it doesn't even perform very well for what it displays.

I just don't see how he's going on acting as if RAGE didn't happen.

December 21, 2012 | 02:28 PM - Posted by YTech2 (not verified)

I somewhat agree with ho1mes. It would all depends on the company's intention (company vs console relationship). It may be the game dev will design for PC and cut out the goodies to make it compatible for consoles or vis-versa (if the product generates value).

To answer the question, YES gamers do care about higher frame-rates in general. Eventually, the console will require some sort of greater progressive upgrade design.

For example, look at Xbox 360 storage expansions add-on, which wasn't available with the original Xbox. The Wii with their add-on Motion sensor. There is a lot of critical thinking involved.

The way I see it, Console may change into a locked-up upgradable PC. (Game X needs GPU-XII to play. Buy this GPU-XII cartridge and swap out GPU-XI. Etc.)

December 25, 2012 | 01:49 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

I'm pretty sure they'll do it the second way, because then they'll need less man hours before sales come in. That way, they can spend minimal time just making the title barely acceptable for the PC, suffering from a bad case of consolitis like an office worker who is just barely not sick enough to stay home. And just as annoying to PC players as to other office workers. ;)

December 27, 2012 | 10:57 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

SCREW CONSOLEs I KNEW IT, PC will once again RULE, And consoles will turn out TRASH FUCK CONSOLES

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