In a recent interview with Games Industry Biz, Epic’s Tim Sweeney was asked about tablets and consoles, specifically, how long he thinks it will take until we see something like Epic’s Samaritan demo running on a tablet. As always, Seeney’s answer was quite informative.
“The big difference between a console and a tablet is the console can consume 100 or 200 watts of power, while the tablet consumes one or two or three or four watts. That’s really the limiting factor of performance there. Just on the grounds of the laws of physics, you’d have to think it is three to four hardware generations, or six to eight years before the current highest end desktop or console performance you can achieve becomes achievable on tablets. To me, that really defines the role of consoles in the world. They define the highest and most impressive graphics experience anywhere in the industry. They focus on delivering teraflops of computing performance in a way that a portable device or an economical computer really couldn’t, despite sheer focus on that one aspect.”
So while EPIC is on board with tablets possibly taking over gaming in the future (as stated by president Mike Capps just a few days ago), the devices still have a long way to go in terms of equalling the sheer power of a console. As for the next generation of consoles, Sweeney says the two big things needed to get himself and EPIC excited creatively are convenience and more power.
“Gosh, my list for the next generation; it’s really two big things. One is to bring all that’s best about other computing devices – the convenience, the access to social media, the connectivity with the internet, Facebook or Twitter – and continue to bring that forward in the console experience. If you look at the console generation previous to this one, these were offline devices. You’d install a game, play it by yourself and you’re done. Nowadays you go online, play games, and buy games through XBLA or PSN. I think we’ve really only seen the tip of the iceberg there. There is a continual challenge for the industry to push forward in order to remain relevant and competitive with the awesome things that are happening on iOS for example.”
“Number two is to deliver the maximum amount of computing power that is economically possible. Really, that’s the reason consoles exist in the future. They have an enormous amount of graphics processing power that delivers an experience that goes far beyond what you can get on a lighter weight device. Pushing forward, we measure that performance in teraflops, trillions of floating point operations per second. When I started programming, you had about one thousand floating point operations per second. Now we have, on nVidia’s fastest hardware, two and a half to three teraflops. To push next-generation up to those levels will really ensure that they will remain relevant for another generation, even as other cool consumer devices like iPads and iPhones become more prevalent.”
Source: Games Industry Biz