John Carmack Predicts the Future: 4K Displays on Tablets, Powerful GPUs and More

There will also be lots of content for the Xbox One and PS4. Imagine that.

Posted By | On 11th, Nov. 2013 Under News


john carmack rift
It’s always interesting to hear id Software’s John Carmack, who is also working at Oculus VR these days, talk about the future. This was the guy after all who helped grow and popularize the first person shooter genre, including developing a multiplayer-focused game years before the genre blew up with Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Speaking at a recent Nvidia event (transcribed by Eurogamer), Carmack talked about what we can possibly expect from technology in the coming years.

“Five years ahead, yeah, we can probably make credible comments about that. You’ll still be able to buy Xbox One or PS4 new five years from now – unquestionably. There will be tons of content developed for that.

“We’ll have 4K resolution displays on tablets and HMDs, and we’ll have another order of magnitude pretty straightforward on there with Moore’s law. GPUs are great at turning transistors into performance and we’ll have ten times the performance. It means that you can probably run that triple 4K display at double the frame-rate from one GPU. That starts looking pretty impressive.”

Some technologies, especially for displays and networking, were described as “technical freight trains” by Carmack and “going forward whether we’re paying attention to them or not”.

“There’s a trillion dollars in economy pushing these things so a lot of that’s going to keep going, and it’s going to be great to sort of be along for the ride and figuring the kind of interesting systems areas, where there’s a convergence of what becomes possible now, that people wanted before, as the sort of cornerstone of where the real innovation is going to happen.

“We can always turn the cranks on what we’ve already got and always get better, but the insightful things are when you notice something that you hadn’t even thought about and previously dismissed as impossible is now possible and orders of magnitude just sneak up on you like this.”

Predicting things has become much harder now than before though, since as Carmack states you “can’t wrap your head around these six or eight orders of magnitude” that will be occurring in the next few decades. The example of Tron was given, but that could apply to anything from five years ago as well. The next generation holds a lot of promise – we’ll see how the PS4 and Xbox One deliver on the same when they release this month.


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