The next generation of consoles is still a ways off. We won’t be seeing Project Scarlett, Xbox’s next gen console, until Holiday 2020 and the PlayStation 5 has yet to be properly dated. Both systems will sport solid-state drives though, significantly reducing loading times for massive games.
However, Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke – known for the Divinity: Original Sin series and currently developing Baldur’s Gate 3 – feels there’s some major potential in cloud-based gaming hardware like Google Stadia. Speaking to WCCF Tech, Vincke believes that elastic rendering and physics simulations not possible on current hardware will be possible.
When asked whether SSDs in consoles have the potential to be revolutionary, Vincke said, “To be fair, people have SSDs in their PCs already, so it’s not that much of a revolution. Streaming is a very important technology for modern games, so the faster you can stream your data, you can put more of it, and you’re going to have higher quality assets, which is pretty much what everybody expects there to be.
“The big questions are going to be how much memory do you get to actually do that? Is there sufficient memory to fool around with? How much CPU power are we getting? Because that’s also important, but it’s the classic things that we see with every generation. I mean, how much GPU power do we get? But at the end of the day, it’s always going to be more, it’s going to be more detailed, it’s going to allow us to do more accurate simulations.
“I think that the more interesting question is how stuff like Google Stadia will change things. It gives developers something different. In the data center, these machines are connected to each other, and so you could start thinking of doing things like elastic rendering, like make a couple of servers together to do physics simulations that may not be possible on current local hardware. I think you’ll see a lot of evolution in this direction.”
We’ve certainly heard about how Google Stadia will allow for more complex systems like AI, weather simulation and whatnot. With the service having a limited roll-out in November for regions like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and more, it will certainly be interesting to see the consumer reception. More importantly, we’ll be waiting to see how developers leverage the technology in new and exciting ways.