The indie development team at Asobo Studio, makers of the upcoming A Plague Tale: Innocence, have some interesting ideas about what sort of leaps and bounds the next generation of hardware will be making. We recently sat down for a chat with David Dedeine, the creative director of the game, and our conversation eventually landed at the prospect of the PS5 and the next Xbox (Xbox Scarlett, for now)- you know, as it often does.
We asked Dedeine what his expectations are regarding next generation hardware, and his answer, interestingly enough, was not about mundane stuff like frame rates in resolution, but more along the lines of better VR integration and real time ray tracing tech. “Each time we talk about that with other developers on the team internally, that discussion is more about, ‘Is this the last generation of consoles? Will we move into a cloud-based kind of service?'” Dedeine said while speaking with GamingBolt.
“I still believe it is not going to be the case for a while,” he continued. “And that the next-gen consoles will actually slowly integrate more of the VR. Because you know when you do VR you basically need two different types of rendering. I’ve read some paper about ray tracing in real time. I guess there are lots of improvement in tech out there. It sounds like maybe we might have surprises regarding this type of tech. Maybe Microsoft or Sony will find a way to have a dedicated processors for this type of ray casting rendering. It seems like it might be revolutionary in terms of late rendering. In our game we would be happy with such a thing. For a game that plays so much with lights and shadow it will be great.”
That would definitely be interesting. VR is still in the burgeoning years of its lifetime, and if it is to truly grow into something more than just a nice concept, it would definitely have to do so soon- I can also see Sony wanting to make a bigger push for VR, given their support for it this gen.
But what about our industry going digital, yet another topic of hot debates? Well, Dedeine feels it’s still a bit too early for that to happen, even though he believes that it will end up happening eventually. “It’s the big thing,” he said. “You know what I mean? Personally, maybe it’s because I’m an old gamer, I still love to buy [physical] and to have a box, although I’m completely comfortable with digital. But sometimes I just need a picture of the box for some games. You know the games that you’re a fan of? Like with music, I have no problems buying music digitally. For some things I like to have the video. Right now in the street it’s really about that: full digital, no retail, code-base service. I don’t think it will be the next generation that will solve that. It’s too early. Nobody knows. I meet some people saying something, six months later they completely change their mind. Something is going to happen, but not next -gen. The industry is not yet completely sure enough to make a decision.”
As the next generation of console gaming draws closer and closer, an increasing number of developers has been speaking about what kinds of things we can expect to see. Epic recently spoke of how facial models will be much better next-gen, the indie developers of Smoke and Sacrifice want 4K and 60FPS to be the baseline, while the developers of Through the Woods believe that that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The creative director of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? He just wants more of everything.