While it may seem like the PS4 just came out, we’re actually coming up on the fifth anniversary of the console this year. That means that the next generation of consoles is a lot closer than we might think, with a few analysts predicting we’ll see the PlayStation 5 by 2021. With future technology on the horizon, some developers have begun to think about what the next adaptation of console technology might change.
Remember when the PlayStation 4 was first shown, the big highlight was how it would handle both particle physics and lighting. Whatever comes next is sure to have its own feather to put in its cap, and some developers are specualting what that might be. GamingBolt spoke to Simul Software founder Roderick Kennedy about the next generation of hardware. Simul Software is a developer that created trueSKY, a game engine plugin that is said to be the “most advanced and reliable sky system” available, including weather data generation, volumetric clouds, and other atmospheric data.
“I anticipate a big move towards procedural content in the next generation or two. This generation of content is not limited by computing power, space, or even bandwidth, so much as the human capital that’s expended in creating it,” Kennedy told GamingBolt. Kennedy is not referring to procedurally generating entire levels, or the death of carefully curated content. He’s talking about engines like the trueSKY system that he created, allowing developers to focus their manpower, money, and time on the content they actually want to spend money and time to create by hand.
Kennedy continued. “I think what we’ve pioneered with skies in terms of 100% generated content, albeit with artistic input and programmed control, will become the norm for 3D objects, textures and gameplay elements. None of that takes away from the craft and creativity that goes into games, it’s a new set of tools that developers will use in ways we can’t yet imagine.”
Don’t worry, the next generation of consoles isn’t going to be full of lifeless games that feel like they were created by a computer, but as engines get smarter, they will be able to procedurally generate more content on their own based on predetermined values set by the artists and creators. Instead of hand placing each object or texture, the engine will be able to smartly generate that content on its own. This would free up capital and members of the development team to work on other aspects of the game, potentially driving down both the monetary and time cost of game development.
Only time will tell, but technology is growing and being used in ways we can’t even imagine at this point. The PlayStation 5 and next generation of console hardware will bring a lot of interesting new tools and ideas for developers to play with.