With rumors swirling about when next-generation consoles will arrive, it’s only natural that they become more prominent. In fact, a recent report suggested the PlayStation 5 could hit stores as early as 2020. The real question is what next-gen will bring to the table in terms of technological improvements. According to Bethesda’s Pete Hines, the changes may be incremental, compared to shifts between previous console generations.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Pete Hines revealed he has some insight into next-gen hardware. He isn’t allowed to divulge any details, but he did admit to being unsure of what to expect from a technological standpoint. Will the transition from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 feel as momentous as the shift from PS2 to PS3? It’s unlikely. Hines had the following to say on the matter:
I am curious to see what it looks like and how it’s different. I’m privy to some stuff which obviously I can’t really talk about, but there is also a lot that I’m not sure on what it’s going to look like. And more importantly how big a shift we can expect.
I feel like there was a shift from Xbox and PS2 to Xbox 360 and PS3 that was pretty demonstrable. Because we went from the old way to HD and the HD thing was so dramatic. It was night and day. Then you went to Xbox One and PS4 and it wasn’t like ‘woah’. The graphics folks that are super into it can certainly tell, but to the average consumer they were like ok it still looks good. How much of that will change, I don’t know. The rest of it doesn’t matter to me because I’m not drawing art or coding or designing. What really matters is what the developers think. What do they need and what are the kind of power and features they are looking for.
It could be that graphical fidelity will no longer be what matters. Perhaps that role will instead go to gameplay features. For instance, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s Nemesis System isn’t up to par on the PS3 and Xbox 360, compared to its use on PS4 and Xbox One. Next-gen consoles could see such a system evolve in a manner that isn’t possible with current-gen technology.
Cyberpunk 2077 may take advantage of the still unannounced future technology. As of now, the PS4 and Xbox One could make destructible environments in CD Projekt RED’s sci-fi title unachievable. It isn’t the only game feeling the constraints of this generation. Detroit: Become Human’s photo mode was axed due to PS4’s memory limitations.