With the current generation consoles getting close to their two year anniversaries, we're still not seeing 1080p 60FPS gameplay in most AAA titles, let alone "CG quality visuals". But, according to ex-Naughty Dog developer and Filmic Worlds' founder John Hable, we're around two generations away from CG quality visuals in games.
Hable talked with GamingBolt, where he said: "Honestly, it is hard to say. I think it will be a very long time. The current crop of consoles is much better than the previous generation, but the trailers are getting better too. If you really want to hit that level of quality then you need staggering triangle counts with really long shaders. Photoreal global illumination is very easy offline but very difficult in realtime".
He continued, saying that it will be another two console cycles before we see 4K hitting CG quality, where he said: "I don't have a good answer for you, but my guess would be longer than you think. One more console generation seems too quick. Maybe in two more generations? That would be PS6 and the 5th gen Xbox? And if we need to render in 4k then add another generation which puts us at PS7 and 6th gen Xbox. It'll be a while. Of course, they will never fully line up because of the content costs. Trailers and feature-length movies simply have a much higher budget per second than what the full game can afford. This difference is more than an order of magnitude in some cases".
I think we won't even see a PlayStation 6, but I do think we'll see a PlayStation 5. Consoles as we know it will disappear as things get smaller, and with SoCs already shrinking down to 14nm and things like the NVIDIA Tegra X1 pushing 4K60, it won't be long before your tiny little smartphone can very easily outclass a console, even a 'next-gen' console.
This generation of consoles can barely handle 1080p, with most games rendering at nearly the same resolution as the previous generation consoles, with prettier visuals. VR is what's going to really come in and shake things up, as there'll be a very big need for 4K60 gaming and beyond with photorealistic graphics.
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