CryEngine firm optimistic about new incremental console cycle

Crytek: PS4 Pro and Xbox’s Project Scorpio will ‘remove limitations’

Crytek has weighed in on the debate about how enhanced versions of home consoles will impact developers.

The recently announced PS4 Pro and still-in-the-works Project Scorpio for Xbox could potentially split audiences with their superior power and focus on higher-resolution games. While platform holders have assured the industry that the standard models of each console will not be left behind, concern is growing that developers will be expected to focus on these high-end machines.

In a post on its official blog, Crytek posits that the new SKUs merely present devs with new opportunities – ones that they would have previously had to wait up to a decade for, based on past console lifecycles.

“We are always limited to some extent in video game development, and we have to work within certain constraints that are usually related to the power of a system versus what we would like to do,” said Crytek game designer Niklas Walenski. “But new hardware inevitably removes some of the limitations. We can create bigger worlds, render much more, and have more complex systems running our ideas.

 “New hardware doesn’t usually tend to present the same issues as a new medium like VR, where we’re having to throw away a lot of the things we did before, or iterate on them, because they just don’t work anymore. Instead, you’re essentially gaining varying degrees of additional power to play with.

“We had a very long console cycle with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which is good for developers from one standpoint, because you know exactly what you’re working with and can refine things more and more over the years. But, on the other hand, there were certain limitations you were always operating within, and you were bound to those while technology raced ahead. A lot can change in seven or eight years.”

The company concluded by noting that ultimately it will be consumers who decide the impact these devices will gave on the industry as they hold “the ultimate power when it comes to determining losers and winners in the battle for shelf space in the living room”.

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