The president of Take Two stated, as part of an interview, that the gaming industry needed to move towards photorealism in order to be able to deliver more emotion to players and open up new game genres to a mass audience.
The executive did not say exactly how the industry would be able to exploit photorealism, if it were to ever become reality, without dealing with the requirement for much better hardware and with the problems of the uncanny valley.
But let’s assume that photorealism is here and it becomes impossible to distinguish between the virtual experience and real life.
Will I actually draw more enjoyment from something like Gears of War XIII
just because I will be unable to visually distinguish between the burly COG heroes and people I meet on the street?
I highly doubt that, and I suspect that even if photorealism becomes a reality, most gamers will continue to search for the illusive immersion, the quality separating great games from merely good ones and sorely lacking in today’s industry.
Talking about photorealism and graphics is just a simple way of promoting more “business as usual” practices within the industry, like sequels that only increase graphics fidelity but do little to create a better game world or more interesting characters.
I would like to see the big publishers focus more on making titles that grab their player and keep him engaged with the world they create, making it simple to understand the ground rules and then pushing content which expands on it without feeling like just a quick way of parting gamers from their cash.
I am sure that, perhaps within my lifetime, photorealism will be a reality, but I do hope that before that moment the video games of the future manage to acquire better qualities that should convince players they are worth buying.