Legendary games developer John Carmack – the man responsible for Doom and id Software – thinks we are nearing the 'physical limits' of what games consoles are capable of.
Carmack was interviewed by Polish website CD-Action telling them how: "The whole jockeying for who's going to release the first next-gen console is very interesting and pretty divorced from the technical side of things."
He also noted: "I think that Xbox Live... the advent of that and the App Store with the iPhone are wonderful signs of the future of digital distribution.
"I think there's a decent chance that one of the next-gen consoles will be without optical media... the uptake rates of people who have broadband connects surprised everyone this generation. It's higher than what the core publishers and even the first-party people expected."
Hitting the megahertz wall
Talking about the physical limitations of console hardware, he added how "we talk about these absurd things like how many teraflops of processing and memory that are going into our game machines."
"It's great and there's going to be at least another generation like that," added the id Software man, "although interestingly we are coasting towards some fundamental physical limits on things.
"We've already hit the megahertz wall and eventually there's going to be a power density wall from which you won't get more processing out there," he continued. "There'll be questions of whether we shift to a cloud computing infrastructure... lots of interesting questions about whether you have the computing power in your living room versus somewhere else."
Right now though, Carmack and his teams aren't concentrating too much on what the next-gen of gaming consoles will bring, because they would "really like to see this generation stretch as long as possible… we'd like to see it be quite a few more years before the next-gen console comes out, but I suspect one will end up shipping something earlier rather than later."