Valve's Doug Lombardi believes that cutting-edge graphics are less important in gaming than a good storyline – insisting that raw processing power is driving the next generation of smash hits.

Valve's standout hits, Half Life and its successor, wowed audiences with cutting-edge graphics, but GPUs are losing their shine and multi-core CPUs are making waves according to Lombardi

"CPU manufacturers don't have big sexy campaigns with a character that represents a new processor like we see on the GPU side so it's sort of gone under the radar," Lombardi told CVG.com.

AI routines

"But for us it's a great opportunity to put more things on screen, to pull off more complicated AI routines, to have better physics simulations and whatever.

"For a long time the GPU side has been leading the charge towards brighter, shinier games, and it usually ends up that whoever has the best looking game at shows like E3 usually gets game of the show.

"We've always looked at that shaking our heads thinking it's not always about the graphics. We've all seen games that looked really pretty and got all these awards but then it comes out and there's not much of a game there.

"It's more about what you can do in the game. Graphics have started to top-out now. We've got really great-looking games but what we want are more intelligent, more visceral games and the multi-core processors are going to be the way that we get there on PC."

CVG will have more of the interview on its site in October.