John Carmack, id Software’s veteran co-founder, has admitted that he’s pretty impressed with the PlayStation 4. Speaking as part of another enormous three-hour keynote at QuakeCon, the Wolfenstein 3D programmer praised the impending console – and suggested that the Japanese giant has done a stellar job of learning from the mistakes that it made with the PlayStation 3.
"It's no secret that in the previous generation I favoured the Xbox 360 over the PS3," he said. "While there are certain things that Sony did well for a game developer, the 360 was a nicer platform to work on. [But] Sony has made large strides. Its development tools came out of the gate much, much better than they ever have. [And] it’s made some somewhat-more gamer-focused decisions in its strategies and architectures."
However, the veteran was unwilling to pick a side in the battle between the PS4 and the Xbox One. “Everyone would like me to come out with some A over B comparison about the two platforms, and, to be completely honest, I haven't done really rigorous benchmarking on them, so even if I didn't have NDA protection, I couldn't give you a really completely honest answer,” he explained. “But they are very close, they're both very good.”
While Carmack was generally optimistic regarding the two new consoles, though, he was keen to point out one facet of the next generation that's already grinding his gears. “It appals me that we still have people targeting 30 frames-per-second,” he sighed. “It was hard to hit 60 frames-per-second on the current generation. There are scars in the code base and on the developers that let us make it to the quality and performance level that we did. But we've got a lot more power now [...] and I think that it would just be much better for people to concentrate on smoother gameplay experiences.”
Carmack has always been a big proponent of 60 frames-per-second, famously pushing the PS3 to its absolute limits in order to maintain the refresh rate in flawed first-person shooter RAGE. Much to the developer's frustration, though, many of the PS4’s launch titles currently run at 30Hz, including DriveClub, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Knack. Evolution Studios has said that it’s targeting a faster framerate for the former, but it’s not making any promises. Do you agree with Carmack, and feel that developers need to step up their efforts? Let us know in the comments section below.