Isn’t it insane how much video games graphics improved over the last decades?
If you were magically able to go back in time 30 years ago, and show the world the insane graphics of Horizon Forbidden West for example, they would probably think you’ve got access to some alien technology.
But it doesn’t end here. Video games graphics are going to keep getting better and better.
What is the future of graphics in video games?
Video games graphics are heading towards photorealism in the near future. The great advancements in ray tracing graphics cards combined with the efforts of the large game development studios will lead to the creation of hyper realistic video games in the near future.
What is ray tracing all about?
Ray Tracing is a technique used to simulate how people actually see things in real life. Light hits objects around you, and then travels towards your eye which allows you to see these objects.
This is how ray tracing works. The computer “Traces” the rays of light that hit the game camera to decide what the camera sees.
While ray tracing can produce extremely realistic results, it had a major issue: Performance.
It can take up to hours to render a few frames on old hardware if you want to use heavy ray tracing, and that of course won’t work for video games, unless you’re happy with playing on a 1 frame per hour performance.
The hardware has been improving significantly however, and today, we have these magical Ray tracing graphics cards that are capable of running games with REAL TIME Raytracing. This is huge, and this is one of the keys to a future with photo realistic video games.
The hardware will also just keep getting better and better, and hopefully not very far from today, we’ll be able to experience a fully realistic game environment.
What about the software side of graphics improvements?
No matter how good the hardware gets, if the game development studios do not utilize the hardware properly, a game with hyper realistic graphics won’t show up anytime soon.
But the question is, are game development studios really willing to put a lot of money and effort into making photorealistic video games?
The current state of graphics is extremely impressive already. With that in mind, pushing video games to photorealism might be viewed as an extra burden that might not be worth it because of the huge increase of development cost it imposes.
Imagine having to make every single part of the game world extremely realistic. That would take so much time and effort. Video games are already too difficult to make, especially AAA games.
Does this mean that hyper realistic video game graphics are gonna be delayed because of the software costs and challenges?
Well, it’ll all depend on whether or not some large studios are willing to keep pushing forward till they make a game that is indistinguishable from reality, and I personally believe that many large studios will be willing to keep pushing forward.
As long as the hardware keeps getting better, there will be game dev studios pushing these hardware capabilities to their limit, and this positive feedback loop will hopefully lead us to photorealistic video games at some point in the near future.
Will photorealistic video games be fun?
I have heard a lot of people saying that photo realism will kill the fun in video games. These people say that they want to escape the real world and play in a virtual video game world, but when these virtual worlds look exactly like the real world, they won’t be as fun.
Other people say that photorealism will revolutionize the video gaming industry and it will make it more fun than ever before.
In short, this all comes down to personal preference, and you’ll always keep finding both games with hyper realistic graphics, and games with none hyper realistic graphics. Which ones you play and enjoy is all up to you.
As for my personal opinion, I honestly can’t wait for the day when I play a video game that feels indistinguishable from reality. The future awaits and the possibilities are endless.
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