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Monday, October 12, 2009

When will we see photo realistic graphics in gaming?

Answer: We already have them. With the first Microsoft Directx 11 card already out (ATI Radeon HD 5870) and Nvidia said to release a DirectX compatible card later this month (or at least before Black Friday) photo-realistic graphics have been a reality for some time. Take a minute to click the above image. Can you guess which side is real and which side is fake? Okay so you probably saw the top and cheated but if you hadn't you wouldn't be able to tell would you? So you maybe asking yourself what has taken place that allows this level of realism in games now? It's simple really; as computing power has increased we have more polygons (e.g. triangles) with which to make images. Think of the polygons as "dots" and imagine trying to draw a picture of a 2 inch car with 10 dots. There wouldn't be much detail right? Now imagine trying to draw that same car with 1000 dots...10,000 dots. Do you get the idea? More dots equals more detail, SIMPLE! Back in the Nintendo days of 1988 when I was playing Mario Bros. there weren't many "dots" for the developers to make images with.

Today the level of detail is so high that the human eye can be fooled easily. Another hurdle to create realism seems to be the lighting in any given area. Although they've improved the lighting dramatically (I remember playing Shenmue on Sega Dreamcast and thinking it was the most amazing thing) it still needs some work.

Watch the Video above showcasing the power of DirectX

The real question is when will we see this type of realism on say the PS3 or the Xbox 360. Well, I would say that we won't. Neither of those consoles supports DirectX 11. Computer graphics have always been ahead of console graphics, mostly because the graphics card that it takes to achieve this type of realism costs more than either console (or more than both if you buy the cheapest one of each) at about $400 for the Diamond ATI Radeon HD5870 (currently the top card on the market). The type of graphics you see with games like Crysis are for high-end enthusiasts. The average gamer is not willing to pay $1500 for a top-of-the-line gaming computer. However, it is my belief that with the next iteration of each console (PS4 and Xbox 720, IF they call it that) we'll be able to get these type of graphics or better. Surely the next release of each of these consoles will support DirectX 11 or if they release it late due to economic problems we might see them supporting DirectX 12.

Though we don't know exactly what the future holds for gaming we can be sure it will be more engaging, realistic, and immersive than ever before. Computer technology today can't even be pushed to it's limit by the applications 95% of people use. The technology is making leaps and bounds and as computers and consoles update to the right technology for the average consumer price point we'll see these type of realistic graphics on everyone's TV.

Currently Microsoft has it's hands tied up with "Project Natal". Watch the above video. If you thought the Nintendo Wii controller was cool the possibilities with natal (pronounced Nah-tal, not nate-al) will blow your mind away.


desjefkadjef said...

Great water scene.

Rich and Rich Entrepreneurs

thinking1440 said...

glad you liked it, you can't even tell it's not real

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