PS4 might finally bring us games characters that look real, says Sony

Can fool all of the people some of the time, says lead system architect

TODO alt text

The PS4's lead system architect believes the next-gen console will take us a giant leap closer to photorealism in games, with Mark Cerny insisting that the advance in technology can allow people to 'forget sometimes that we're looking at CGI'.

The PS4 and Xbox One represent a big step for consoles in terms of processing and graphical power, and Cerny told Edge-Online that in the former's case he is hoping that characters in games will occasionally allow us to forget they are computer generated.

"We are at the point in the PlayStation 4 generation where we will forget sometimes that we're looking at CGI rather than captured video," Cerny said.

"I don't think it will be indistinguishable. I just think that at times we'll be able to forget, and it will depend on lighting and depend on the scene.

"I don't think we'll be consistently able to be at that point so if you used video, you really would be drawing attention to the fact that the actors really don't exist in the game's world."

Emotional baggage

Cerny believes that the inability to accurately show off human emotion has held it back in the storytelling world compared to film.

"If you look at games and you look at film, in film no matter how much cheap your production is, you have access to emotion because you have access to the human face," he added.

"But in games that's the most expensive thing – the human body is the most expensive thing you can try to put in your game – at least a human who looks like a human.

"So it takes tens of millions of dollars to do what film can do on many levels for just a few hundred thousand dollars. It took a while for the technology to get to the point where we could really put something compelling in there on the narrative side."

  • Did it live up to the hype? Find out in our updated PS4 review