The Wii introduced motion gaming with a tenth of Xbox 360 and PS3's power, yet it outperformed them. The same opportunity exists for VR, believes Carmack. Next gen is 'meh'.
All that improved horsepower with the next gen hardware will deliver us exactly what we can do now, "with the knobs turned up," he said. That isn't exciting him.
"Sony and Microsoft are going to fight over gigaflops and teraflops and GPUs and all this. In the end, it won't make that much difference," Carmack told . "When you get to this, it makes a really big difference in the experience," he added, talking about virtual reality solutions.
"Nintendo went and brought motion into the gaming sphere and while only having a tenth of the processing power was able to outsell all of them in all of these ways. I think someone has an opportunity to do this here. It takes a whole ecosystem though, but it is almost perfect." Technology isn't really an obstacle holding developers back.
"When people ask how tapped out is the current console generation, PCs are 10 times as powerful but you really are still not technically limited. Any creative vision that a designer could come up with, we can do a pretty good job representing on current generation and certainly on PC. In many ways I am not all that excited about the next generation. It will let us do everything we want to do now, with the knobs turned up," explained the Doom creator.
"If you take a current game like Halo which is a 30 hertz game at 720p; if you run that at 1080p, 60 frames with high dynamic frame buffers, all of a sudden you've sucked up all the power you have in the next-generation. It will be what we already have, but a lot better. You will be able to redesign with a focus on D11, but it will not really change anyone's world."
"It will look a lot better, it will move towards the movie rendering experience and that is better and better, but it's not like the first time you've ever played an FPS. It won't be like putting yourself in the virtual world. All the little things you can do on that, such as playing an audio cue over here, and turning your attention to that. That will be more of the discontinuous step like we've had with first going to 3D or first using a mouse," he added.
Carmack knows that VR headsets wouldn't be able to cover all aspects of video gaming especially when there are other people in the room but it will span the majority of experiences. Sony has already shown a keen interest with a proposed headset for 3D viewing, and he believes Sony could go further by next year.
"As a fully consumer thing, it is hard to imagine that happening in less than a year."
"Sony is already interested in this thing, and they are interested in seeing how they want to follow this up. I can easily imagine something like that. Sony conceivably could have a product out in the next year. I have no inkling on internal plans, but as a company I think they can do it," concluded Carmack.