The next generation of home consoles will supposedly raise the bar in terms of graphics, especially when it comes to realism, according to Square Enix Worldwide Technology Director Julien Merceron.
"I think that we're still going to see a big leap in graphics," said Merceron. "In terms of technology I think we'll see developers taking advantage of physically-based rendering, physically-based lighting. I think people will take advantage of global illumination, or at least some form approximation of global illumination, so that could have a significant impact on graphics quality.
Physically-based rendering and lighting are techniques used in the film industry to create photo-realistic effects. Merceron added that games with a more realistic art direction will likely see a much bigger difference than stylized and cartoony games, using Pixar films and James Cameron's Avatar as examples.
"Now, if you take most of the Pixar movies from the last five to six years"¦ do you see a big difference between one that was released five years ago, and one that was released last year? I'm actually not sure we see a huge difference.
"But if you take a film like Avatar, there's a huge leap in the graphics techniques that are being used and the level of realism," he said.
"The conclusion I would draw from that is we might end up seeing the difference way more in realistic-looking games, rather than those trying to achieve a cartoony look. At some point, with all these games [that are] going for a cartoony look, consumers might get the feeling that it's plateauing. But for games striving for a very realistic look, it's going to be easy to see all the improvements, all the time."