Crytek: It's "impossible" for next-gen consoles to compete with PCs
Though Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli is under a non-disclosure agreement from both Microsoft and Sony to not MAXIMUM BEAN-SPILL details on their next-gen console reveals, that doesn't prevent him from preaching a bit to the Nanosuited choir. Speaking to Eurogamer, Yerli flatly proclaims the hardware rift between modular PC setups and the upcoming console family makes it "impossible" for the latter to match beefy battlestations.
"It's impossible to package $2,000-$3,000 worth of hardware into a mainstream—let's say $500—console," Yerli says. "I'm not saying they are $500 consoles. They may launch a console at $2,000, but the consumer pricing is usually much lower than that. So, given consumer pricing, and given the cost of production of a gamer PC and the amount of wattage and power it needs, which is like a fridge, it's impossible."
Yerli believes PC gaming's flexibility with swappable hardware components and the range of possible configurations gives it a competitive edge against consoles.
"The whole modular way you can design a PC today with two, three, or four graphics cards in them, and you can water-cool them and overclock to infinity, that didn't exist even six or seven years ago," he says. "You just bought one or maybe two graphics cards and then you were super enthusiastic.
"It's very difficult to compete with that. People have these massive nuclear power plants standing in their rooms that will run your games really fast. It's hard to compete with."
Crytek's sleek Crysis franchise boasts a long-standing reputation for pushing the limits of hardware as far as it can, but in the realm of consoles, Yerli admits the studio's efforts to drive graphical innovation only progressed so far.
"It was like a five or ten percent gain," he estimates. "That's it. We improved quality on consoles both visually and perception-wise through different techniques, not just brute force technology. So I think it's above Crysis 2 on consoles.
"But the PC version, because the specs are now much more evolved—this is two years later, effectively—this is two generations of PCs we could leverage and DirectX 11 is fully rolled out, so now we could really push it," he continues. "I made a joke at one point saying, 'We're going to melt PCs,' and I think we're going to melt PCs again. People want that, and we'll deliver that."
It seems Crytek decided to unleash the full might of its CryEngine 3 workhorse after hearing requests from hardware-philes for a game to truly churn their machines.
"With Crysis 2, we tried to make the specs available to as many PC gamers as possible," Yerli explains. "Then we heard back from the loudest group, which was enthusiast PC gamers, who said, 'Our PCs are running this game at 200 frames. What the hell? We should be running at 30 frames.'
"Our graphics programmers said, 'We're going to give them a game they can't run any more.'"
We accepted the challenge of running the un-runnable and dived into the brush and rubble of Crysis 3 for our review, which you can read right here. Also check out <a href="" target="_blank">Eurogamer's full interview.