Epic Founder: ‘No Physical Media In Next Gen Tech’
Epic Games and Sweeney have been at the forefront of news in the past few weeks, ever since showcasing the Samaritan tech demo at this year’s GDC, which presented a starkly dense, neon-lit, cyberpunk scene in real time.
In an interview with games™ magazine, Sweeney expressed concerns on the slow load times and restrictions that mechanical media exposes.
“Spinning mechanical media is truly an awful distribution scenario for gaming,” said Sweeney. "Accessing a random piece of data takes up to a quarter second. NAND-based flash memory access times are measured in nanoseconds. Many of the limitations in current-gen games derive from the hardware’s inability to load random-access data quickly.”
The technical director concluded: “I’d expect mechanical media to play no role in future devices.”
Speculation is rife as to what specifications future consoles will hold, but it’s how our games will be accessed that is currently being hotly debated. Sweeney obviously advises that Blu-ray or any other forms of physical media should play no role, but is it too early for cloud-based computing and bandwidth-bullying full downloadable games?
The cover feature of games™ issue 108, takes a look at the advances in tech that are currently being made in preparation for next-gen of gaming and analyses the Samaritan demo in more detail. Issue 108 is on sale from 14 April priced £4.50. Order your copy from the Imagine Shop here.