Given the short history of videogames, it is insane to imagine that in less than 20 years things may look photorealistic.
That is Epic Games’ founder Tim Sweeney’s estimate.
Here is an excerpt from his Gamasutra interview:
Looking ahead, how long do you think it will be before real-time computer graphics are 100% realistic like a movie?
There are two parts to the graphical problem. Number one, there are all those problems that are just a matter of brute force computing power: so completely realistic lighting with real-time radiosity, perfectly anti-aliased graphics, and movie-quality static scenes and motion.
We’re only about a factor of a thousand off from achieving all that in real-time without sacrifices. So we’ll certainly see that happen in our lifetimes; it’s just a result of Moore’s Law. Probably 10-15 years for that stuff, which isn’t far at all. Which is scary — we’ll be able to saturate our visual systems with realistic graphics at that point.
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