Every time a next-gen console hits the market, its graphics are always up a notch. In terms of graphics, the leap from the original PlayStation to the PS2 was probably the greatest with the differences in PS3 and PS4 no slouch, as well.
Next in line is the PS5 graphics. What next now? What will PS5 graphics look like?
Well, that why we are here; to give the insights of what to expect with the new PS5 console. With technology moving at a breakneck pace, PS5 could be going to make the most significant leap. Have you ever heard about photorealistic graphics?
Video Game Graphics: The Current Situation
If I were to describe the current condition, I would say it is “uncanny” – it’s both familiar and alien at the same time. The graphics are things that we recognize, but there are not in the form that we are familiar with or expect.
The industry has made some significant strides in terms of animation and video rendering. The characters and people loo spectacular, and the environments have never looked any better.
Let’s take, for example, the Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The PS4’s Hellblade using some magnificent tech in the graphics execution. Having been able to play the Hellblade, without any fear of contradiction, I should say that that’s the closest I have come to what PS5’s graphics could look like.
The game featured the new tech from Epic gamers, the brains behind Unreal Engine 4. The engine has been used for many more games. However, in the Hellblade, it reals proves how real human characters could be.
Hellblade was just an example…it is not the only game that fits in my uncanny categories. There are many more others, including Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
We have made some great strides in terms of physics and environments, but believable humans and lighting leave a lot to be desired. We hope that the next-gen console will make significant improvements to that.
The Obstacle We Face in Reaerating Reality
Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Game, in 2013, said that video games would be photorealistic within ten years. The clock is ticking; how much time do we have left? Is the Unreal Engine yet there?
According to a University of California researcher and the pioneer of subsurface scattering, Wann Jensen, to be able to make photorealistic images, we need to master ‘global illumination.’ Global illumination studies how light behaves in our real world. He thinks that we are not yet there, but we will be there soon enough.
To be able to achieve global illumination, we also need to understand everything about ray tracing. The concept explains how millions of light rays go through an area while reflecting off different surfaces. The feature covers the texture, shadows, and shading.
Ray tracing technology is already being used in advertising and movies. In advertising, technology is being used to make a digital product model appear even more realistic. If video games are to use this tech, it means that they have a daunting task of making the calculations in real-time.
To be able to calculate the algorithms in real-time, we need massive processing power. The tech that is available at the moment, even for PC rigs, is inadequate for raytracing. The solution that we have at the moment is rasterization, the algorithm that is responsible for the graphics that we see now.
The drawback of this technology is that it is not able to simulate real-world things to appear just the way they are. This leaves a lot to game developers to use the game engine to create their effects.
For instance, let take a popular game engine such as Unity. Let’s see how the light will behave in the game engine. The results are someone who manually drew the shadow and not the light’s reaction.
As things stand now, colors, shadows, and texture are mainly manually drawn by hand. With ray tracing and photogrammetry, game artists will have less work at handling the graphics, and the results will be more and more realistic.
Steps That Have Been Put in Place
There are different steps that the industry is taking in ensuring that they overcome the obstacles they face as far as the visuals are concerned.
We have already discussed ray tracing; there is also another tech known as photogrammetry. The tech is being used in other fields at the moment, and it involves taking real settings and objects pictures. A lot of them, like hundreds from different angles.
What Will PS5 Graphics Look Like?
Great lighting in a video game is everything as far as reaching photorealism is concerned. There is a lot to be done so far. Top game engines such as the Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine are really working hard to ensure that they achieve unscripted images and environments.
So, what about the PS5? There a lot of concerns and questions about the next-gen console in terms of the graphics and the visuals as a whole.
There has been a word going around that the PS5 graphics will hit a dead end. How far from the truth could that statement be? Has Sony exhausted all their creativity? Will they be bringing something tremendous and different on the table? Will the new PlayStation come with a PS5 graphics card? There are a whole lot of questions surrounding this next-gen device.
Sony has not yet said a word about the graphics of their new device. They have been very quiet concerning the whole PS5 console. So far, they have only showcased the PS5 controller and highlighted some of the cool features that will be available in the new controller. We don’t even have a word about the full specs of the controller.
However, we expect a lot of improvements with the new console. The PS4 pro could support 4K gaming, could the further console support up to 8K? Will the system be able to accommodate photorealistic images? I guess we will have to find out.