id Software's John Carmack says that he isn't sure Sony will come out on top in the next generation.
"I suspect they're not going to overwhelmingly crush the marketplace this time, which wasn't clear a year ago," Carmack said at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
"A lot of people were thinking it's going to be a rerun of the last generation, and it's now looking like it might not be."
Speaking earlier this week, the cheerfully outspoken programming guru reiterated his position on next-gen development.
"We've got our PlayStation 3 dev kits, and we've got our code compiling on it. I do intend to do a simultaneous release on it," he told Game Informer, referring to id's current project, of which more in a bit.
"But the honest truth is that Microsoft dev tools are so much better than Sony's," he said. id intends to keep catching the PS3 project up with Xbox 360 development, and not the other way around.
"None of my opinions have really changed on that. I think the decision to use an asymmetric CPU by Sony was a wrong one. There are aspects that could make it a winning decision, but they're not helpful to the developers."
"I've been pulling for Microsoft, because I think they've done a better job for development support, and I think they have made somewhat smarter decisions on the platform.
"It's not like the PlayStation 3 is a piece of junk or anything. I was not a fan of the PlayStation 2 and the way its architecture was set up. With the PlayStation 3, it's not even that it's ugly - they just took a design decision that wasn't the best from a development standpoint."
Describing the 360 as having "probably the best graphics API as far as a sensibly designed thing that I've worked with," Carmack restated that id's next big game will be "a new IP".
"It's diverting a little bit from the standard id formula and it's not just a first-person shooter. Technically, it's built around an advancement over the MegaTexture technology from Quake Wars.
"Where that was applied just to the terrain, the version of the new technology applies it into everything, so we can have that level of rich detail on all the surfaces on the entire world.
"That's the push that we're making with graphics technology. The gameplay is somewhat different from anything that we've of done before."
As for when we can expect to see it, we suspect "when it's done" is the key phrase, but Carmack did say that he'd "certainly expect" to be showing something by the time of the next QuakeCon event, currently scheduled for the start of August.
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