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Next Xbox, PS4 will be 10x as powerful

Here in "a couple of years," says Carmack.

The next-generation of home consoles – the next Xbox and the PlayStation 4 – will be ten times as powerful as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

That's according to programming legend John Carmack, who told Eurogamer that Microsoft and Sony's new consoles will "be here in a couple of years".

This week a new report suggested Microsoft will reveal its next Xbox at E3 2012. A 2013 launch is rumoured to be in the works.

In March new job listings suggested Microsoft was ramping up development of its next generation Xbox console. The evidence seemed to suggest that the system is so early in development that the graphics hardware at the very least hadn't been locked down.

Sony, however, continues to push its ten-year lifecycle prediction for the PlayStation 3.

In fact Sony Computer Entertainment Europe boss Andrew House told Eurogamer at E3 last week that it's a case of "ten years plus".

"From a Sony perspective, we're very comfortable with PS3 and the way that market's developing," he said. "We're highly focused on launching Vita as a next-generation portable now some seven years after PSP was launched. We're really not looking at anything beyond that at this stage."

"The next-generation will be here soon, a couple of years," Carmack told Eurogamer in a new Rage interview.

"It'll be another ten times as powerful as this [PS3, Xbox 360]. I'd be surprised if that doesn't last over a decade before people wind up saying, well, we've really tapped out everything you could possibly do on there."

Carmack said that the next-generation will present game creators with a tough challenge: how do you make game graphics stand out?

"The better games get the harder you have to go to give a delta people care about. That's going to be a challenge for the next-generation of consoles, to show what pack-in title is going to look so much more awesome than what you get on the current ones that people want to go spend $300 on a new console.

"They'll be able to do it on the next generation, but it's going to be much harder."

Crysis 2 creator Crytek is thought to be making Timesplitters 4 for the next Xbox, using DirectX 11 in development.