The PS5 release is inevitable, but one developer believes photorealism can be achieved on the PS4 Pro without the need for new hardware.

PS4 Update

The head of Stardock has said that he believes the games industry is able to achieve photorealistic graphics with current-generation systems before the PS5 release rolls around.

Speaking with GamingBolt, Brad Wardell suggested that the PS4 Pro has the technical grunt to achieve this level of visual fidelity at some stage, suggesting that hardware isn’t actually the issue that’s holding is back, but rather software.

Well, I think we can [achieve photorealism] with the current cycle, actually,” he said. “We can go full realism. I mean, can we get past uncanny valley? Probably not. But when I think photo, I think still images. And we can definitely do that! For one frame- it’s usually the animation or how the light interacts with certain materials that makes you go, ‘this isn’t quite right.’

You know, a lot of it comes down to the engines too,” Wardell continued. “The hardware guys probably shake their fists at the software, because everyone is using these engines nowadays, these off the shelf engines that were written back in the early 2000s. And sure, they’ve iterated, but they’re still based on the assumption that one CPU core is talking to one GPU, for example. They’re not doing- for example, their lighting techniques are very much a video game style lighting technique, and not what you would see in a movie or CGI. But they could- the hardware can. It’s just that the software doesn’t allow them to.”

This isn’t the first time that the subject of photorealism in videogames has come up. Developer Climax Studios’ Jamie Fisher commented earlier this month that the PS5’s graphics are likely to achieve this feat, although made it clear that this isn’t necessarily what the studio was most fussed about when it comes to new hardware.

Elswhere, Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities, suggested that the PS5 release date will likely target around 2020, when he believes that the rise of 4K TV adoption will finally kick in. Sony of course hasn’t made any formal plans for a successor to the PS4, which is barely into its fourth year on the market.