The high cost of memory and processors will make it "impossible" for next-gen consoles "to have the same kind of impact on the console business" as the previous generation, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has told VideoGamer.com, before suggesting that next-generation horsepower won't be too dissimilar to the current capabilities of top-end PCs.
When asked what he would like Microsoft and Sony to factor into their next-generation consoles, Yerli stated that more memory would allow developers to do "so many more techniques and tricks".
"As a person who likes to drive technology-meets-game design as art, you can never have enough memory. Ever. Simple as that," Yerli told us. "Memory is the single most important thing that is always going to be underbalanced - I've never seen a console where the memory was the right balance.
"Xbox 360, underbalanced. PlayStation 3, underbalanced. Simply because memory is the most expensive part, hence I wish there would be cheaper ways of doing memory so that memory doesn't become an issue anymore.
"If they find ways to cheapen the cost to a degree they could triple or quadruple their memory. Just say, 'Hey we're going to have 32 gigs of memory'. That would be quite amazing because memory can do so many more techniques and tricks."
Triple or quadruple the amount of RAM to 32GBs? Could that be a hint as to what to expect from next-generation consoles? Both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 only carry 512MB of RAM, with the latter split equally between system and video resources.
But given the added costs and the industry's transition towards the free-to-play market, Yerli says that "the focus of next-gen is in a different area" besides graphical horsepower.
"The current generation consoles, when they launched, were far ahead compared to PC," Yerli continued. "But PC has caught up. With current generation consoles and what's on the horizon – new ones – due to the fact that the cost of CPU and memory are so much more expensive than they were in the past, it is simply impossible to have the same kind of impact on the console business; to be so far ahead of PC.
"That was our guess already two years ago. That's why we said back then that Crysis 3 is next-gen ready already. We did that without knowing the specs, but it's not going to be much more than what we have done so far. And it turns out we were pretty much right. But the focus of next-gen is in a different area.
"The world has changed because there's so much more free content now that the AAA market is losing business, and the AAA market has to reclaim that business or they'll have to move to free-to-play too."
Yerli is confident that Crytek's next-game will take full advantage of the current consoles, though. In the same interview, Yerli revealed that "not even 1%" of the consoles' power had remained untouched for Crysis 3.
Back in June, Yerli told VideoGamer that once Crytek's current contracts are complete, all of the company's future projects will be free-to-play ventures.
Neither Microsoft or Sony have announced plans for their next-generation hardware.
Source: Cevat Yerli, Crytek | Coverage obtained from a press event held in San Francisco. Flights and accommodation were paid for by the publisher.