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F1 2011 has to be 'cleverer' to push current consoles

Have PS3 and Xbox 360 reached a technical ceiling?

Codemasters' F1 2011 team says it has to be 'cleverer' to get more out of current-gen consoles, which it believes are close to reaching their technical ceiling.

Speaking at a pre-E3 reveal, chief game designer Stephen Hood told CVG that following the consoles' initial 'wow' stage, his team now has to plan in advance to push the boundaries of current hardware.

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Asked if exiting machines are starting to touch the ceiling of their capabilities, Hood replied:

"Yeah. Certainly at the start of any generation people are wowed by how much memory's available, the storage capacity, processor and all these things... you go, 'what are we going to be able to do with this? It'll be amazing!'"

He added: "But you can quickly fill that up and when you're starting to push the boundaries of the hardware, you have to year-on-year become a little more clever in the way that you go about doing things."

One example, said Hood, is how the F1 team is handling pit crews.

"One of our big technical challenges in the original game that's carried through in to 2011 is having all the pit crews in there, so 15 animated characters per team that can all appear together down the pit lane," he explained.

"Doing something like that is hugely demanding because it takes up so much memory. So you have to have these clever ideas like, 'we can take something from there when they're in this mode, or they're loaded into the garage'.

"That's time consuming, but the cool thing that we have in that yearly iteration is we can plan these things in advance and say, 'if we want to put this feature in the future, we better start writing this in a particular way that will enable it to be memory efficient.' You've just got to be a little more clever with the tech."

And F1 2011 is a pretty game indeed. Read all about the impressive sequel in our F1 2011 first look preview, and keep an eye out for the full interview later today.

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