John Carmack: "Traditional consoles could become an audiophile-like niche"

Doom creator predicts a strong future for consoles despite competition.

John Carmack believes consoles have a strong future despite new cloud gaming services and the power of PC gaming.


Id's Technical Director attended E3 to show off his own Head-Mounted Display running the BFG edition of Doom 3. With Carmack's software and new low-latency motion tracking tech, his hobby project brings the flawed dream of virtual reality into the current generation. See videos of Carmack discussing the virtual reality gaming headsets he's been building for the past year.

Carmack plans on selling to hobbyists and hackers who can advance the software and hardware to the point it becomes commercially viable.

The HMD version of Doom 3 runs off a powerful PC, but Carmack has positive things to say about the console space. "In many ways this would have been easier to do on consoles," he explains, "but unfortunately you can't just plug a USB device into a console and have it work; you have to have it certified and go through a whole process. And that's a little bit of a shame because even though the PC is ten times more powerful sometimes getting something done at the exact right point is easier on the consoles - it's a place where you know what scanline you're on at any point, and so on."

"Console gaming might morph" he explained. "You can certainly see cloud gaming being built into every display device and traditional consoles could become more like the audiophile niche of people who want the extreme experience there."

"I hesitate to predict anything five, six years into the future, but the next generation should last a long time."