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Crytek's Mike Read: 'We cannot take the current generation any further'

The Crysis 3 producer discusses console tech, Wii U, and giving PC users that little bit extra

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Is it your feeling that free-to-play will become the de facto model, in the same way that up until now the model has been boxed products?
Free-to-play is definitely where things are moving, whether people like it or not.
Retail channels will still exist, I think, and I really do believe that the next generation of consoles are going to have physical media attached to them because there are a lot of countries out there where digital distribution is not an option because of connection issues.

One thing we took away from E3 was that it feels like the whole industry is ready for the next generation consoles. PC is already effectively delivering a next gen experience right now. Do you ever foresee a day when the PC inherits the earth and becomes the dominant gaming platform?
There has always been this leapfrog between the generations. I think that coming into the next generation of consoles, this is the longest generation that we've seen between consoles at this point, and it has brought us to a point where we can't take it any further.

Crytek UK developed Crysis 2's multiplayer component. Is it doing the same for Crysis 3?
Yes Crytek UK is making multiplayer for Crysis 3, as well as Homefront 2.

Rasmus Højengaard, Crytek's director of creative development, said recently there's "fat chance" of a Wii U version of Crysis 3...
I wouldn't say there's no chance. I wouldn't say no chance. I mean the Wii U still doesn't have any kind of release date attached to it at this point. Who knows what the future will bring with it.

I can definitely say that we are working with Nintendo, and that's about all I can say on that front. I wouldn't rule it out, but there has really been no official releases associated with the Wii U yet, and given that we're releasing Crysis in an eight month time period in February of 2013, we can't play off of what their schedules are. I wouldn't rule it out, but you know, it is a possibility.

What's your impression of the system so far, do you like what you've seen?
I haven't seen it. Other than what I've seen in the media, I haven't really dug into it.

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Are you a big believer in the second screen technologies? Obviously with Microsoft developing SmartGlass as well, having a support screen seems like the latest pursuit for hardware companies.
One thing I really love about the Wii, and I'm not sure Nintendo even realised this when it launched, is that the Wii's demographic was between the age of six to 60.

I would gladly give a Wii controller to my three-year-old to play that game, but when I saw the Wii U controller I thought, I'm not sure if I'd give that to my child to play with, that's an expensive piece of hardware.

But past that, in terms of the dual screen stuff, I personally believe it's a bit of a novelty at this point, and if I would to have to point at anything that really moves into next gen, I think it's cloud gaming.

Sticking with the subject of the next generation, Crytek is a company known for being on the absolute bleeding edge of graphical technology. Is there a danger that we're kind of hurtling into this next generation - it feels a little bit like there's a risk that everyone's so locked in on these blockbuster triple-A templates that they're not necessarily going to want to deviate from them, they'll probably just throw more resolution and more frames per second at games?
Well in working with the CryEngine, building out the CryEngine, we can provide a lot of these tools to development studios so that they can focus not so much on making the graphics - they'll still have fantastic graphics - but removing that job so they can really focus on the gameplay as well.

There are a lot of cross opportunities that we have in the development we do on Crysis 3 and the development we do on the CryEngine and all of these things, talking back and forth to push it forward.

I don't feel there's a danger in it. I think there's a large group out there that wants these photorealistic things, and then you also have Hollywood for instance, Hollywood has been obsessed with how to recreate these crazy things and make them as photorealistic as possible with special effects and even the animated stuff between DreamWorks and Pixar and all of those guys.

J.J. Abrams made a statement not that long ago about videogames specifically and how in the masses it's a very misunderstood medium, but I think there's a clash that's going to happen, likely in the next ten years, between Hollywood and the gaming industry to create more of an interactive experience.

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