Oh dear goodness, talk about a stretch of hyperbole. Anyways, in a recent interview with Eurogamer, a valiant member of the Crytek team decided to spout out how the half-decade old Xbox 360 and PS3 will be able to squeeze DirectX 11 features out of their DirectX 9 equivalent graphics capabilities.
So the Eurogamer interview will just be a load of laughs for anyone who understands how this stuff works, with Rasmus Højengaard, director of creative development at Crytek saying...
"We want to make sure as much as is humanly possible can translate from a DX11 variant into a DX9 variant, that will work almost as good on an Xbox console to whatever extent we can, because we don't want the experience to be different between the platforms,"
I'm sorry, I'm calling bull crap. It's just not possible what he's talking about and it's a silly attempt at creating a selling point for misinformed gamers to latch onto and further spread misinformation to try to create extra sales for the game, where people will flock to forum boards and chat rooms saying "Oh man, did you hear? Crysis 3 will have DX11 features for the Xbox 360 and PS3!"
The major problem is that hardware wise full tessellation, soft-shadowing, volumetric particle effects and enhanced directional real-time lighting and scene reflections just isn't possible on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Literally, not possible due to outdated hardware limitations and the fact that these features are dependent on hardware not present in the current generation consoles.
Rasmus goes on to say that...
It's always interesting to push stuff when the perception is you can't push it anymore,".... "That's definitely something we're doing."
What Højengaard is really talking about is using the "smoke and mirrors" effect to replicate DirectX 11 features in the OpenGl and DirectX 9 environments. This is a tactic a lot of modders used to use during the olden days of Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D.
For example, you could "imitate" real-time shadow casting in those old games by creating place holder vertices behind or in front of an object and using a darker or lighter texture to make it look like it was casting a shadow. In simple terms, since the engines back then didn't support dynamic lighting, you could fake it using a few simple tricks, and most people would be none the wiser. Technically, they were glitches in the engine design but if it looked like it worked then who's to argue?
More than likely this is what Crytek means with a "DX11 variant" for the Xbox 360 and PS3...they're really just trying to imitate the effects on a lower scale. Technically it is possible to imitate some of the DirectX 11 features to create a similar look in a DirectX 9 or equivalent design environment but as Ramus mentioned, it will be very tricky, and none of it will actually be dynamically real-time. However, in no way will they actually be using actual DirectX 11 features on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
You can check out the entire interview over at Eurogamer, and be sure to check out the recently released gameplay trailer for Crysis 3 right here.
Crysis 3 is due out next year for home consoles and PC.