If you were hoping for 1080p, 60fps and unbridled amounts of massive physics-based destruction for the early goings of next-gen games, think again. Eidos Montreal has put a pickle in the gears of expectations, knocking down the hopes and dreams of gamers by a peg, after acknowledging that Thief 4 will be relegated to 30fps.
In an interview with Videogamer.com, Eidos Montreal producer Stephane Roy told them that while working on Thief for next generation consoles the priority has not been 60fps but rather, 30fps with a lot of physics-based effects, saying...
"For a shooter it's a no-brainer. The higher the frame rate is, the better it is."..."On my side, the type of game I'm going to work on... I don't want to put extra pressure on the team just because we can do it if it's not a necessity. If the players see nothing different, maybe I would prefer to have better physics and stuff like that and not this 60 frames per second frame rate."
This is a little scary if the hardware is being peaked so early on. However, there are some notes to takeaway from what he said that might help clarify a bit: He says he would prefer physics but not that the physics have – at this point, anyway – diminished the possibility of 60 frames per second. It sounds more like they're still testing ground and seeing what sticks, what works and what boundaries they can push while maintaining either 30 frames or 60 frames per second.
Word around the block is that the final dev kits aren't in just yet for the PS4 and Xbox 720 and that what footage we're seeing and what screenshots we're getting aren't entirely finalized on the console manufacture's hardware. Nevertheless, if the Unreal Engine 4 tech demo for PS4 is anything to go by, I would presume that early releases on the PS4 will have to make some sacrifices in some graphics or effects departments to maintain 60 frames per second.
It's also highly doubtful we'll be seeing anything from the Brigade Engine running on the PS4 and Xbox 720 anytime soon.
Nevertheless, Sony has taken a completely pro-developer stance with the PS4 this time around and some developers like CD Projekt Red are already claiming that it's so much easier now porting between PC and PlayStation that there's a possibility that the quality of games and performance could increase between multiplatform titles during this next generation. So even at the cost of 60fps, consistent stability and performance could still go a long ways in keeping the console cycle feeling fresh.