Developer Hopes PS5 And Next Xbox Will Support Neural Networks

Each console generation there's a period where we know the next-gen is coming, but we don't know [...]


Each console generation there's a period where we know the next-gen is coming, but we don't know anything about what it entails. And this is one of the more exciting times as a fan of gaming: as it's full of speculation, rumors, and pipe dreams. Will we see just a raw, hardware iteration or something more revolutionary, like the move from 2D to 3D or the emergence of online networks? Unfortunately, the former seems more and more the case these days. But, at the moment, the sky is the limit for the PS5 and the next Xbox, codenamed Scarlett.

While Nintendo walks its own path and is constantly evolving its approach and trying new things, both Microsoft and Sony have seemingly locked themselves in a battle of just power, with graphical fidelity the most important area for improvement.

That said, while speaking to GamingBolt, Cradle Games technical director Marc-Andre Jutras revealed what he hopes the next consoles will bring: neural networks.

"What I would like to see in the future, and it will be a bit hard, is neural networks," said the director, who admitted the mass market may not be ready for this.

The developer continued:

"But, I think it's something that comes to video games. Let's say in Assassin's Creed, the games learn you keep doing specific quests or things, and adapt some of themselves to how you play. I think that's something we start seeing. Because it's really easy to get bored in big world games. It's easy to say 'Oh I saw the same thing over and over,' there's a diminishing returns to the fun factor of games. So if the game can learn when you are about to get bored, and generate something for you at that moment, I think that could be awesome."

According to the developer, what standed in the way of something like this on PS4 and Xbox One are the system's lack of CPU, but hopefully with the next-gen that can change.

"Right now the current generation doesn't have the CPU power to run neural networks properly, but I think the next generation will have enough power to let developers take one or two threads at the side and let them run some neural networks at the side. I think it's something that we will start seeing slowly happen in games."

If Jutras is correct, this could be a very meaningful improvement for video games. It's not revolutionary, but it would push the medium forward, especially for -- as he points out -- big open-world games where content surplus and immersion are the driving forces.

Anyway, for now, all we can do is wait and see. Most reports and pundits purport the PS5 and next Xbox will be out in 2020.