It seems game developers are already thinking about the PS5. Paul Ross, the former Criterion tech director, recently spoke with EDGE about the next-generation consoles and he had a lot of interesting things to say about what he thought would define the PS5, and how his studio, Three Fields Entertainment, is preparing for this future in their debut game: “Dangerous Golf”
With each generation of consoles, the graphics become more powerful, the games get bigger, and the standards go up. Over the past few consoles, things have made strides forward, but not leaps and bounds. The difference between the PlayStation and the PS2, for example, was far more pronounced than the difference between the PS3 and the PS4. Let’s find how Paul’s predictions line up with our own.
PS4 to PS5: The Leap We’ve Been Waiting For?
It’s becoming more and more clear the PS5 will represent the quantum leap we’ve been waiting for. Growing technology and the introduction of new innovations like PlayStation VR have triggered a lot of predictions among ourselves and PlayStation fans. It seems that developers have also been looking to the future.
After leaving Criterion in 2014 to co-found Three Fields Entertainment, Paul Ross recalled during his interview that he sat at his desk “thinking, OK, what does a PlayStation 5 game look like? What does an Xbox Two game look like? And how can we start to build for that future now?”
A Screenshot from Dangerous Golf
During his thoughts, he touched upon something we’ve yet to discuss here on PS5 Gamers, and it’s amazing how it was always there, but a gamer like me would never think of it. It’s the physics engines. Paul says quote: “Physics engines haven’t changed since I did the physics on TrickStyle for the Dreamcast. They’re all about rigid bodies and solid objects. This is a real paradigm shift because it’s about simulating physics at a molecular level. It’s been a really hard problem to solve for quite a while.”
He’s right. Our physics engines have done their best to simulate things like liquid, light, and solid objects, but we still need monster PC machines just to get cloth and hair right? Physics are way behind the ball, and that’s not anyone’s fault. It simply means that new tech and stronger processing power can bring us worlds and not only look real, but feel real as well.
Paul puts it perfectly when he says: “So what does a PS5 game look like? With PS4 we’ve seen some fidelity put into the worlds, but PS5’s going to be about more dynamic worlds, far more interactive worlds that are more believable in the way they behave.”
We can make it look pretty amazing, but we still haven’t nailed down the feel of the real world in terms of physics. This missing piece is crucial to creating a world that is indistinguishable from the real thing.
Three Fields Entertainment’s Debut Title: Dangerous Golf
I was skeptical when I heard that Paul’s studio is working on a game called Dangerous Golf, but when i read more about the title, I saw Paul’s vision reflected in the concept. In the game, players will be able to destroy a variety of environments ranging from castles to gas stations. This destruction will be based around a physics system that they claim will “push the boundaries of a physics-based game.”
One of the other co-founders, Alex Ward, expressed a similar approach when he said “We set out to push the boundaries of a physics-based game and just start to prepare for the next generation of machines whenever they come and try to be a small developer, but be on the cutting edge of tools and technology.”
The concept is rock-solid, and the studio knows that physics-based games are just now becoming a possibility as new technology comes forward. By staying on the forefront of this, they hope that their titles will give them an edge over other developers when the PS5 is inevitably announced.
What do you think? Will physics play a major role in the games on PS5? How will these engines improve? Share your thoughts in the comments below!