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John Carmack and his studio, id Software, have achieved some of the most stunning advances in the history of video games in the past 20 years, and they're generally regarded as graphics geniuses. So when they talked about the graphical capabilities of tablets in an interview over at Tom's Hardware, our interest was piqued.
Carmack estimates that the iPad 2 is as powerful as the modern home video game consoles the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are false, and that the tablet is actually "about half" as powerful. He noted that the reason most iPad games don't look nearly as good as console games has more to do with the length of time it takes to polish a game, saying that the current iOS marketplace wont sustain a game that spends millions of dollars on polish.
"There's been incorrect hyperbole about the power of these devices, where people are saying that they have console-level performance," said Carmack. "The iPad 2 has about half the performance power, and that's a ballpark estimate."
"But that does mean that mobile devices coming out, certainly next year, will be flat out more powerful," he continued, "and they'll probably be powerful enough where you don't even need the hyper-optimizing, that you could do a fairly easy port-over of your technology and assets. The biggest issue is going to be total distribution and storage space."
Comments like these coming from the mouth of someone like John Carmack should be extremely exciting for iOS gamers. It's a wild and wonderful future indeed to imagine current console games being ported directly to the iPad 3/4 within the next couple years. Let's just hope Apple starts shipping iPads with 10 terabyte hard drives.