What John Carmack Wants To See In the Next Generation of Game Consoles

Watch out, y’all. John Carmack has told Tom’s Guide what he wants to see in the next generation of consoles. Here’s what he said:

One of the most important things I would say is a unified virtual 64-bit address space, across both the GPU and the CPU. Not a partition space, like the PS3

Also, a full 64-bit space with virtualization on the hardware units – that would be a large improvement. There aren’t any twitchy graphics features that I really want; we want lots of bandwidth, and lots of cores.

There’s going to be a heterogeneous environment here, and it’s pretty obvious at this point that we will have some form of CPU cores and GPU cores.

We were thinking that it might be like a pure play Intel Larabee or something along that line, which would be interesting, but it seems clear at this point that we will have a combination of general purpose cores and GPU-oriented cores, which are getting flexible enough that you can do most of the things that you would do on a CPU.

Well, uh, that sounds awesome. I don’t really know what it means, but it’s awesome.

Read the rest of Tom’s Guide’s Carmack interview here.

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2 Comments on What John Carmack Wants To See In the Next Generation of Game Consoles


On August 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Eh. Why not just ask for a completely virtual machine in a virtual environment? Hell, the way cloud computing is growing these days, the next console you buy won’t physically exist in your home. You’ll just stream the content to your TV via some dumb box.

Sarcasm aside, the tech geek in me actually comprehends what “The Carmack” is semi-ranting about. He wants to break down the walls between GPUs and CPUs at the silicon, at least on the console front. You know, since ONE company pretty much dictates how their console environment is designed from the get go. So why not use your “I’m a programming god” status to give those corporate heads an elbow nudge?

I don’t see this happening on the PC front for a looooong time. Way too much competition and money involved between the big three (Intel, AMD, Nvidia). There’s a reason why Larabee got canned: it couldn’t compete with the existing GPU design. No matter how good the Larabee team was, and no matter how good it looked on paper, they were up against 15 years of raster engine experience and GPU designers spread among AMD and Nvidia. It’s tough to be a pioneer in hardware these days.


On May 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm

@Steve Kinda necro one.. but I’ve been playing OnLive cloud since October 2010. So that comentary on the next thing you won’t physically buy is kinda old.