According to Epic Founder Tim Sweeney video game graphics will become "indistinguishable from reality" over the next 10 years but will only act as a decorative coating to other problems raw tech power can not solve. Reported by Games Industry International, Sweeney said at the Develop Conference in Brighton earlier today that game environments will be "absolutely photo-realistic within the next 10 years" but to create such realistic worlds there is a ton of technological problems to solve first.
That just moves the challenge of graphics to the problems we don't know how to solve. Like simulating human intelligence, animation, speech, lip-syncing. There are still a lot areas that will require ongoing research for probably the rest of our lives before we come close to approaching reality. It feels like we're going through the last 25 years of game history at the rate of four years every year.
Sweeney also added that he knows the landscape of distribution and development of games is changing and that the rapid changes present a challenge for developers. However he believes that Epic is well equipped for the future thanks to Unreal Engine 4. Sweeney noted that the "sweet spot" for seeing the true capabilities of Unreal Engine 4 will be at the end of 2014.
We've always recognised that the industry is in a state of constant change, and those that react fastest are the survivors