Within the next 10 years video game graphics will become "indistinguishable from reality," but will only end up highlighting the many problems that much raw power cannot solve.

Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games and developer of the Unreal Engine, speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton today said that game environments will be "absolutely photo-realistic within the next 10 years."

But "an indistinguishable from reality level of graphics" will only provide a veneer of realism over difficult algorithmically driven problems in simulating the worlds we will create. Sweeny explains the coming challenges as moving from graphical problems to "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," he added.

Epic games latest engine Unreal 4 is still being tweaked and the "sweet spot" for showing off the engine’s new abilities will be the end of next year. Epic has a number of projects underway to explore its capabilities, "the rush is on right now."

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[Via Gamesindustry]