Speaking about the struggles of requiring hardware upgrades to push forward gaming, Carmack said he thinks that even today, the 8-year old Xbox 360 and 7-year old PS3 are far from tapped out in terms of what a developer could do with them:
Those same calculations still apply, even with the now-last-gen Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Their hardware potential has not been fully exploited, but programmers must focus on next-gen hardware. There are benefits to the new hardware, but also drawbacks because developers have to set aside some of what they know to learn anew.
"Even to this day, I struggle a little bit with that; there's so much you can still do on the previous console generation," Carmack said. "The 360 and PS3 are far from tapped out in terms of what a developer could do with them, but the whole world's gonna move over towards next-gen and high-end PCs and all these other things. Part of me still frets a little bit about that, where just as you fully understand a previous generation, you have to put it away to kind of surf forward on the tidal wave of technology that's always moving. That's something that we've struggled with in every generation. And now I at least know enough to recognize that some of my internal feelings or fondness for technology that I understand or have done various things with usually has to be put aside. Because data has shown over the decades that that's usually not as important as you think it is."