One of the technical advantages PlayStation 3 had over Xbox 360 is its support for Blu-ray discs that can hold 50GB of data, but it seems that even this won’t be enough for next gen games.
Until now game designers used to create a high quality version of their game assets (items) to be used in FMVs and such, then drive a lower quality version from them for use in realtime game rendering. However, when Yoshihisa Hashimoto, the chief technical officer at Square Enix and his team ran out of time while developing their Luminous Engine E3 tech demo, they noticed that the next gen CPU and GPU are capable of rendering the high quality assets in real time.
As a result, the tech demo looked as impressive as a modern CGI movie but at the expense of its size.
"That's what we're expecting to do," he said. "For the backgrounds used in this - the mountains, the houses - we are using exactly the same assets as are used in the Visual Works CG version," Hashimoto explained. "Of course, it's too massive of a data to use in a game as-is, but I think the look and feel will probably remain. If we had time, we could've compressed the data even smaller. We didn't have time to do that, so we just used the same master data - but it can definitely be reduced."
When asked if the 50GB of storage space available on Blu-ray discs would be sufficient for such games, the technical director was not very confident they would. "Yeah, that could be a challenge. There's a possibility that just one Blu-ray may not be sufficient," he said. "We have to really consider the mechanism of compressing the data carefully."
You can watch the Luminous Engine E3 Tech Demo here.