Originally Posted by dxx
Also + huge wads of cash from Intel and nVidia, companies that both advertise within the game and use Crysis to sell their hardware in online adverts. Are they going to be happy with Crytek boosting performance on their old lines of hardware, when that same boost could be applied to the new hardware to make it seem that bit faster than before? Take note especially of the fact that Crysis is seen by The Industry as being the current Game Of The Future, meaning that any hardware capable of running Crysis smoothly is, effectively, future-proof.
In general I don't believe into conspiracy theories but your point isn't a bad one because the (computer) industry always took bigger jumps forward once a game or engine has been released that was "ahead of its time". The results were always faster hardware and a cheaper price and we already saw that with the release of cards like the 8800GT, 3850, 3870 etc., all excellent cards with impressive price/performance ratios.
At the same time you have to remember what Crytek did with FarCry for instance with the HDR engine upgrade (the first "high precision" HDR game IIRC) and they have promised to give Crysis a similar visual upgrade with more advanced shaders and higher settings ("Ultra High" settings).
These "Ultra High" settings could very well be reserved for the "next generation" of video cards (Nvidia D9E etc.) and if they do it this way there actually speaks nothing against boosting performance on current hardware ("Very High" or lower settings) because the new cards would get their "exclusive" visual upgrade just like current cards would get their performance enhancements at lower settings.
The real question to me is actually "how" they want to increase performance because in general you need to decrease image quality IF there isn't enough "untouched" performance left in the engine. I do think there is room for improvement left with multi-card solutions (10-20% gain w/o image quality decrease should be possible) but when it comes to single cards I'm not that optimistic other than lowering quality of certain effects or move some to other settings. Although a visual decrease would speak against what Crytek is about (pushing visuals to the limit even if it hurts) so I would be disappointed by that move.