Re: John Carmack: Developing RAGE for consoles was a big mistake
I think this article that is getting posted has a terrible out of context headline. After watching his keynote and many interviews he isn't really talking about the PC as a lead platform for engines in terms of what we experience as users. He is talking about the tools to build them, the development cycle. He wants to develop the engine in such a way that a 24 thread 24 GB machine can let the artists and level designers iterate faster on making content. It's not about how good things will look for us in the end. Arguably this will end with more beautiful levels from an artistic standpoint but not necessarily a technical standpoint.
If you watch the whole thing he says multiple times that working on the development tools is more important than improving the engine because the artists can do more. He says "The balance has changed for me" towards the development tools being quicker and the game being responsive, vs being the most pretty visuals. He has also said trying to build a new engine fully to exploit the PC would torpedo a company because it would take so long to develop and take even longer to make art for..
What he says about the overhead of the APIs on the PC is totally true. Hopefully the 'renaissance' of gfx programming is just a generation or two around the bend where the Carmacks and Sweeny's can just treat GPU/CPUs as a ton of processors with direct memory access and then do whatever they'd like with em... but that won't happen without changes in driver architecture.