id Software premiered its id Tech 5 engine in Rage earlier this month, and Epic's Tim Sweeney is hard at work on Unreal Engine 4. By the looks of it, the folks at Valve are less eager to talk up next-generation engine technology. Check out this snippet from GamingLives' interview with Chet Faliszek of Valve:
You've had the Source engine around for quite some time now, how difficult is it to come back and keep adding more to the engine and making sure it can keep up with the games of today?
That's just the way we work with that engine, we've just update it not just replace it, and some point we may say there's Source 2 or whatever, but really for us there's been a pretty easy way to keep it and understanding the tools. When you replace an engine you're replacing the tools and the way that people work, there's an expense in man hours and people learning and people getting up on it right.
The rest of the interview dwells largely on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but you get the idea—Valve seems happy with its current strategy of incrementally improving its Source engine. That's worked pretty well for them so far, of course. Source debuted in 2004 with Half-Life 2, and it's still going strong in titles like Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, which feature an update version of the engine with more bells and whistles like high-dynamic-range lighting.
I just hope we won't have to wait for the next generation of consoles before Source gets another makeover. Portal 2 looks nice and runs great, but part of me wishes Valve would throw in a little more eye candy for us PC gamers. (Thanks to Shacknews for the tip.)