Photorealistic graphics are required for the gaming industry to expand into new genres, according to 2K Games boss Christoph Hartmann.

Convincing portrayals of emotions such as sadness and love were still beyond the capabilities of the medium, said Hartmann, and that meant developers were restricted to safer genres such as the shooter for the time being.

"Recreating a Mission Impossible experience in gaming is easy; recreating emotions in Brokeback Mountain is going to be tough, or at least very sensitive in this country... it will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies," said Hartmann.

Hartmann felt that once photorealism was achieved, the industry would have reached an endpoint, and “that might be the final console".

"Until games are photorealistic, it'll be very hard to open up to new genres. We can really only focus on action and shooter titles; those are suitable for consoles now."

2K are certainly focussing on the action genre – three of its last four games were shooters: Duke Nukem Forever, The Darkness 2, and Spec Ops: The Line.