Wired reports on what’s next after Gears of War and HALO 3:

Yerli says his company will finish the PC version of Crysis before exploring the new consoles. But id’s new game should ship on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC simultaneously. And thus far, Carmack has worked with the new game consoles enough to deliver some expert commentary on each.

“The 360 is a fabulous machine to work on,” he says. In particular, “graphics programming is a blast. Microsoft has done a great job with all of their developer-support tools.” PlayStation 3 has “tons of power,” but “is not as easy to develop for…. Sony’s not as good at the developer-support part of things as Microsoft is. I know people in the office (who got) PS3 development kits and (said) they’re twice as (expensive), but they’re half as capable.

“It’s not a bad console; it’s certainly far better than everything else except maybe the Xbox 360. In an ideal world PlayStation 3 will be more powerful, but for the vast majority of the cases, you’ll be able to effectively exploit more power from the 360.”

Carmack initially expected that the engine he is currently working on for the new game would be the last one he’d need to make for a while. But after working with the new hardware, he’s changed his mind. “I think I called that one wrong. It doesn’t look like it’s quite time” to build one flexible game engine that will work across all the different platforms. “The PS3 and 360 are still different enough that you’re not going to wind up with a completely general-purpose (engine).”