According to 2K Games global president Christoph Hartmann, we won't have new genres, and games won't be truly emotionally affecting until they are photorealistic.
"Recreating a Mission Impossible experience in gaming is easy; recreating emotions in Brokeback Mountain is going to be tough," Hartmann said. "It will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies."
"To dramatically change the industry to where we can insert a whole range of emotions, I feel it will only happen when we reach the point that games are photorealistic; then we will have reached an endpoint and that might be the final console," Hartmann said.
I have mixed feelings about this. I'm not sure photo-realism will add anything to games, and I'm not even sure it's the direction most games need to go. I think of video games like comics. There is nothing added to most comic books or strip comics by making them more realistic, in fact, it's the opposite. Simply drawn, iconic characters like Charlie Brown or Calvin and Hobbes are infinitely more relatable and emotionally affecting than more realistically rendered characters.
I think games aren't as emotionally diverse as movies because game-makers haven't explored the medium as thoroughly as is possible. I think video games have a ways to do until they've developed a unique artistic language that could result in satisfying fictional experiences that go beyond shooting things in the face, and I don't think that has anything to do with realism. Right now, games are largely a market-driven art form, and the market just doesn't care to be challenged like that. It'll happen though, eventually. Probably from indie game makers, who often come very close to creating emotionally resonant games.