“We have a new console generation coming and that’s going to allow us to do some things that we haven’t been able to do before creatively, that’s exciting,” he told CNBC.
“But as I’ve said before, we’re going to reach a point where you won’t be able to tell the difference between what’s created in the computer and what’s real.”
Zelnick said lifelike graphics are particularly suited to certain types of games such as the publisher’s NBA 2K basketball series, but not to others.
“That doesn’t mean we’ll do it for all of our games,” he said. “Borderlands, for example, is an animated universe, it’s always going to be an animated universe.
“But this promise of taking certain titles like basketball and making it truly look like live-action – it’s pretty close now, squint a little bit, it looks like live-action – that’s really exciting, and that gives our creative folks a new canvas on which to paint.”
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said Microsoft is prioritising improved frame rates and playability over graphical enhancements with Xbox Scarlett.
During the same CNBC interview, Zelnick said it’s “disrespectful” to blame video games for real world gun violence.