Progress and improvement are always a good thing, but does anyone else get tired of over-sensationalized headlines spouting something about near-photorealism in games? Particularly when such taglines are used by gaming media like PC Games Hardware, I think it just contributes to a negative image of people who play games being stupid.
Advertisements and such have been claiming that games are nearly photorealistic for a good 7 years, at least, probably longer. Granted, it's getting closer, which is good, but the difference between game graphics five years ago and now and the difference between now and photorealistic doesn't even begin to compare. Keep in mind that the last 10% takes 90% of the work.
Many people have been claiming for years that game (real-time) graphics will catch up with other computer graphics, but I think there will always be a wide gap between them. Sure, real-time graphics may catch up to where pre-rendered graphics were 15 years ago, or 5 depending on the area. However, with real-time, you're generally limited by what one computer or console can compute in 1/30 of a second. In the pre-rendered world, you can spend 40 CPU hours on a single frame.
Titles like this one by PCs Game Hardware always remind me of the differences in how people look at things. When The Titanic came out, some people were claiming how the ship in one scene was an example of bad computer graphics. However, in that scene, the ship was a physical model and the water was computer generated. That's the mark of all good technology: it gets out of the way so you don't notice it and can focus on the content instead.
Here's two links to works that I think quality for the "Almost Photorealistic" title. [Register or Login to view links] [Register or Login to view links]