4GB is a ton! I've seen music videos less than 4k.
The artists are in charge, not the designers or the programmers, or the mappers, or the character designers, or the writers. THE STUPID ARTISTS.
I don't feel like running in 800x640 to have competitive level framerates.
Crysis level graphics came out a while ago and were good enough.
There's no evidence that photorealistic textures are being taken from, well photographs which would cut game production costs considerably.
We need to get Carmak to attend to this. Everything is based off his work. Still.