With "next gen season" fast approaching, boys and girls of Gaia once again find themselves wondering, with improvements in hardware, what visual treats await those privileged enough to have what we proles call "money." Apparently, we cannot look to the Wii U for guidance, as despite its rather impressive tech demo, the system is reported to be less powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360.
For many of us in the gamescape, Epic's "Samaritan" video - stunningly detailed, and peppered with visual whiz-bangs - seemed to be more of the jump one would expect from true next-gen graphics. There was only one problem: It was not the Unreal 4 engine. Rather the demo was made with a modified Unreal 3 engine which, while still an aesthetic feast, left us "holy f*ck, that's pretty" connoisseurs thoroughly and bitterly teased.
In a Wired article, the fabled next-gen engine is on its way - though whether next-gen hardware is capable of fully handling it is suspect. The Samaritan demo took "three high-end graphics cards to handle the demand;" realizing the goal that Epic's Tim Sweeny has in mind - creating visuals comparable to what the human eye can perceive - "will require hardware at least 2,000 times as powerful as today's highest-end graphics processors." He believes that such advances are two or three generations off.
Granted, this is so much speculation, and Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski's insistence that "It needs to be a quantum leap [...] They need to damn near render Avatar in real time" is terribly lofty, the above photo, as well as the gallery posted on Wired, gives gamers an idea of what the company has in store for the next generation of consoles. Moreover, the engine is reported to be not simply a vehicle for ultra-high-definition graphics, but a way of streamlining development, "allowing studios to do in 12 months what can take two years or more today."
So the full article (complete with a gallery) at Wired to learn more about Epic's latest efforts!