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Published on May 17th, 2012 | by Cameron Woolsey

Unreal Engine 4 Heralds The Next Era in Video Game Graphics

If you have been up to date on many of the most popular games this generation, there’s a pretty good chance that you have experienced gaming powered by Unreal’s enormously popular Unreal Engine 3. Games like Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands, Mortal Kombat, Infinite Blade, and Mirror’s Edge, have all used this powerful and highly versatile gaming engine.

Technology enthusiast website Wired unveiled today that first images for the next iteration of the engine, Unreal Engine 4, and the results are jaw-dropping. The image above as well as the ones below are all taken from an Unreal Engine 4 demonstration video.

The massive article is chock-full of delicious details on the engine, and is an excellent read for graphics lovers as well as tech fiends.

When we will be able to play games that look that amazing? Apparently, according to Wired, that day is closer than you realize, so long as Microsoft and Sony are ready with their new line of gaming platforms.

In the article, Epic founder Tim Sweeney discusses what he wants out of the next generation of consoles:

As early as last March, Epic was making the case for more power with a demo screened at the 2011 GDC. Called Samaritan and built in Unreal Engine 3 with a new set of specialized plug-ins, the video showcased the rendering power of current high-end hardware, displaying an impressive array of effects, like realistic clothing, lifelike lighting, and highly detailed facial expressions. It took three high-end graphics cards to handle the demand, but it grabbed people’s attention. “We used it as an opportunity to make a point to the developers,” Sweeney says. “‘We want 10 times more power; here’s what we can do with it.

And that was merely for a souped-up version of Unreal 3. For Unreal 4, yet another quantum leap in hardware has to happen. Creating a game that operates on a level of fidelity comparable to human vision, Sweeney says, will require hardware at least 2,000 times as powerful as today’s highest-end graphics processors. That kind of super-hi-def experience may be only two or three console generations away, but it hinges on manufacturers moving toward the power levels Sweeney is looking for today. He needs the next generation of consoles to be good.

Your move, id.

Source: Wired

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About the Author

Video game journalist since 2006, and gaming since he was old enough to use an Atari joystick. Follow me: @Cam_is_16bit

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