Look what Epic can do with a mobile processor

Thursday, 26th June 2014 23:14 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Epic Games is staffed by sorcerers. It’s the only explanation for the graphics performance it has managed to eke out of a mobile processor.


It helps that the processor in question is Nvidia’s Tegra K1, which was described at reveal as having the power of a PS3 or Xbox 360 but with power consumption suitable to something you’d carry in your pocket all day.

Epic put this demo together in under three weeks, bringing assets across from its Samaritan demo – which was designed to showcase cutting-edge PC graphics back in 2011, but has already been surpassed by Unreal Engine 4.

The tech demo is running on Google I/O, running Epic’s full desktop renderer with various fancy extensions; the video has more details on that if you’re interested. That your mobile device can now render graphics of this quality is amazing, although of course we’re looking at a cutscene, not in-game graphics – just like most cinematic tech demos, regardless of platform (interactive examples like the PSOne’s T-Rex are the exception).

It’s sort of amazing how powerful mobile devices are becoming; how many years do you think we have before there’s little difference between your phone and your desktop?

Thanks, CVG.



  1. Dragon

    ” how many years do you think we have before there’s little difference between your phone and your desktop?”
    Never. Because desktop size can always cram more power than mobile size.

    Nice to see the increase in processing power isn’t slowing down.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    You know, all due credit to Epic, they can optimise the heck out of absolutely anything! I haven’t liked their games much in recent years (though the Unreal Tournament thing gives me hope), but their engine continues to be exemplary in many ways. Just the fact that they can optimise so well shows that the underlying code is exceptional.

    So… good on them for that! I’d always believed that Epic’s engine was one of the most incredibly well optimised. Just look at how well the Mass Effect games (including 3) work, even on low end computers.

    The thing about CryTEK’s engine? It’s the most poorly optimised piece of crap I’ve ever seen. So other engines can do what CryTEK’s can on lower end systems, but some misguided PC fans believe that Crysis shows how superior their machine is for… um… being able to run poorly optimised code? I, personally, can’t understand the appeal of torturing my PC like that.

    I’d just rather not. Not torture my PC, that is.

    I’ll just run nicely optimised code on it — and if anyone fails to optimise as badly as CryTEK, well that game goes right in the bin!

    Source is also really good too in that regard, as is Unity. Though Unity has some hiccups on its higher settings that they need to smooth out fully in order to be on quite the same level as its competitors. Since, usually, if something pushes Unity too hard it does have slowdowns, and that’s within the engine itself.

    But yeah, CryTEK’s engine is near the bottom of the pile, and if Source’s face tech didn’t so thoroughly stomp over Epic’s, I think that Epic’s engine would probably be at the top. So I’ll say that for them. Their coders are the kind of people I’d like the shake the hands of.

    I like people who know how to optimise, especially as a coder, myself.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. TheWulf

    On top of that, I think I gained a better respect for Epic’s engine when I saw that not everything had to be plastic in it. Some indie devs showed me that, quite succinctly, and I was happy. It was apparently just lots of AAA devs misusing it and cramming up the plastic skin to 11. That’s something that always put Epic’s engine way, way below Source, for me, in the past.

    Because a lot of AAA developers decide it’s necessary to turn every option up to 11, on every model, which is actually a bad thing to do, since it doesn’t work for everything. And, thus, you get plastic skin. I feel that with a better understanding of the Epic engine, Epic is catching up, but… Source’s face tech, despite ancient, is still leagues ahead of it.

    You can see just how superior their face tech is, right here. But, yeah, props to Epic for creating such a well optimised engine.

    #3 6 months ago

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