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Project Morpheus

Epic’s UE4 Showdown Demo Shown on Project Morpheus at 120Hz

One of the most visually impressive virtual reality (VR) experiences to be revealed in the past year is Showdown, the tech demo from Epic Games running on its Unreal Engine 4 toolset. Though non-interactive, the action sequence portrayed in the short demo has been highly praised from those that have sampled it, as it was one of the first titles to be shown on the Crescent Bay prototype of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). But that’s not the only device Showdown is running on; Epic Games has confirmed that the tech demo is now running on the PlayStation 4’s Project Morpheus.

showdown_2

The developer’s J.J. Hoesing confirmed as much today at the 2015 Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) Conference and Expo in San Jose, California, USA. Speaking in a session titled ‘Staying on Top of VR Innovation With Unreal Engine 4’, Hoesing confirmed that Epic Games had successfully brought Showdown to PlayStation 4 with support for Project Morpheus. Not only that, but the demo is reprojecting into the HMD in 120Hz, taking full advantage of the refresh rate that was revealed for the new prototype of for Project Morpheus at the 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March.

The new Project Morpheus has also switched to a 1080p OLED display. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) is set to talk about the device in greater detail at this year’s E3 from 16th – 18th June. VR fans can expect more news on the hardware itself along with details on full VR videogames coming to the HMD. As for Epic Games, the company continues to add VR compatibility to its Unreal Engine 4, making it a popular choice among developers. Along with Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus support, the toolset recently added integration with the HTC Vive.

VRFocus will continue to follow Project Morpheus and Epic Games’ work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on them.

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  1. wondering how they can do this demo at 120Hz on PS4 when I read on an other article that for the same demo on PC at 90hz you need an GTX 980, which is significantly more powerfull than a console GPU…

    what do you thingk guys???

    1. The PS4 is running it at 60 FPS which is then using some sort of interpolation (or something similar) to output to 120 FPS.
      How does it even do 60 FPS? Because of optimisation. Reduce the graphical load on the hardware, increase the speed at which things can be rendered and frames output. From your example of the GTX 980, even at 90 FPS it’s going to need less optimised graphical assets and will look graphically superior because it has a lot more processing power to play with and can draw frames in less time, meaning more in a single second than a PS4.

    2. It’s called reprojection, effectively lagging images by duplicating and interpolating them.
      This is overhype and underdeliver on all aspects though. There’s nothing impressive about this demo and there isn’t a constant framerate.
      PS4 remains a weak low end device where games already struggle to run at 30fps at 1080p. Tweaking that to make it run on an also weak HMD (Oculus Rift and Vive have better specs across the board) won’t change that aspect.
      Shuhei Yoshida himself already said playing a version of DriveClub on the Morpheus made him sick, so we all know this will have the same motion lag it had in earlier demos on show floors.

      WEAKNESS AWAITS!

        1. Well said. This is why I don’t like to support PC gaming. Too many people putting things together and think they know everything about everything. Then they go on to impart their wisdom on others.

          Proclaiming oneself a Master Race wasn’t taken kindly since the 1940’s.

          1. It’s fair if you don’t support PC gaming, but just remember none of this VR stuff will be possible without high end PC hardware, or PC enthusiasts buying this hardware in droves, to keep this industry moving ahead.

            Im sorry but Sony doesn’t want to be left behind, and are working with what they have. I have and still own a bunch of Sony products including a PS4. So good job Sony in trying.

            The best of the best, VR experiences will be at resolutions above 1080p and a true 120hz and above refresh rate, every one knows this. None of which the PS4 can, or will be able to accomplish. (well maybe Mario cart)

            As for the argument that the PS4 is easier to optimize for and doesn’t have all the PC issues to deal with, we are getting into the second generation of games now, and are still struggling to keep a solid 30fps.

  2. I’m thinking it’s got a lot to do with the demo being optimised for the PS4. A PS4 is a PS4, a PC’s components are not standard across all PC’s, hence the developers have code which has to work on GTX 980’s from several manufacturers plus the multitude of other video cards, it has to work with Ati hardware, it has to work with PC’s with 16GB ram, 4 GB ram, not to mention different speed ram. Then you have the operating system. Windows works with games, but it has to also work with Office, Photoshop, 3D Studio etc. PS4 is for games (yes I know it supports apps such as Netflix)

    In the end a lot of it comes down to developers being able to optimise 100% for PS4 hardware.

  3. Well Sebastien, it would probably come down to sonys technological prowless over any kind of chip maker can ever come up with; I told pc nerds several years ago to stop trying to place sony in a bracket with mere pc chip makers.

  4. I imagine a large part of it has to do with optimization. The Witcher 3 runs at 1080p/60fps on a GTX 980 and 1080p/30fps on a significantly less powerful PS4. It’s likely that not only has Epic’s Engine matured since it was first shown, but the demo has been optimized to reduce the fidelity of a number of graphical features.

  5. i have a good gaming PC (GTC 970, 16g ram, dual 500g SSD raid 0..) and a PS4, I’ve played witcher 3 on both platform and i’s SIGNIFICANTLY better on PC (don’t get me wrong the PS4 is an awesome console) but the game is not locked at 30fps, there is a lot less AA, trilinear filtering and draw distances on PS4 than on PC, i’m just surprised that a good VR experience (considering the stereo rendering requirements) can be delivered on PS4, and if what they say is all true about Morpheus (spec and all) , the PS4 is the way to go, to an introduction to VR…..
    because it’s a lot less expensive than a pc + vr heat headset

    1. I think there’s a lot to be said here, but I’ll try to keep things brief. On your rig you are throwing more than twice the horsepower and bandwidth on The Witcher 3. That’s pretty cool and I’m sure it looks awesome. You are also throwing lots of money at this. (Did you buy the game on both the PS4 and PC? Hey, I would buy that game twice too!)

      Like I said in my previous comment, what is the “Throughput”, or in other words the actual benefit?
      And you said and I believe you, “SIGNIFICANTLY better visuals”.
      But how so,
      You mentioned AA, Trilinear Filtering and Draw distances, just to name a few.

      Now here’s where I think it gets complicated,

      When multi-platform games are made the core of the rendering processes, assets, algorithms, world simulation, physics and most of the time lighting, stay the same for all platforms. Because a core team of people will work on that using the latest available tech and tools. They will try to be as platform agnostic as possible. (There are cases that don’t, but I think pretty rare)

      When you have a functioning build of the game running on your target platform, you can push the graphics further by introducing “post-processing”. AA, Filtering techniques, etc fall into this post-processing category.

      While post-processing can take advantage of the extra power that these more powerful platforms offer (Not the best use of said power), they generally don’t make as “significant” a difference as you would make if you had originally rendered your assets, textures, geometry, physics etc. Think of post-processing as a layer on top of everything to make it look better.

      To illustrate my point, I would like you to go back and watch an ULTRA quality render of The Witcher 2. You will see that there is this shiny gloss over everything, which makes it look like a washed out painting. (Please don’t get me wrong here, at the time it was magnificent)

      Now compare that to The Witcher 3, the improvements primarily come from that first stage of rendering than the last.

      Unfortunately for VR, most post-processing techniques are a big NONO. Imagine putting filters over your eyes as opposed to your monitor.

      So, to sum it up, it’s not just power, it’s how you use it. XD

      P.s. I would also recommend you read about “frame re-projection”.

  6. Lots of people talk about power, but throughput is what matters, in my opinion. You can assemble a car with each individual component being the most powerful in it’s category and call it the most powerful car in the world.

    But in reality and in practical terms, the throughput would be so dismal, it may even NOT get you from point A to B. PCs have come far from that stage and have gotten much more streamlined, but the throughput can be significantly better than what it is even now.

    Standardizing OS and other API, Reference Boards for GPU and MB have gone a long way towards that goal. But PC remains a tough platform to crack when it comes to optimization, testing and debugging, so you always go over the required “power” to achieve the required throughput.

    But when you are designing a Consumer Electronics Device, engineers focus on throughput rather than aggregate theoretical power.

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