Are you ready for your first publisher-endorsed visualisation of what could be happening with the next-generation of gaming graphics?
Are you ready to see what could, very reasonably, be the standard of triple-A graphics for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Scarlett? Well, strap yourselves in – EA has given us our first realistic demo of what we could be expecting.
Publisher EA and development studios DICE and Criterion have committed a small team producing a demo that shows off what the Frostbite engine could be capable of in the coming years.
The demo highlights a few things the Frostbite engine could do: it can render a lot of complicated hair physics, sure, but it can also realistically diffuse and react to the light source in real-time, too. We’ve come a long way from Cloud’s 64 polygons of blonde spikes in the original Final Fantasy VII, eh?
You can take a look at this stunning video yourselves below, and marvel at how that tech is going to be used to render animals, humanoid creatures and probably some sort of horrible headshot animation in Battlefield.
Of course, there’s no way of confirming that these graphics will instantly be what we’re seeing on the next-generation of consoles – this is a tech demo, after all.
But we’ve seen tech demos in the past turn out pretty accurate: Quantic Dream created an impressive one that basically set the scene for the Detroit: Become Human, and the ‘Agni’s Philosophy’ demo from Square Enix fed into the development of Final Fantasy XV, too.
Tech like this may be constrained to cutscenes in the near future, it’s certainly reasonable to think that we’re going to get graphics like this turning up in in-engine gameplay at some point in the next gen.
This is exciting: we’re seeing developers and publishers start to get even more candid about the next generation, and that can only mean we’re going to hear more solid plans about the future very soon.
If you want to dig a big deeper into what’s going on here, the videos embedded on this page demonstrate dynamic changes of the hair melanin and smoothness parameters (which, to you and I, simply means ‘natural hair colou’ changes).
We can also see what effect a ‘dynamic change artificial colouring’ can have on the hair.
A final video looks at volume preservation – something we’re going to need distinct research into if we want to ever capture that gravity-defying anime hair we see in Japanese games.
This isn’t the end of what EA, Dice and Criterion will be showing us, either – all three companies have said they’ll be revealing more next-gen Frostbite teases in the weeks to come. Get excited.