Unreal Engine 4 to be much more advanced than Samaritan demo

Shacknews had the opportunity to sit down on a private, invite-only press conference with Epic Games. At one point during the presentation, the Unreal Engine 4 logo appeared on the screen. (It's blue now, FYI.) Epic Games' Mark Rein told us that the company was showing off its next-generation engine at Game Developers Conference--but only to developers. The public reveal will happen later this year, Rein reconfirmed.

But what is Unreal Engine 4? And how does it compare to Samaritan, the high-powered Unreal Engine 3 demo that's been shown off for years? "If Samaritan looked like a piece of crap, that's what Unreal Engine 4 would look like," Rein told us.

So what is Samaritan? "Our goal with Samaritan was to show you the future," Rein said. "It came a lot sooner than we expected."

He proceeded to show us a real-time demonstration of the Samaritan demo running on a single unannounced graphics card coming from NVIDIA. Codenamed "Kepler," the new graphics card runs on a standard power supply and is able to render a demo that originally took three GeForce GTX 580s to process.

"We didn't expect this to come out so soon," Rein told us. "If they can do this this year on a single video card, maybe next year on a laptop."

With PC tech progressing even more rapidly than Epic Games had anticipated, it's likely Unreal Engine 4, ready "around 2014" will be far more demanding. And with Unreal Engine 4 aiming for next generation consoles, it wouldn't be too unrealistic to expect the next Xbox to offer more than 10 times the power of the current system.