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This is what a next-gen Final Fantasy could look like

What would a next generation Final Fantasy look like? Imagine, if you will, a pre-rendered cutscene from Final Fantasy XIII, but running in real time.

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What would a next generation Final Fantasy look like? That's the question Agni's Philosophy answers. Developed by Square Enix's Japanese team, it's the first public demonstration of the company's Luminous Studio engine. And it is incredibly impressive. Imagine, if you will, a pre-rendered cutscene from Final Fantasy XIII--but running in real time on DirectX 11 hardware. I had a chance to speak with Mike Fischer, president and CEO of Square Enix, about the new engine. He told Shacknews that Luminous is currently not targeting "any specific hardware. It makes a certain set of assumptions where we think technology is heading." Fischer wouldn't say whether or not this technology would work on the PS4 or the next Xbox, but he did reassure me that they are not reaching too high. "I am confident that [the console manufacturers] know what they're doing, so that doesn't keep me up at night." We'll have more from our interview with Fischer soon on Shacknews.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 5, 2012 8:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, This is what a next-gen Final Fantasy could look like.

    What would a next generation Final Fantasy look like? Imagine, if you will, a pre-rendered cutscene from Final Fantasy XIII, but running in real time.

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      June 5, 2012 9:02 PM

      Nice to see games finally taking advantage of the latest hardware

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      June 5, 2012 9:08 PM

      Now if they'd just release it on Steam for PC, they could make soerious money without having to wait for the PS4/etc.

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        June 5, 2012 10:43 PM

        I'm not sure that a steam exclusive AAA budget Final Fantasy would be able to sell the numbers it would need to consider it a major success. Are there really 2-3 Million people that own pcs powerful enough to run it that would buy a Final Fantasy game for their computer? Because that's what it would take to make that happen. And who knows what the budget would have to be to create a game that would be that detailed all the way through. 2 million might end up doing little more than breaking even.

        On the other hand, they should release this tech demo as a benchmark tool.

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          June 6, 2012 12:14 AM

          This is what "hardcore" PC gamers always forget. Great post, btw!

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          June 6, 2012 2:55 AM

          There's no need to be Steam (PC) exclusive, but I'm sure that they'd make more than breaking even having a good PC port.

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          June 6, 2012 4:18 AM

          I think it just comes down to how close to PC hardware the next generation of consoles will be. Porting a game from a PS3 to the PC is not a simple task because of the difference in architecture. But if the new consoles are essentially closed-system PC's... a port would probably not cost that much money and any extra sales for a game can only help. Even if it doesn't live up to the console sales numbers.

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            June 6, 2012 3:26 PM

            This argument holds no water as the FF13 engine runs on PC, but they didn't port it. Also, I think the PS2 era games used a PC compatible engine, same one that FFXI used. Again, no ports besides the MMO.

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              June 6, 2012 7:19 PM

              Well, they designed that engine from the beginning to be portable. That was the whole point of that engine. Lets see how quickly they can get Uncharted to run on the PC though... that would most likely take some work.

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          June 6, 2012 10:37 AM

          Lowered expectaaaaationssss

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          June 6, 2012 9:50 PM

          I disagree with you and that's not because I have a crazy rig and favor the PC. Just look what millions of PC gamer's recently have done to play Diablo 3. They have done this as well for games like Skyrim, BF3 and many others. Bottom line if I game is awesome enough and the word goes around and its marketed right PC gamers can easily pull out the numbers. Not too mention they take it one step further and will even buy new rigs, CPUs, mem or GPUs or what ever it takes to play rad software made for the PC or is just really good.

          My opinion is that the PC gamer demographic is quiet frankly overlooked and underestimated. Sure if a game requires SLI 680 yeah then that would be a issue and it would be hard to get those numbers and you would be right it would not happen.

          If you have a none mental hardware requirements like SLI or a 680 min you can easily get the numbers, well that's how I feel.

          Does anyone know the numbers for Diablo 3 btw @ $60 a pop etc?

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        June 6, 2012 2:52 AM

        +1

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        June 6, 2012 5:16 AM

        It would turn into Crysis and Witcher 2. The most pirated "can my system run it?" benchmark of the year.

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      June 5, 2012 9:09 PM

      Bring it on, now that is what I am talking about, shit "real time" freaking AWESOME

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        June 5, 2012 9:13 PM

        hahahaha wow.

        How many studios will actually have enough cash to make games with this level of detail?

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          June 5, 2012 9:32 PM

          That's the big question what type of tools comes with these engines to cut cost and produce those visuals? According to Unreal Engine 4 team they have solved that, I wonder what these guys have done in the tools department? Still it looks rad I want it now.

          Time will tell but its coming one way or another and when it pops to this lvl its going to be mental, I really can not wait.

          Resistance is futile

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          June 5, 2012 10:51 PM

          I can think of... maybe two. Blizzard and Valve, and Blizzard isn't gonna make something that graphically intense. Frankly I don't think Valve would either, but of the two they'd be the most likely.

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          June 5, 2012 11:24 PM

          Ubisoft Montreal.

          They already have like 400-500 people working on the Assassin's Creed games

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            June 6, 2012 5:38 AM

            Across 8-10 different studios worldwide and using old old tech. Ubi isn't know to break the envelope in gfx development. Watch dogs looks good, but in reality, so did BF3 on pc.

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      June 5, 2012 9:12 PM

      Now, if they can just write a compelling and interesting story to work with this in the games, then we're all set.

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      June 5, 2012 9:16 PM

      How about they stop spending so much time on making detailed androgynous angst, and instead make some interesting towns/dungeons/world maps to explore. I don't give a fuck about their ham-fisted story telling and terrible melodrama.

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        June 5, 2012 9:29 PM

        Like.

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        June 5, 2012 9:29 PM

        needs more bizzaro stories nobody knows whats going on.

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        June 6, 2012 1:28 AM

        It doesn't matter what you like, it matters what their target demographic wants to see. FF12's main character was originally going look and act more like Basch, until they realized their target market of angsty teens would identify more easily with someone like Vaan.

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          June 6, 2012 9:19 AM

          that's disappointing to hear. Do you have a link to the history of the development of final fantasy xii? I'd like to read that sometime..playing through it right now and there Basch and the skypirate guy are the two i wish were the main characters.

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          June 6, 2012 3:31 PM

          Considering that most of the kids who played FF7 (you know, the FF that sold the most copies ever) would be older by then it seems odd that the target demographic would remain angsty teens.

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        June 6, 2012 5:40 AM

        Lol, it's Japan emo stuff. Won't change, especially now that Japanese companies have tried and failed miserably with western game design.

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        June 6, 2012 10:25 AM

        aside from a few games in recent memory, every game has trash as hell storytelling, even AAA series like FF.

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      June 5, 2012 10:03 PM

      okay that was pretty fucking cool

      like seriously the first SE promotional cutscene (that is not actually a cutscene) that has impressed me in a long time. like lots of cool shit in there rather than a bunch overwrought scenes featuring pretty androgynous people doing dumb looking kung fu moves.

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      June 5, 2012 10:08 PM

      So what did they run this demo on?

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      June 5, 2012 10:54 PM

      thats purty

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      June 5, 2012 11:00 PM

      Goood GOD... i never thought next-gen gonna look THIS good (and I am a freakin' developer!!! who also makes CG films!!!)

      Thing is though... how many games this type can we have a year by each studio?!!!
      The tehc and tools are good, but not fast enough
      It still takes 600+ of best-in-the-job people at Weta for 2-3 years to make TinTin happen!!!! and a studio like Weta, can probably handle 2 of that kind of projects per 1-2 year

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        June 5, 2012 11:02 PM

        and thats only a 100 minutes movie... with no extra locales or interactivity in different branches!!!

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        June 6, 2012 3:47 AM

        Hey do you work at weta? I know a guy who used to work there too.

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          June 6, 2012 7:41 AM

          No... I never worked at Weta... but I have a couple of friends who are there too
          (FYI I am currently at Raven software.. and we just shipped MW3 and its DLCs) :)

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        June 6, 2012 4:10 AM

        Yeah, there are not many studios who are going to be able to put out something like this. But at least in the next generation it looks like the power will be there for developers who need/want it. I hope they realize though that not every game needs to look like this. I look at it as an empty pallet with plenty of breathing room. I think in the past developers were kind of limited by the hardware and forced to improvise to get their ideas across. It seems like with the 360 and PS3 we kind of hit the tipping point where that started to be less of an issue. Next generation, the training wheels are off and (at least visually) people will have the freedom to pretty much create whatever visuals are in their mind. It's exciting, but also a bit scary. If developers focus all their energy on a project like this... and it fails. That could kill a company.

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      June 5, 2012 11:07 PM

      Looks impressive, but honestly it doesn't looks THAT much better than Naughty Dog's games, and they are just on PS3.

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        June 6, 2012 12:13 AM

        I dunno; the DOF, motion blur, hair, lighting, etc. looked a lot better than Naughty Dog's games. The texture work on the backgrounds wasn't hugely impressive when put up against something like The Last of Us, but everything else looked fairly advanced compared to what we've seen on current consoles.

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        June 6, 2012 8:09 AM

        You're forgetting that streamed video, like from youtube, isn't at a high enough bitrate to allow one to actually see how high resolution content looks. It's more than enough to represent console games, those being rendered at 720p with textures to match, but not 1080p content and definitely not able to show the extent of the LoD for distant objects, or even, the limits of how much detail is present.

        Beyond that you have to consider that youtube doesn't have the best black levels or contrast. Until we're seeing this content in an mp4/avi @ 15Mbps+ we can't make accurate comparisons.

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      June 6, 2012 12:11 AM

      holy mackerel! looks pretty

      too bad it will be wasted on awful games like FF. japan, get with the program!

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      June 6, 2012 12:22 AM

      Why doesn't anyone lock the f*c$ing door anymore?

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      June 6, 2012 1:00 AM

      Looks good, except that girl's annoying squeaky anime voice.

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      June 6, 2012 2:59 AM

      A new Deus Ex running on this, anyone?

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      June 6, 2012 3:03 AM

      I just filled out their survey, I'm not sure why... I guess I really liked square 15 years ago and I'd really like to see them return that level of greatness.

      https://form.square-enix.com/a.p/933/

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      June 6, 2012 4:19 AM

      One cool thing about the long life cycle of the current generation of consoles... I think we are all going to be completely blown away by what the next generation will be able to do. It's going to be a massive leap forward.

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      June 6, 2012 5:32 AM

      Yeah bring it on, this is what we are all waiting for. What's crazy is if and when devs can pull this off for real and we actually have the hardware that can run it, I would play some of these games that i normally wouldn't due to the level of immersiveness and movie quality cinematics. But I HIGHLY HIGHLY doubt that anything that we just saw in that video would be a reality in next-gen consoles. This happens every year, devs tease people with pre-rendered cg, or this time realtime on probably insane hardware that no average consumer will have anytime soon.

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      June 6, 2012 5:38 AM

      1) I don't believe it will
      2) It would make development costs go through the roof. That's a lot of work.

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      June 6, 2012 7:55 AM

      Not sure what the point of these speculation articles are. Every generation of console has had pre-release hype that was never matched in reality. Remember the FF videos for the PS2?

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        June 6, 2012 9:13 AM

        Remember the Kill Zone 2 demo for PS3?

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          June 6, 2012 9:18 AM

          lol oh god that demo, hahaha, the hype was insane in the membrane

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            June 6, 2012 9:33 AM

            You mean the surprisingly good game which ended up coming surprisingly close to the CGI trailer?

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              June 6, 2012 10:18 AM

              Not really that close I'm afraid :( Unless you call "close" being you heard about heaven's gates from a crack dealer on the street.

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              June 6, 2012 1:45 PM

              For me close would be "almost" indiscernible. I don't feel the final game was that. Play a similar area from the final game, and show a section of the clip and it's pretty obvious which is which. That said it's still a good looking game.

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                June 6, 2012 3:38 PM

                There's been articles on how close it was, go back and view the 2004 video and then look at the game, it is very much close.

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            June 6, 2012 7:16 PM

            Here's a good example:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1JOxxOhhTY

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          June 6, 2012 10:35 AM

          Madden for 360 was one too, right?

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        June 6, 2012 9:27 AM

        re: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty trailer for the PS2 during E3 2000

        many people doubted it was real-time and in-engine with actual game assets and, yet, the final game matched the visuals of the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7aBSUAozE

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      June 6, 2012 9:34 AM

      I watched this vid several times now, you know what I think this is the best engine to date and even kills Unreal Engine 4.

      What guys think, I really think its #1. Anyone have any new URE4 vids or new Cryengine 3.5 stuff that could sway us, please post.

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        June 11, 2012 10:33 AM

        Don't confuse "graphics engine" with "art direction" - most engines can all do the same stuff at this point - mainly the difference comes down to the team that's working on it. Then engine devs collaborate with the artists and cater to the artists' needs - this is so for every engine developer. Some artists/ teams are better than others with the exact same kinds of tools available.

        A great combination, I think, would be Square Enix for character design, Naughty Dog for character rigging/ animation, id Software for environmental design, and Crytek for mechanical/ industrial design.

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      June 6, 2012 3:34 PM

      Am I the only one who doesn't care about next gen FF that probably won't come out anytime soon and wants news on FF13 Versus which also won't come out anytime soon at this rate?

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        June 6, 2012 4:37 PM

        I read somewhere that Versus has been renamed to FFXV. Has anyone else heard that?

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          June 6, 2012 7:21 PM

          That was based on a totally fake video. I was at Square Enix's pre-E3 event and they didn't show anything like that off.

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      June 7, 2012 4:06 AM


      Dear MS and Sony...don't frack up the next gen consoles with your stupidity or we will be forced to develop PC games.

      signed
      square enix

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      June 11, 2012 10:25 AM

      So, in other words, this is what games would look like now if it wasn't for consoles.