Epic Games is known for getting the most out of the technology it works with. The company set a graphical benchmark for the Xbox 360 with Unreal Engine 3 and its Gears of War series and has since delivered a number of tech demos that demonstrate what can be made with current hardware, including virtual reality (VR) technology. Despite the company and its partners making some incredibly impressive showcases over the past few years with its Unreal Engine 4 middleware, founder Tim Sweeney believes that the industry is still ‘two decades’ away from videogames that are identical to the real world.
Sweeney said as much this week during his VR Intelligence Conference and Expo (VRX) talk in San Francisco, California, titled ‘The Impact of VR and AR on the Future of Gaming‘. The industry legend explained that, while the technology used to create videogames is currently getting very close to photorealism, there are probably another 20 years to go before that experiences become truly indistinguishable from real life. That extends to VR, of course, which already requires a high-powered PC or games console to get the most immersive experiences.
This future may be a long way off but Epic Games continues to work towards it in the here and now. This week the company has released the latest version of its engine, Unreal Engine 4.10, which includes some key updates to its VR support. Specifically, the company has made some rendering optimisations to help machines get the most out of a VR experience while also improving support for VR motion controllers and more. Unreal Engine 4 currently supports all major VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) including the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR.
VRFocus will continue to follow Epic Games’ work in VR closely, reporting back with the latest from the company.