Square Enix has detailed the features of their new engine called Luminous. They will dump the Crystal Tools and develop games predominately on Luminous. The engine will utilize Direct X11 and is supposed to have better AI support.
The engine is developed with collaboration from IO Interactive and is predominately a Square Enix Japan project.
Luminous Studio is similar to a full engine like Unreal Engine or Unity. In other words, it has all the tools for the various game development processes, from asset editing on. The developers are working to make the engine high quality, easy to use, flexible, high speed, compact, and supporting both manual and automatic methods.
The engine is being developed separately from IO’s Glacier 2 Engine and Crystal Dynamics’ CDC Engine. However, the Japanese tech staff is is sharing source code with their overseas counterparts, and will be making use of the overseas technology. An example is a procedural approach animation demo that was shown at last year’s CEDEC developers conference). This was mostly technology adopted from the overseas studios. You can see a video of the procedural approach animation demo in the Impress Watch article.
Luminous Studio will be compatible with any hardware that can handle programmable shaders. It will work with PS3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC, for instance. When asked about working with hardware like Wii and 3DS that don’t have programmable shaders, Hashimoto said they’re actively looking into making it compatible.
The Luminous Studio team is placing a lot of emphasis on animation. They believe that things like high quality lighting, shading and modeling will be standard stuff in the coming generations, and having unnatural animation will stand out. The studio will include systems for procedural animation, full body IK, and so forth.