When it comes to the PlayStation 4, almost every aspect of its hardware has been dissected and analysed since launch. When the PS4 was announced, architect Mark Cerny was confident that the benefits of the console will arise only after a few years though, especially thanks to the general purpose computing on graphic process unit or GPGPU.
What does that say for the hear-and-now though? Why, that developers will be able to achieve powerful effects like bloom, lens flares, colour correction and much more at a higher resolution, like FuturLab is doing for Velocity 2X.
On being asked about all the new techniques used for bloom and lighting, and whether FuturLab was taking advantage of the PS4’s GPGPU for the same, technical director Hussain Sheikh said, “In all honesty most of the techniques used for Velocity 2X are pretty much industry standard now (bloom, lens flares, vignetting, colour correction etc), but the power of the GPU and available memory meant that we can do these effects on a much higher resolution than before and not have to worry about performance. We have also increased the number of dynamic lights and switched to pixel lighting rather than vertex lighting being used on Vita, which gives the lighting a smoother appearance when displayed on a large TV.”
“In terms of effects, the number of particles on screen have been quadrupled without it having any effect on frame rate. I guess the main challenge for us was to get the visual fidelity of the game on Vita on par with some of the AAA titles. We are definitely pushing vita to its limit (and have spent a great deal of time optimising our engine) with all the post-processing, dynamic lights, multiple layers of parallax and particle effects, but with PS4 we are barely scratching the surface.”
Velocity 2X doesn’t have a set release date but the PS4 is clearly just getting started. Stay tuned for more news and details in the coming days.