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Square-Enix creates jaw-dropping PC gaming tech demo for BUILD keynote

Yesterday’s BUILD keynote saw a focus on video games, as noted development studio Square-Enix and NVIDIA took to the stage. Eager to reiterate the PC’s power advantage over consoles, the two companies had something rather special in store to demonstrate the capabilities of a high-end gaming rig.

The graphical wizards over at Square-Enix put together a short tech demo entitled Witch Chapter 0 [cry], designed to display just what can be done with the combination of DirectX12 and Windows 10. From advanced animation, to highly detailed visualizations of skin, hair and feathers, to top-tier texture work, it’s a potent example of cutting-edge, real-time graphics.

However, the power to run such visuals comes at quite a hefty price. The system running the demo was fitted with four NVIDIA GTX Titan video cards. That’s somewhere in the region of $4,000 worth of graphics hardware.

That sort of machine might be outside of the reach of most consumers, but the advances being made in this technology will trickle down over the next few years. For the moment, access to such hardware will allow developers to create the best experiences possible.

Square Enix’s Hajima Tabata noted that the team that worked on the demo “has always pursued cutting-edge pre-rendered and real-time CG.” He went on to state that “the efforts from this project will power future game development as well as Final Fantasy XV.”

That being said, we shouldn’t necessarily expect to see any of the visuals from this demo make it into the final game. Square-Enix is known for creating concept work like this as a one-off — see the memorable Agni’s Philosophy clip that was shown at E3 2012. Still, expect to see Final Fantasy XV offer some of the same artistry that’s on show in this demo.