Square Enix’s new gaming engine offers photo-realism

square enixs new gaming engine offers photo realism luminousThe day when the line between reality and digital recreation is too thin to see just got a bit closer. At a press conference in Japan last week, Square Enix unveiled its Luminous Engine for next-gen consoles, and it may be a game-changer.

square enixs new gaming engine offers photo realism luminous 3Forget the new id Tech 5 engine. Smile and point at the Frostbite 2.0 engine. The Luminous Engine is nothing short of incredible.

To be fair, the Luminous Engine is still just in the early testing phases, and while it can make a wall look very pretty, it has yet to show that it could be realistically blown apart with a virtual rocket launcher, or adequately render the snarling faces of mutants that are rushing at you. But the promise is hard to deny.

Designed for the next generation of gaming, the engine was originally announced as being in the works back in August, but the first results have been released. According to the magazine Edge, the engine was designed using native DirectX 11 support, includes cloth and fluid simulation, realtime reflections and highly efficient tessellation techniques that can help with 3D imaging.

If those tech terms don’t mean much to you, then check out the video below, or look at the pictures posted by Develop.

Despite the wild graphics produced by the Luminous Engine, Square Enix’s CTO, Yoshida Hashimoto claims that Luminous Studio can reduce game development costs by up to 30-percent. He also claims that it will lead to faster development cycles.

The engine also uses “procedural animation techniques,” which uses a database of motion captured animations, then adapts as necessary. If a rendered person is walking, then that person has a helmet or additional weight added to them, the animation will reflect the change in weight and react accordingly.

The engine is still a long way from reaching the public, but when it does, it will be used in everything from casual games to triple AA titles.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.

Among hundreds of choices, these are the best 25 SNES games of all time

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games.

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Verizon video game streaming service leaked, currently testing on Nvidia Shield

Verizon is currently testing a video game streaming service that is already running on the Nvidia Shield set-top box, according to The Verge. The platform, named Verizon Gaming, will also eventually launch on Android smartphones.

Dataminers discover SNES games, more emulators for Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online may soon launch SNES games and more emulators, according to data miners. The list of hidden SNES titles include Breath of Fire 2 and Star Fox 2, while the other emulators may be the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube.

‘RollerCoaster Tycoon 2’ ride takes 12 years to complete

A RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 player has constructed a coaster in the game that will take more than 12 years to complete from beginning to end, and is actually a tiny ride taking up a small portion of the landscape.

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.

Here's everything you need to know to trade in 'Pokémon Go'

After literally years of waiting, Pokémon Go finally gives trainers the option to trade Pokémon with others. It's not easy, though, and the cost is quite high if you try trading with strangers.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

‘Rocket League’ is the latest game to get full cross-platform play

Psyonix has announced that Rocket League now supports full cross-platform play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, joining Fortnite as the only games to do so.

Here's what you need to know about 'World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth'

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.