Next-Gen Mobile Devices Support the Unreal Engine
SIGGRAPH 2013 was held July 21-25, 2013. At this 40th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and interactive Techniques, nVidia unveiled the GPU powering Project Logan, their next-gen CUDA-capable mobile processor.
Project Logan’s GPU is based on their Kepler architecture, which forms the backbone of their current PC graphics units, but add a low-power inter-unit interconnect and extensive new optimizations, specifically for mobile devices. This allows the same rendering possible in a 4th-generation iPad, while using less than one-third of the power, and leaving room to scale upwards.
Kepler supports OpenGL, including the just-announced OpenGL 4.4 specification and OpenGL ES 3.0 embedded. It also supports DirectX 11.
nVidia’s full announcement of the Project Logan GPU can be found in their blog.
Unreal 4 on OpenGL 4.3
One of the most exciting things that Project Logan and similar next-generation mobile graphics will make possible is that full, graphic-intensive, 3D-rendered games will be possible across the gaming spectrum.
nVidia demoed Project Logan at SIGGRAPH 2013, which showed it running an Unreal Engine 4 demo. This is exciting news for game developers; your market has expanded!
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, makers of the Unreal engine, had this to say about the event:
The big news here is NVIDIA’s support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set, which brings to mobile devices the same high-end graphics hardware capabilities exposed via DirectX 11 on PC games and on next-generation consoles!
More than ever before, we see the opportunity for developers to create high-end games and ship them across multiple platforms on a wide variety of devices, including tablet, smartphone, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. NVIDIA’s OpenGL 4.3 achievements open up the mobile front of this strategy.
You can read more from Mr. Sweeney in this blog post.
The video below shows Logan running nVidia’s “Island” demo:
That’s Not All!
Personally, I’m excited to see the market expand to have tablet (and even phone) devices be nearly the same quality as PCs and consoles. Remember, Epic also recently showed their Unreal engine running in a browser; so even the frontend is unnecessary!
Because of the nVidia and Epic Games collaboration, the Unreal Engine is getting the lion’s share of attention, but Unity 4.2 already supports OpenGL ES 3.0 and DirectX 11. By the time Project Logan makes it to market, I would expect Unity to support OpenGL 4.3 as well.
Is the writing on the wall for consoles and PCs? Well, no, not yet. Consoles are in a unique position where they offer a controlled environment for developers; you never have to worry if a gamer is using an old graphics card. PCs, on the other hand, have range that cannot be matched by consoles or mobile devices. both have also grown beyond the ability to play a game; consoles are often-as-not part of the home theater, providing access to Internet-based content, services, streaming, and double as movie players.
So what are you most looking forward to in the next generation of mobile?