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Final Fantasy and DirectX12 – A star pairing made in heaven

by Ron Duwell | May 1, 2015May 1, 2015 10:00 am PDT

Despite the years of brotherly love with Sony, Square Enix still has an off-and-on buddy buddy relationship with Microsoft when it comes to the company’ biggest titles. Star Ocean might not be appearing on Xbox One, but Final Fantasy certainly is. And when it comes to DirectX12, the Luminous graphic engine that Square Enix has been pumping a lot of resources into looks out of this world.

The company turned up at Microsoft’s Build Conference and showed off Final Fantasy XV running on DirectX12, Windows 10, and four NVIDIA GeForce Titan X GPU graphics cards. The new chapter is called “Witch Chapter 0 [cry],” and it improves a lot over Luminous’ famous debut at E3 two years ago.

Microsoft’s Steve Guggenheimer notes that the engine is rendering 63 million polygons a scene, six to twelve times more than Direct X11, running with “8K x 8K” textures. He emphasizes that this is not pre-rendered and that it is indeed in-engine footage, and then proves it by rotating the camera and adjusting the lighting in real time. Gorgeous stuff.

Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata also showed up in a video to thank Microsoft and explain their interest with Direct X12.

“Our team has always pursued cutting-edge pre-rendered and real-time CG. This time around, with the help of both Microsoft (Windows 10 and DirectX 12) and Nvidia (GeForce GTX), we have prepared a tech demo using state of the art software and hardware.”

It’s just the way of the world these days, but I’m still having a hard time thinking about Direct X and Final Fantasy in the same train of thought. We’ve come a long way from squat Super Nintendo sprites. Beforehand, the only commonality between the two was that they used roman numerals to distinguish between releases. Now though, it’s a PC dominated world, and Square Enix can’t say no to the tech any longer.

Keep in mind, this just a tech demo, but I get the feeling that this mass migration to the PC is one of the many trends that the new and improved Square Enix is going to be embracing. Gotta render those sunny-side-up eggs somehow!

Final Fantasy XV hasn’t been announced for a PC release yet, but rest assured that it will happen before too long. Currently, it will only be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...

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