Square Enix's DirectX 12 tech demo will blow you away
If there's one company that's infamous with their tech demos, it's Square Enix. The company famously created the Final Fantasy VIII tech demo to show off the Playstation 2 before it launched and it did the same thing with the Playstation 3, although with a Final Fantasy VII tech demo instead. That demo still has fans clamoring for a true Final Fantasy VII remake to this day, a remake that Square Enix seems extremely adamant not to do.
Tech demos for the Playstations aside, Square Enix isn't exactly new to the DirectX game. For DirectX 11, the developer created a tech demo it called Agni's Philosophy, which many thought (incorrectly) was actually a code-name for a Final Fantasy game. To this day, Agni's Philosophy still remains a tech demo, much to the chagrin of some diehard fans.
Now's Square Enix's back yet again with another tech demo, this time for the upcoming release of DirectX 12. This one's called Witch Chapter 0 [cry].
Witch Chapter 0 [cry] has about 63 million polygons per scene, which is a leap of 12 times over what Square Enix achieved in the Agni's Philosophy tech demo on DirectX 11. In comparison, Halo's Master Chief was made of around 2000 polygons in the original Halo on the Xbox, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War had about 15,000 on the Xbox 360 and around 85,000 polygons were used for Marius in the Xbox One's Ryse. Not only is the tech demo pushing 63 million polygons a scene, it also has obscenely high resolution textures (8K x 8K).
Of course, to get that kind of visual quality is going to require a beast of a machine. The rig that the Witch tech demo ran on had four NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X as well as an eight core Haswell-E processor and even then, the frame rate was sub-30 fps. Note that these are just the requirements for the visual and physics engines powering the demo. For a real game, there'll be even more overhead needed, for gameplay elements and whatever else is required, It goes without saying that this level of visual fidelity won't be in a real game for at least five more years. In fact, there still hasn't been any game that looks as good as the Agni's Philosphy tech demo yet and that came out years ago, though Final Fantasy XIV might come close.
Interestingly, both DirectX tech demos feature the same girl, though the Witch Chapter 0 [cry] demo obviously has better detail. What does this mean? We have no idea, but it's is interesting that Square Enix chose to do a continuation of the DirectX 11 demo instead of a totally different one, like they did for the Playstation demos. While there's been no word of a new game from Square Enix this year, we are hoping that E3 might shed some light on whether the tech demos are actually scenes from a game that the company is working on. It would make sense as the company's release schedule is pretty bare after the triple threat of RPGs (Star Ocean, Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III) they have coming up.