Last week I visited Silicon Studio’s headquarters in Tokyo, and I had an extensive chat with the Japanese developer’s Software Engineers about their new rendering engine Mizuchi, which we saw in action a while ago (you can see the original demo running on PC in the video at the bottom of this post).
Software Engineers Sei Imai and Steven Tsang explained that the engine already runs on PS4 at 30 frames per second in 1080p. The original demo on PC ran at 60 frames per second on a system equipped with a Nvidia GTX 780 Ti video card.
Some of the quality features weren’t set at the absolute highest to achieve that frame rate on PS4, but the implementation is being continuously optimized so that efficiency can be increased, and with it the visual quality as well.
Imai-san also mentioned that in the future Silicon Studio might attempt to make it scalable and flexible enough to reach 60 frames per second.
What’s most impressive is that the process to get Mizuchi up and running on PS4 was very quick: a single developer worked on it for a month, then Silicon Studios decided to add more heads on the project, and it took another month to a team of five to get everything working in a stable way.
So far the engine works only on DirectX 11 and PS4, but support for more platforms is planned for the future, including Xbox One, even if there’s no ETA for those yet.
But there’s more: after the interview I threw in a request to actually see the engine running on PS4, fully expecting to be denied, as developers very rarely agree to show unfinished technology.
Much to my surprise, the folks at Silicon Studio immediately agreed, and they spent the following fifteen minutes carrying in and assembling a PS4 development kit and a TV. While the devkit was covered by a blanket to comply with Sony’s NDA, that forbids showing it to anyone not involved in development, I’ve seen them before and I can definitely recognize the shape and size.
When the demo finally appeared on screen, I have to admit I was floored. The difference with the PC version was almost impossible to notice by the naked eye, and while there still were some glitches due to the undergoing optimization, it was fluid and it looked absolutely fantastic.
They even put a DualShock 4 controller in my hands and allowed me to have fun by letting me control the camera however I wanted, panning and zooming around in the ultra-detailed museum.
While the demo still needs to be fully optimized before it can be showcased publicly on PS4, it was really impressive, and I can’t say I’m not eager to see the engine applied to an actual game.
Check back on DualShockers soon for the full interview.
Note: the video above showcases the PC version. The PS4 version need further optimization before it can be publicly shown.