David Cage on PS4: next-gen graphics “a spectacular improvement on PS3″

Beyond: Two Souls creator David Cage wowed those in attendance at Sony’s E3 conference with Quantic Dream’s Dark Sorcerer PS4 tech demo. Writing on the EU Blog, Cage gives more details on the engine the Parisian studio has created on PS4, and why it’s so far above anything it could make on PS3.

David Cage PS4 interview

“The graphic quality obtained with relatively little effort was a spectacular improvement on PS3. We obviously expected this, going from the tech specs, but it’s one thing comparing the number of polygons per second, and it’s quite another seeing it on the screen.”

He then writes further about the fidelity of the visuals PS4 allowed his studio to conjure up with The Dark Sorcerer. “What surprised us first off was the global quality of the images. We are so used to seeing games in 720p (the standard on PS3) that we had forgotten how much Full HD (1080p) changes life. If we add an anti-aliasing HD, HD textures, a real 3D depth of field and of course an avalanche of polygons and lights, we get an idea of the emotion that PS4 can produce in any normally constituted computer graphics artist.

“We can feel we are closing in little by little on the kind of graphic quality we find in CG films”

Cage even states PS4 is getting close to the sort of visual realism you’d see in movie CG. “On PS4 everything looks great because the machine offers power that was totally inaccessible up until now. We can feel that we are closing in little by little on the kind of graphic quality we find in CG films.”

He then goes wild with with some straight up hardcore polygonal talk. “In the current demo, there are about a million polygons in the set, and a little less than a million per character on the screen (i.e. a total of 4 million when the three characters are on the screen). Each character has about 350 MB of textures and about forty different shaders. It’s all managed with Physically Based Shaders, volumetric lights, full HDR, Color Grading, Physical Lenses ( useful for chromatic aberrations) and translucence for more realistic rendering of the skin.”

The most tantilsing part of the piece is where Cage mentions Quantic Dream’s PS4 follow-up to Beyond and how his first game on the next-gen system will look even better than The Dark Sorcerer. “The PS4 engine used for The Dark Sorcerer is only in its first iteration and most of the features scheduled for the final version of the engine haven’t yet been implemented. This demo is only a first test that is well below the visual quality we hope to achieve in our next game. The next game… which will not be based on this demo, obviously (I know, we’re a bit weird…), but on an idea that is completely different from what we’ve done to date. It’s incredibly exciting, and I wish I could tell you more… but I can’t.”

Oh, Dave. With these PS4 graphical teases, you’re really (almost) spoiling us.