As early as last March, Epic was making the case for more power with a demo screened at the 2011 GDC. Called Samaritan and built in Unreal Engine 3 with a new set of specialized plug-ins, the video showcased the rendering power of current high-end hardware, displaying an impressive array of effects, like realistic clothing, lifelike lighting, and highly detailed facial expressions. It took three high-end graphics cards to handle the demand, but it grabbed people’s attention. “We used it as an opportunity to make a point to the developers,” Sweeney says. “‘We want 10 times more power; here’s what we can do with it.’”
And that was merely for a souped-up version of Unreal 3. For Unreal 4, yet another quantum leap in hardware has to happen.