If and when last week's alleged Microsoft "Durango" meeting was held in London for Microsoft's Prophets of the Next Generation, it's likely that, at one point, they sat over a conference table like those shown in the two columns below - nibbling on chicken sandwiches and discussing the gaming future they hold the keys to.
What did they plan? Did it even happen? We don't know. But here's a better question: Which table would they have been seated at?
It deserves to be asked because it turns out that only one table actually exists - the other is a CG rendering. See if you can figure out which:
The mind-bending shots (and correct answers) come courtesy of a job posting on a Kojima Productions recruiting page. They were grabbed from a lighting demonstration off of Kojima's state-of-the-art Fox Engine - thought to be the driver of Metal Gear Solid 5 and the inscrutable Project Ogre.
The computer generated images are so indiscernible from the real ones, that, quite frankly, the Fox Engine had us outfoxed for a good few minutes. A few different subtle nuances in the lighting patterns and chair detail will eventually be enough for any sharp eye to make the right choice. But just to prove to us that they weren't bluffing, Kojima went and placed horse in the middle of the room for their second slide:
Incredible as it may be - the horse is the real kicker - it's important to not treat this like more than it is. And that is, it's a conference room - some chairs, a table, pretty florescent lights, and a painstakingly rendered misplaced mare. The processing power to achieve such visual fidelity at a reasonable frame rate (and have, say, Solid Snake pop out of a ceiling panel to practice some knife work on an unsuspecting guard) would likely prove a more difficult task.
Be that as it may, anyone who wants to claim that video game graphics have hit a ceiling in their current form need only be referred here for the time being. With videos like Epic's Samaritan demo teasing Unreal Engine 4, and the likelihood of the same Fox Engine responsible for the shots above powering Metal Gear Solid 5, it's not a fantasy to think that the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 couldn't produce a similar product in their life time.
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