From the E3 2012 Booths – Square-Enix’s Next-Gen Luminous Engine Looks Incredible, But Will it Keep Them Afloat?

Smartly, Square-Enix chose to have an original IP concept for their next-gen “Luminous” engine. The would-be game is called “Agni’s Philosophy” and it has a much different feel from Square-Enix’s typical JRPG settings. It mixes fantasy with present-day influences as Dragons and AK-47s meet in the battlefield. Next to Star Wars: 1313, Watch Dogs, and Beyond…this tech demo looks very impressive. It has that crisp FMV look to it which doesn’t go beyond the uncanny valley. I thought I would never be impressed with graphics beyond this generation, but Square-Enix as usual proved me wrong. It’s smart for a Japanese developer to get an engine ready from now, because sadly Square-Enix realized that late in the game with this generation. They paid a lot on their Crystal Tools engine, but thus far only has two games developed for it: Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel. They’ve used nothing else for it this generation, which says a lot about their current internal development strategies. How come? It truly baffles me that some of the games they’ve published chose to go for Unreal and didn’t take advantage of their so-called Crystal Engine at all. Also, their Japanese portion has been an absolute no-show this year…their UK division (formally Eidos) are the ones who have been their saviors, showing off ventures like Hitman, Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs which is outside of their forte.

Surprisingly, Square-Enix also setup an online survey for feedback on Agni’s Philosophy. It looks like they want to turn it to a real game if enough people like it. You can write text for more feedback, and I advise you to advise them to revive their dead franchises with this engine.

9 thoughts on “From the E3 2012 Booths – Square-Enix’s Next-Gen Luminous Engine Looks Incredible, But Will it Keep Them Afloat?”

  1. When I first saw this it reminded me of Star Wars 1313 right away. We now have a benchmark of what to expect for the next gen. What’s funny is that really high-end PCs can achieve graphical prowess like this right now, but there aren’t any games that really make use of all that power just yet.

    Square-Enix needs to get back on track because while I have nothing wrong with the Eidos side kicking butt, it’d be very nice to see their Japanese side flourish as well.

    1. I have no idea why they’re not making games with their Crystal Tools engine. It should be easy for them to develop something if they have that engine lying around, but so far only one of their internal development studios has taken advantage of it. I’m truly baffled and have no idea why they’re not doing anything else without considering the millions of dollars they paid to develop it in the first place.

      Square-Enix must have gotten some next-gen specs to have a unified engine liked Luminos built like this. While not as impressive as the jump from PS2 to PS3, it’s still a pretty decent jump in quality for consoles…which makes me worried for the Wii U now if next-gen consoles can attain this type of quality.

      1. There has to be a good reason why Square-Enix doesn’t use their engine. I have no idea what that reason is, but perhaps it wasn’t as cross platform as they originally stated. Perhaps it wasn’t as malleable as something like the Unreal engine either. We’ll likely never know the truth, but it’s nice to see them think ahead and I’m sure this situation won’t happen again.

        As for the Wii U, we expected this. The graphical jump between this gen and next will be large enough that people will take notice, otherwise MS and Sony never would release a new console to begin with. Their whole “thing” is based on graphical prowess and performance. Like I said above, just take a look at Battlefield 3 running on a high-end computer, or Skyrim and you’ll see just how old these current console look in comparison.

        1. Yep. You’re absolutely right. Gamers are already living the next-gen “dreams” thanks to PC gaming, which blew up for the past few years. So in essence and ironically, the next-gen console won’t be a leap over what PC gamers are currently experiencing.

          I just don’t how negative this will be for the Wii U. Hard to predict. All I know is that they’re safe for about 2 years because they’re competing with current-gen hardware and the launch of the next-gen consoles won’t be mind-blowing. It’ll take them awhile until they pump out impressive PC graphics for the PS4/Xbox 720.

          1. Yeah the PC scene has been like this forever though. I remember playing Half-Life 2 on the original Xbox and was shocked by how much was missing from the PC version. The same is true today, but to really unlock the “magic” as it were, you have to have a top tier graphics card, and those are not cheap. Don’t let Tim fool you lol. Sure you might be able to run Battlefield 3 with super high textures turned on, etc. but it will come at the price of a significantly reduced framerate. For the PC I’m planning to build, I’m looking at the GeForce GTX 680, which is currently $580 CDN on Newegg. While that might seem outrageous, that card would give me freedom for at least three years, and maybe even longer. I’ll be able to top spec any game on the market for at least 1.5 years, and run anything for significantly longer than that. I don’t need to purchase something this robust, but I figure if I really want to experience everything there is, might as well go all the way.

          2. Yeah…the only way to be satisfied with full PC gaming is to buy the best in the market currently, so I don’t blame you for taking that route. Might do the same eventually, but I’m not sure when and how.

          3. Oh this is far from the best my friend. The best graphics cards are $1,000 ;) They’re typically not worth the admission price. A good rule of thumb I’ve found is that you get the card that’s just under the top line models. I’m in the top line models, but not THE top if you know what I mean. There are countless cards available for $300 that would work just fine, but I’m looking to push this to the max as it were. Not sure when I’ll actually do this, but I might order a part here and there until I’ve got everything I need.

            Also found out about something wicked. Elgato just released their Game Capture HD device which works with HDMI. Costs $200, and you basically attach the HDMI cable from your console to the little black box, and then another HDMI cable to your TV/receiver. The device records your goods, then you attach the box to the computer and away you go. The box is omega tiny too, smaller than more external hard drive!

          4. Yup that’s it. It’s the first of its kind that uses HDMI so I’m also really interested in this for video reviews of all the current and next-gen consoles. The price is really affordable too considering how easy it is to use.

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