Epic Used Vulkan To Show Off Mobile Graphics At The World Mobile Congress

Epic Used Vulkan To Show Off Mobile Graphics At The World Mobile Congress

The first release version of Vulkan is finally out, and while the performance gains on PC aren’t quite there yet the low-level graphics API has got an awful lot of developer support.

Part of the appeal is thanks to the platform-agnostic nature of the API, and that was something Epic helped show off this morning at the World Mobile Congress. As part of the presentation for the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Unreal Engine makers showed off a tech demo showcasing — with the help of Vulkan — just how far mobile graphics have come.

The tech demo is called ProtoStar and, according to Epic, it features a suite of anti-aliasing effects, dynamic lighting, texture compression, shadows, chromatic aberrations, and a suite of other technologies that you’d expect a game engine running on consoles or the PC to have. Check it out below.

It’ll be fun to see how the increasing power of mobiles and the increased compatibility of modern engines to support Android and iOS unfolds over the next year or so. We’re already seeing some annual franchises — the NBA 2K series comes to mind — use an adapted version of the previous year’s engine for mobiles. In a year or two, that might not be necessary.


  • That’s legitimately impressive, I assume it’s running on the next 14nm variant of the Exynos. Really does demonstrate how limiting OpenGL ES is. Keen to see how things like Shield performs once it get’s moving.

    • I just read an article on GamesIndustry were the head of ARM was saying we’ll have console equivalent mobile graphics by 2017. A four and a half year difference, but damn sure impressive. And with software like this helping, it will be interesting if phones could potentially be our next “consoles”. Bluetooth tv and controllers?

      • Most are already there, the kind of people that bought SNES for Mario Kart moved onto buying a DS, and for a few years now, most would rather use their phone. Sure for PC enthusiasts like myself there’ll always be something large and beefy in my house, but why not move the fun, casual stuff to phones, most already have.

        • Makes me wonder if Nintendo’s NX will be a phone as well. They’re already starting up mobile development so I feel like it’s not that big of a stretch.

          • Why not, they could easily justify a thicker phone if it had real performance. Heck, people already put GameBoy cases on their phones, if they released a phone with sanctioned GB emulators and what not they’d have a real hot cake for parents after nostalgia or for “kid friendly” phones for primary school kids.

          • Hardware wise they could definitely support their libraries from past consoles. Subscription service ala Netflix? Form factor similar to the xperia play – they could definitely fit in their flat analog sticks/nubs. And with people frolicking towards iphone plus XXXXL these days I also wouldn’t mind something bigger.

            ……*sigh* It will never happen, haha.

  • Can’t deny it’s pretty and even impressive, but some of the names they’re giving these new features is getting a bit silly:

    Chromatic Abberation?
    Filmic Tonemapping?
    Dynamic Object Planar Reflections?
    Texture Compression?

    Okay, the last one is probably fair enough.

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