Epic’s high fidelity Showdown demo was only barely able to hold framerate on one of the most powerful GPUs in the world when it debuted last September. But now, after optimizations for Unreal Engine 4 on PS4, the demo runs on Morpheus at Sony’s 60 FPS VR target framerate—not bad for a game console that’s approaching its two year anniversary.

Showdown made its debut last September at Oculus Connect alongside the Rift ‘Crescent Bay’ prototype. The demo, built by Epic and designed to show the cutting edge of VR-capable graphics, has viewers moving through a slow motion action scene where futuristic soldiers are battling a giant robot; bullets, rockets, and debris fly passed the viewer as explosions rock the scene.

Epic painstakingly optimized Showdown to run at Oculus’ 90 FPS VR target framerate on the powerful Nvidia GTX 980 GPU.

See Also: Epic Games Share Insights: Optimizing ‘Showdown’ for 90 FPS on Oculus Rift Crescent Bay Prototype

But now Showdown can run flawlessly at 60 FPS on Sony’s Morpheus headset for PS4, says J.J. Hoesing, Senior Engine Programmer on Epic’s VR Team. The demo of course takes advantage of Sony’s ‘asynchronous reprojection’ technique to ultimately output at 120 FPS.

The great news about this? The enabling factor is general optimizations to UE4 on PS4, rather than specific optimizations to the Showdown demo, Hoesing tells me. That means an increase across the board for UE4’s performance on the PS4. This will be a boon for VR developers that hope to deploy UE4 projects cross-platform between Morpheus and other VR headsets.

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Granted, Showdown on Morpheus does run at 60 FPS at 1920×1080 compared to 90 FPS at 2160×1200 on the Oculus Rift, but color us impressed for the capabilities of UE4 on a console approaching its second anniversary. To further put this into perspective, the Nvidia GTX 980 GPU alone costs around $200 more than an entire PlayStation 4.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • WadeWatts

    Although the DK1 got my juices flowing, I will never forget seeing ShowDown at Oculus connect. The sense of “being there” and the way the entire demo was put together was a “take your breath away” moment. Still one of the best demos for VR. Oculus bring on the CV1!!! Woo hoo!

    Good to see you again Ben @ SVVR!

  • SuperDre

    Wow, that’s a big plus for Sony.. But I don’t expect the PS4 version of the demo is running at the same fidelity as the one that runs on the GTX980.. But still it’s very promising, especiall if Sony can get the experience fluid with their 60 to 120 tech…

  • Stray Toaster

    SONY is very well positioned to make the Morpheus most people’s first VR headset. It will be the cheapest complete package and demos like this prove that the console has plenty of grunt to render a smooth experience.

  • sibbo

    I agree Sony will be the one that makes the VR headlines and gets the most people experiencing it and seeing the future. With Sony, Oculus, Valve, HTC and Samsung commiting there is a wide enough spread of console, pc and mobile audiences for the VR train to break through the disaster of VR in the 90’s.

    I experienced VR in the 90’s and I saw the potential then but knew it wasn’t ready to happen for real. It is very different now.

  • brandon9271

    Hopefully since the PS4 is basically a mid spec PC these optimizations will carry over to the PC.

    • SuperDre

      It might carry over to the PC, but it also might be PS4 specific optimizations as it’s a fixed platform so you can ditch some extra overhead..

    • govr

      I suspect the game engine optimizations for the PS4 are Mantle/DX12 based.