The new Vulkan graphics APIs are going to be a significant shift in how game developers optimize games. The new APIs will allow for more robust and powerful capabilities and there’ll be a noticeable difference. To help illuminate some of these new capabilities, the game studio Epic has published this video which walks through an impressive demo using the just announced Samsung Galaxy S7.
The ProtoStar demo was built using their Unreal Engine. By adding this technology to a game engine, any developer which uses this engine gets better graphics out of the box without having to do a lot of extra work. You can see a number of additions to make these digital worlds close to reality, such as high-quality reflections, chromatic abberation, high-quality depth of field, cascaded shadows, and better support for particles.
The Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeny, said:
The new industry-standard Vulkan API brings key elements of high-end console graphics technology to mobile devices, and Samsung is leading the way with the amazing new Galaxy S7. As the first engine supporting Vulkan, Unreal Engine 4 provides a solid foundation for developers joining in the mobile graphics revolution.
The APIs are currently not embedded directly in Android, although it’ll likely be a feature added in the next version of Android, which will be announced at I/O in late May. However, some devices such as the NVIDIA Shield TV and Samsung Galaxy S7 already have these accessible for developers to get started building and testing games.
The S7 has a water cooling system which can prevent the phone from getting too hot when running processor intensive games, while the Shield TV has a Tegra X1 processor and an advanced 256-core GPU.