Woo, technological willy-waving time! Epic's Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan tech demo - positioned as a "proposal for the next generational leap in gaming" - requires a 2.5 teraflop machine to run.
As Develop points out, that's ten times the Xbox 360's hitherto quite satisfactory upper limit of 0.25 teraflops - and well beyond the Xbox 720's (otherwise impressive) rumoured specifications. IGN and Fuzilla sources have the machine down to be six times as powerful as Xbox 360.
Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney aired the jaw-dropping requirement at this year's DICE conference. Yes, the same Tim Sweeney who recently told manufacturers (and the world in general) that "you should only replace the hardware when you can make a dramatic leap in quality, not just 2X or 3X. It has to be huge and fundamentally new."
Huge and fundamentally new enough for you, readers?
"If you can give us something that has this minimum spec, then this is the kind of quality that we can produce," senior technical artist Alan Willard said of the Samaritan demo in October. "And obviously since we license the engine other studios will be able to produce that level of quality too."
Despite its enthusiasm for high fidelity polygon meshes and shaders, Epic has a few lingering reservations about the move to next gen hardware, rumoured to kick off in 2013.
Eternally quotable frontman Cliff Bleszinski told OXM in November that another round of hardware investments could whittle down the number of triple-A releases to "three or four a year".
"I'd like to see it at a time when consumers are going to be ready to adopt it and jump in whole-heartedly," the company's Mark Rein said in July. "I'm not in a huge hurry for it."
Here's that Samaritan video again. Marvel at the advancedness.