The Unreal Engine 4 has now been demonstrated behind closed doors at GDC, with alas, witnesses to the event under a strict NDA. Epic Games did state, however, that it intends to demonstrate the new engine publicly later this year, which we expect will be either E3 in June, to celebrate the launch of, with fingers crossed, at least one new console or, the launch of the NVIDIA Kepler GPU in the near future.
What Epic did confirm was that the demonstration of UE4 shown behind closed doors was indeed powered by NVIDIA Kepler technology, strongly indicating, that at this stage, Epic is able to achieve the greatest performance from the upcoming architecture as opposed to AMD's Radeon HD 7xxx series, an indication which bodes well for NVIDIA.
What's more, is to tease the public as to the actual performance of the Kepler GPU, Epic ran, a live, real-time demonstration of its previously released Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan tech demo running on a single Kepler GPU, which last year, required three GeForce GTX580 cards in SLI to achieve equivalent frame-rates and, with reference to Unreal Engine 4, the firm stated "That board we ran the Samaritan demo on is the same board we're running the Unreal Engine 4 demos on, we can get so much more out of the card than what you saw in Samaritan."
We're looking more and more forward to the release of the latest members of the GeForce family.
I was actually at the event and personally asked Mark Rein about the differences in rendering year to year.
The three-way GTX 580 was run with 4x MSAA. The same demo was run yesterday on a single 'Kepler' card, at the same settings, but with MSAA substituted with FXAA. The end result was a comparable image but with far less computational penalty for running the pixel-shader-based AA over conventional MSAA.
For what it's worth, a 'Kepler' card is fundamentally faster than a GTX 580 at exactly the same settings, though I can't say by how much.
As for Unreal 4...