Get your hardware upgrade money on standby: Epic unveils the eye-popping future of games in stunning video

How's your graphics card these days? Strong like bull? Well maybe you might want to start looking around for an affordable supply of digital steroids just in case. Epic Games showed off some real-time footage of their next set of upgrades to their Unreal Engine 3 at GDC, showcasing a whole bunch of rig-bursting new features.

The demo was apparently intended as a prompt to hardware manufacturers to get their kit ready for the incandescent pixel-joy Epic is preparing to unleash in the future. How much is that future going to cost? Possibly a fair chunk, but don't worry about that. Just ogle the prettiness for now. 720p. Full-screen. You know it makes sense.

Excited? Me too. But I must now be a miserable sod and drop a few sobering facts. While what you've just watched is an upgrade to the Gears-of-War-powering Unreal Engine 3 rather than a brand new Unreal 4, don't expect visuals like those in the video above to start dropping onto your current gaming set-up any time soon, at least not running in real-time. The demo was running on three graphics cards at GDC, and although Epic reckon that a bit of streamlining could see its new pimped-out engine pumping this stuff out on a single Ti500 card, this video is very much Epic's proposal for next-gen gaming rather than an immediate statement of intent.

According to Epic Vice-President Mark Rein, "The whole idea behind this is to tell hardware developers and tell game developers this is what you should prepare for down the road. There needs to be mass market devices that can do this before too long"

So it's a case of " This is what we're capable of, now you lot catch up so we can do it". Upsetting smashing of your future bank balance? Pre-emptive grab for the kind of engine dominance next-gen that Unreal 3 enjoys this gen? This video is probably both of these things. But it is also very, very pretty indeed. Whadda ya reckon?

March 9th, 2011




  • Spybreak8 - March 12, 2011 5:52 a.m.

    That's one reason I got out of the PC gaming updgrading conundrum. I still play games on my laptop because I can't help it lol. Still if developers can optimize a game for one system, like the 360 or PS3, you get a gorgeous game that you can play (and afford). Now what's crazy is if this and On Live were combined in the future so you could actually play this on a laptop or a small tablet!
  • CallOfBooty - March 11, 2011 3:59 a.m.

    This will never happen because it would require Epic to make a game that has color. Also this make me want a bladerunner game
  • Slayer11496 - March 10, 2011 1:51 a.m.

    that IS the gameplay engine
  • ArcticMetal - March 9, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    Does this music remind anyone else of the Inception trailer?
  • FelNaRj - March 9, 2011 10:24 p.m.

    This looks so freakinly amazing... i wonder if we ever see , in game ( not real time guys i mean controlling the iron dude.. )
  • epicdominican91 - March 9, 2011 9:11 p.m.

  • Shamanix - March 9, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    Awesome video, but just one thing thats confusing, if he is so hard and he made of stone or metal or something then why does he need a blow torch to get that lock off! why doesnt he just rip it off, weird!!!
  • Kage_No_Shi - March 9, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    I've got dual 570's, so I should be golden, once this is optimized. Though I'll be a bit pissed if the 600 series makes huge strides in performance over the 500 series (as in, significantly moreso than the 400 series to 500 series). I only recent got this put together (just before January).
  • Leghar - March 9, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Damn, fireflies are out thick.
  • sirdilznik - March 9, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    The timing is pretty good for me. I estimate my current PC rig has another 2-3 years in it before I make a whole new (and possibly final) PC rig. I estimate it will be about that long until there are games out there to take full advantage of all that new goodness they've packed into the Unreal Engine. Also by that time a mid-priced CPU will likely outperform today's top of the line desktop CPUs and whatever graphics card I get (GTX870?) should have enough muscle to handle what the 3 GTX580s were putting out and then some. This should also line up fairly well with Sony and Microsoft's next gen consoles (PS4 & XBOX 720?).
  • RonnyLive19881 - March 9, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Looks to pricey and way to unnecessary... Nintendo is kicking ass without all that pointless flashy crap. I honestly see no need to graphics that realistic Lol. You can probably feed a whole third world country for 5 years with all the money that was used to develop that engine and for 10 years with all the money that will be put into the making of the games that run off that. Hell I've been happy just rockin my DS for the past few months... haven't touched my PC, 360 or PS3 in quite a while Lol and with 3DS coming the 27th it will be a while longer.
  • kingsmikefan - March 9, 2011 5:49 p.m.

    Looks great, but we don't need it. At least not for a another five years, with the current consoles going strong, and developers finally learning to use the tech.
  • jackthemenace - March 9, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    OMGWTFBBQ. Honestly, holy crap. Those graphics are absolutely unreal. (Hur-Hur-Hur, geddit? FOR TEH LULZ.) Anyone know if it's a trailer for a game, or whether it's just a tech demo?
  • awinnerisjew - March 9, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    Oooh, so he lit a cigarette with his blowtorch. A real man would have shaved with it.
  • hllywd212 - March 9, 2011 4:57 p.m.

  • hllywd212 - March 9, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    HA HA! He put that torch down without shutting of the tank supply, he's a real rebel going agains OSHA regulations like that. Also, why did the riot guards sound like the Combine? Was a pretty lame trailer from a story perspective.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - March 9, 2011 4:55 p.m.

    It's in-game, yeah. As I said in the intro, this is a real-time demo. As gurgle-inducing as that is.
  • iJizzLots - March 9, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Wait, is this in-game or CGI? If the former, holy shit If the latter, MEH
  • yasmarc - March 9, 2011 4:47 p.m.! The transitions from his metal to flesh face were crazy! Actually everything in that looked crazy. Anyone got a few grand to spare? My only worry is that any studios that try to make something look this good will have to have blockbuster budgets.
  • Patius - March 9, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    This might have been in game, but considering it took the equivalent of 3 PC's to do this, it probably won't be quite this good for a while.

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