New Unreal Engine tech 'justifies' next-gen consoles, claims Epic Games VP

Apple will release a DirectX 11-capable device in a few years, said Epic VP Mark Rein in an interview with trade magazine Develop. Rein also said that Unreal Engine on DX11 is a big enough technical leap to justify the cost of developing next generation consoles.

Rein's comments follow the unveiling of a new tech demo at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. The “Samaitan real-time demo” shows off the kinds of DX11eye candy developers can expect to produce with the updated Unreal Development Kit. “The DX11 demo itself, that's our love letter to hardware manufacturers. We're able to give people another road map. If companies are building new consoles - and, who knows, I mean Apple just released an iPad that's nine times the power of its predecessor,” said Rein.

Above: The Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan Real-Time Demo, which was first revealed at the 2011 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco

“If Apple continues on this scale, they'll have a device that can run this [points to Unreal Engine DX11 demo] in a couple of years. But, that demo we've shown is aimed at the game console makers. We're telling them that this is the big leap that we think justifies that new piece of hardware you're going to build, and we're telling them that this is what we need next-gen consoles to be capable of, because we can't build a more powerful PC than the one that's running the DX11 demo! [Laughs]” he continued.

Apr 4, 2011

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  • 4fromK - April 6, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    Yeah, themanwhopaystherent is essentially right here - the lighting shown off here is amazing, if your into hat (and if your a console gamer, chances are you aren't, as these tend to be the stuff you only notice when you mess with the settings - HDR is way easier to notice when you can turn it on and off, for example) But IMO this won't justify a new console cycle - this will just push PCs forward again, and the next cycle will have to play catchup, again. (And I'll have to upgrade my PC, AGAIN :( ... nah jks I love it). Another thing to remember is, this is just a prerender, no matter how pretty. Ingame graphics wouldn't match this, although they could come close soon. That would also push the cost of a game up a metric fuckton. myself, I'll only get real interested in a new engine by unreal when they do something a little freakier or fruitier, like say, VOXELS. but that will never happen, of course
  • Balaska - April 5, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    I don't think Mark Rein was saying dx11 Unreal Engine 3 will make new consoles happen, he is just saying that new consoles would be awesome for the new engine. Also to be fair, Epic games are not the only people that use their engine, the games industry practically runs on Unreal, any console or PC GPU that can take full advantage of Unreal tech will get all the games and be the new top dog.
  • TheManWhoPaysTheRent - April 5, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    Love how poeple are comparing this to Crysis 2. This is something completely different, and the tech shows this. They're talking Lighting here, not texture sizes. Anyone can throw some 4096x4096 textures on a game and call it pretty. The specific things to look at here are the reflections, the way light changes as it hits surfaces. I've seen a lot of Crysis 2. None of it has had this good of a lighting engine. If you don't believe me, go freeze the video at 0:57 and look at the guy's eye. Ever see that in a modern game? the way there's multiple accurate reflections and refractions? hint: the answer is no! That said, this is still Unreal 3, not anything particularly revolutionary. The key to a system like this is making it scale. As a console gamer, one wouldn't realize that the unreal engine scales INCREDIBLY well. That's why Something like Gears of War looks so good compared to offerings made by most other engines. A DX9 system can run Unreal Tournament 3 at a fairly high graphics setting and fairly high framerate because the Unreal engine scales so well. This is 2+ years out with high end PCs released around the same time as the games using this tech. Expect Nintendo to announce codenamed hardware this E3, release an actual name for that hardware next E3, then release fall of 2013. Microsoft and Sony are slightly harder to gauge, but I expect Kinect/Move to be compatible with the next set of consoles and they'll probably release in 2014-2015. I doubt Microsoft will come to the table a year ahead of Sony this time. The simple truth is that 360/PS3 are running first generation DX9 hardware. Sure it's a bit nicer than actual high end DX9 gpus, it's been pushed slightly harder, but it's still the first generation of that hardware. this year we're starting to see 2nd generation DX11 hardware. My guess is that when Windows 8 comes out is when Microsoft and Sony will be readying their final hardware configurations with DX12 in mind.
  • D0CCON - April 5, 2011 2:33 a.m.

    It looks marginally better than Crysis 2 on 360. That is not worth $500 for a new console. I still believe that our graphics have reached the point of good enough. You can make games look better, but until they are damn near or entirely photorealistic, there won't be many big jumps in graphical performance.
  • IndignantCactus - April 5, 2011 1:59 a.m.

    It does NOT justify a new generation of consoles. The fools. >:(
  • Vitreosity - April 4, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    New consoles won't be happening for ANOTHER 4 years (And that's Xbox alone... I don't even know how long it'll take for the other two). I have a feeling that there'll be a lot more PC love coming around soon enough. As well, Macs? Seriously? I'm running Crysis 2 at 30 fps with crossfire 5850s. I'd doubt that any mac could run Crysis within the next 4 years, let alone THAT.
  • CongratulagentAgentTHEAgentAntista - April 4, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Achieved, with CryEn...Oh wait...Shit.
  • LordZarlon - April 4, 2011 10:27 p.m.

    This happens every console cycle. Late into the lifespan of a current generation of consoles the PC side of things starts to show certain advantages over consoles, particularly graphics. Graphics tech has improved radically since the GPU's, that came out with the current consoles on the market, were first scene in action. I'm a big PC and console gamer so I don't have a bias. If it weren't for HDTV's we would have new consoles already. Don't be fooled, the big 3 are developing new consoles. They will release them when the demand for their current product begins to dwindle. One developer showing a tech demo will not make them do it. It's all about how much they have to gain financially.
  • CommandantOreo - April 4, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    CrazyWolf:Yet, people somehow fork over money for iPad2's and other gadgets. I don't think we are in a rut as we claim to be.
  • crazyW01F - April 4, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    That's great, but I can't imagine moving on from my 360/PS3 and pay for a new $500-$600 console. At this point in time how many of us have $500-$600 to just fork over on whim without having to worry about not paying for other necessary expenses. Until world economy gets out of the rut it's in (if ever) it's just a bad time to announce the next generation of consoles. On top of that, how much would these next-gen games cost? Could we be heading for another $10 increase? A lot of things to consider besides what game engines can do with better hardware.
  • NG14916 - April 4, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    No one's going to release the new consoles early just to use a new graphics engine. Get real.
  • Misterscaryface - April 4, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    And why the hell is THAT not a game?! damn that was awesome.
  • marioman50 - April 4, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    lol, I love how the giant robot tries to talk to him, but goes into super kill mode after he flicks his cigarette at it.
  • NotBraze - April 4, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    As a long time gamer and Mac user I must say it's more than a little vindicating to see a major game developer point to Apple as the example of what the other companies should be aiming for.

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