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That PS3 build of Gears of War 3 was just an internal test, Epic confirms

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Update: Epic cleared up the confusion surrounding the mystery PS3 build of Gears of War 3 in a statement sent to Kotaku. The PS3 build is legitimate, but as many hypothesized, it was simply part of an internal test for Unreal Engine 3. The game was never planned for release on PS3. Here's the company's statement in full:

"This footage is a byproduct of Epic’s internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process, which utilized both Gears and Unreal Tournament, and was never part of any actual product work for PlayStation 3."

Original story: 

Eight hours of footage of Gears of War 3 running on PS3 hardware has surfaced on the internet and everybody, including the person who put it up there, is confused.

Gears of War 3 was released on Xbox 360 in 2011 and has only ever been officially ported to Xbox One and PC since then. That fact stands in stark contrast to this apparent PS3 gameplay footage, uploaded by somebody who claims (via Kotaku) that the build was initially released as part of the massive security breach at Epic in 2011. That dramatic chapter in video game history was just the start.

The person who uploaded the footage, who goes by PixelButts on Twitter, says they needed to put a ton of work into the game to actually get it running on PS3 hardware. Several fixes to the build's data were required to get it to run at all, and it needs too much RAM to run anything but a PS3 devkit, among other special requirements. Even with all that work, its performance is still inconsistent and certain parts of the game reliably break.

The gameplay notably still shows Xbox 360 button prompts, and not everybody is convinced that this really is Gears of War 3 running on a PS3 - including the game's designer, Cliff Bleszinski.

Still, PixelButts maintains that this is all legit. They even uploaded an extra snippet of the game booting from a PS3 dashboard as further proof.

Why would Epic go through the effort of making a sorta-functional PS3 version of Gears 3 when the franchise has always been an Xbox exclusive, even before it was sold to Microsoft in 2014? The leaker doesn't know, and we may never either beyond speculating about behind-the-scenes engine tests or things of that nature. That said, we have reached out to both PixelButts and Epic Games itself to see if we can find out more about this strange artifact of gaming history.

See more footage of Gears games running on interesting hardware with this early look at Gears 5 on Xbox Series X.