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Epic worried Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony will let Apple win

updated 11:20 am EST, Thu March 8, 2012

Epic Games pushes for faster PS4 and next Xbox

Epic Games is concerned that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony might let Apple take over in gaming by being too conservative with their hardware, the developer's VP Mark Rein said in a discussion this week at the Game Developer Conference. The Bulletstorm and Gears of War creator told CVG his company was "constantly pushing" hardware designers to make high-end systems to give a clear incentive to pick their systems over what Apple makes. Rein liked Apple, but he didn't want TV gaming to disappear by eroding the gap in experiences.

"We really like the big screen, home console experience and we really like iPad gaming," he said. "We like all these gaming experiences and we don't think consumers want them to go away. The only way they're going to go away is if they don't stay true to what they are. The console gaming experience is about delivering something that's way out past the bleeding edge and subsidising it through the software royalty model -- just like Apple does with the phones. It's not that much different."

Rein wasn't immediately worried that console designers would slip, but he added that Epic had tried to set an example. Unreal Engine technology demos like Samaritan (below), which push the limits of existing hardware, show the potential from pushing hardware. The particular demo needs at least a modern Intel Core chip and three GeForce GTX 580 boards to show not just extremely detailed character models but advanced lighting, focus, and particle effects that would previously have been limited to pre-rendered movies.

Console makers aren't necessarily following suit. Nintendo's Wii U is in flux but is expected to sit somewhere between the current generation and the next Microsoft and Sony systems. Worries persist that the next Xbox may have just mid-level graphics, although AMD has been alluding to cinematic quality visuals. Sony's next PlayStation has had few leaks, but a desire to avoid the the PS3's infamous $499 and $599 starting prices might see it cut costs.

Apple has carved out a space in gaming partly because of its much more aggressive hardware schedule. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony are content to go several years between revisions, but Apple updates most iOS hardware annually and has rapidly caught up. Rage developer id Software's co-founder, John Carmack, has said that the iPad can rival some Xbox 360 games. Epic, during the new iPad's introduction, said the tablet had more power in some areas than both the Xbox 360 and PS3.

by MacNN Staff



  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What might help... EPIC publishing OS X games that require higher-than-iOS-level hardware to run... where the h***'s Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3 that were announced AWHILE ago!

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yeah, that makes SO much sense

    Out of the Wii, PS3, and XBox 360, which had the worst hardware? The Wii, hands down. Which sold the most? The Wii, also hands down.

    Game sales has very little to do with hardware capability. It's the games! If the platform has fun games which are easy to pick up -- and, for preference, cheap -- they'll sell a lot more. The XBox and PS3 have about 5 original games, of varying levels of fun, and everything else is a knockoff of one of those 5. In fact, if you don't like FPS, then you probably won't like the PS3 or the XBox very much because every other game is one.

    In fact, pushing the envelope with hardware will probably make things even worse, because it will make consoles more expensive, and nobody like that. Do YOU want to spend an extra $100 on a console because Epic can't be bothered to write more efficient code and thus run on older hardware? Didn't think so.

    In fact, Gears of War is part of the problem. Either you like it or you don't, and there aren't anywhere near enough people who like it to pull a lot of people onto the PS3 or XBox platform. If Epic wants people on consoles so badly, let them write games that more people want to play and publish them on consoles.

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "The console gaming experience is about delivering something that's way out past the bleeding edge..."

    Nope. You mean PC gaming is way past the bleeding edge. The consoles of today are yesterday's desktop technology. Sorry, but it's true.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey Epic...

    ...did you know that Apple let's you keep 70% of your game revenue - that's way more than Sony, MS, or Nintendo? Make a decent game that utilities iOS devices, and AirPlay to a big screen TV. People will buy.

  1. Leatherropes

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Microsoft has been amazingly conservative with it's XBOX hardware. MS locks down its hardware specs so far ahead of software development that its hardware is woefully obsolete by release date. Some good titles are the only thing that was saved MS. Odds in that happening again aren't good.

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