Epic Games, the maker of some of the most successful games ever to hit a games console, has revealed it is “constantly pushing” next-generation console makers including Microsoft and Sony to make their platforms as advanced as technically possible, so that Apple — with its range of evolving iOS mobile devices — doesn’t “go right past them.”
Speaking to Computer and Video Games at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) expo in San Francisco, Epic VP Mark Rein responded to reports that Nintendo and Microsoft may incorporate lower-powered hardware in their next consoles, by saying that as a game-maker, the company was pushing platform makers by showcasing the very latest demonstrations of what their games can do.
Rein told CVG: “This is why we did Samaritan and why we’re doing a really high-end demo in the room here. We really are pushing these guys, because if they don’t, Apple will go right past them.”
Samaritan is a year-old demonstration of Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 (video here), which showed improved geometry, texturing, shader support, depth-of-field, reflections and shadows, to be utilised in upcoming games and future consoles. The company is reported to have showed-off Unreal Engine 4 at this year’s event, which may be showcased later this year.
Given that Epic’s iOS game ‘Infinity Blade: Dungeons’ was showcased at Apple’s iPad keynote yesterday, it’s no surprise that the company is interested in showing what can be done on an iPad:
“We really like the big screen, home console experience and we really like iPad gaming. 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.”
Whilst it is in Epic’s interests to show just what gaming engines can do for developers and console makers, it’s often the range of games available on a platform that ensures its success.
Nintendo’s Wii console is easily the least powerful console in comparison to the Xbox and the PlayStation 3 but a range of Zelda, Mario and fitness games (and accessories) helped it stand out on its own as an innovative platform, as game makers sought to utilise the varying control technologies that were available to them.
Epic’s iOS exclusive, Infinity Blade: Dungeons utilises Apple’s new custom A5X SoC processor, which features a dual-core architecture and quad-core graphics capabilities.
It’s set thousands of years prior to the other Infinity Blade games in the series and puts gamers in control of an apprentice weaponsmith who serves the Master of the Forge, who is sent out to create the most fearless weapon of all — the Infinity Blade.
“Just like Apple has raised the bar for mobile computing, the Infinity Blade franchise has continually re-defined expectations for mobile gaming,” said Epic Games president Dr. Michael Capps. “With Infinity Blade: Dungeons we continue the tradition of melding exciting gameplay with beautiful, rich worlds powered by Unreal Engine technology; and Apple’s new iPad allows us to push the boundaries even further.”