Oh boy, here we go again. Someone caught up with Mark Rein and extracted the latest opinion from Epic Games‘ VP regarding the bitter feuds over PC gaming, while also getting a rain check on what’s been changed on the Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament III to allow it to render efficiently on split-screen. And on the topic of PC gaming, we’re also handed an explanation over Tim Sweeney’s Unreal Engine 4 remark. More at the full story.
Mark Rein said in an interview conducted back in Midway’s Gamers Day that Epic Games is still sticking to PC gaming even while offering games for consoles. And in that note, Rein claims that misconceptions arose when Tim Sweeney’s previous remarks on an Unreal Engine 4-related interview was taken out of context.
The vice president also clears the misty air surrounding hushed whispers of ‘tweaking’ to make split-screen in Unreal Tournament III (PlayStation 3, Windows PC, Xbox 360)viable for the Xbox 360.
Hello – what Epic really meant to say was…
UE4 one-man team Tim Sweeney once opined back in an interview that PCs weren’t meant for gaming and later followed through with an announcement that the next iteration of Epic’s multiplatform engine would target the next generation consoles exclusively.
As you’d expect, Epic Games drew flak fire from its first core gamer base – yet again. Rein dealt his cards on the wrong idea that UE4 would be console only:
What he meant was, it won’t run on this generation of consoles, but people assumed what he meant was that it won’t run on PCs. Hello – all game technology runs on PC, that’s how you build it. Of course it’ll be on PC. That should go without saying.
Touche. But then we never missed the fine print: Epic Games’ co-founder did say, “PCs will follow after that.” UE3 debuted on consoles first, anyway, and as it matured, it soon rested on personal computers including Macs.
What we’re after is Sweeney’s first statement. Yes, the one that goes along the lines of “PCs are good for anything, just not games.” Rein explains at length:
We still have the problem with the low-end PCs that have things like Intel integrated graphics – that continues to be a problem. But you’re going to see guys like nVidia and ATi release integrated graphics cards that are good enough to run games like UT III and, to me, that’s fantastic.It’s something we’ve been fighting for years.
Now we’ve got to get Intel there and I think they’re going to be there before too long. I think that’ll help the PC a lot. If every PC was capable of being a gaming PC we’d be much better off.
Rein believes that this will address the long-term problem, but also added, “It’s just a question of what happens between now and then.” In that point, Epic Games will still continue serving the PC front, even if it means sticking firm to the retail business model while others go online.
And there’s no room for what ifs. Rein concludes, “If we give conflicting views and say things that are negative, it’s because we care about [a platform] and we want it to be strong, and we’re going to work to make it strong.”
UT3: Xbox 360 split-screen tweaks – yes; ramping down graphics – no
Guess what Mark Rein has readied for those who’ve said that the Xbox 360 exclusive UT3 multiplayer feature would require a sacrifice in graphics to keep up with performance?
Rein confirms that Epic Games has been making constant tweaks to the Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament III, and even highlighted the removal of GameSpy multiplayer code to make way for Xbox Live support.
But aside from overhauling multiplayer engines, they’ve also been refining the two-player split-screen experience. Rein said that no downgrade of visual effects was performed. He added:
We want this version to be as good as the PS3 version. The optimisations are mostly based around making sure we can get decent performance with split-screen.
And how fares Epic’s efforts to UT3 modding support? He expects that there will be mod support down along the line, but it won’t be as open as the PC and PS3 support. “We’ll make sure we get a fair share of mods working. We’ll figure that out,” reassured Rein.
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