Epic Games have been talking about their currently in-development engine, UE4, which they plan to have ready for the next generation of console releases, or just a little while after. Mike Capps, President of Epic, has been quoted as saying:
I want Unreal Engine 4 to be ready far earlier than UE3 was; not a year after the consoles are released
Even though Unreal Engine 3.0 came to the table a little later than expected, it was still impressive when released. On top of that, Epic has been tweaking it since, releasing a demo that stunned gamers the world over earlier this year, known as Samaritan, which was developed using a heavily modded Unreal Engine 3.5.
“I think a year from a console’s launch is perfectly fine for releasing a game, but not for releasing new tech. We need to be there day one or very early. That’s my primary focus”, said Capps who is apparently already in discussion with several manufacturers, including the main console makers, to make sure that Unreal’s tech gets into games early.
For this generation of consoles and PC hardware, it could be argued that the Crytek engines stole the show, so it seems Epic want to make sure they get in there early for the next gen.
“I think it’s very important that a gamer sees an Xbox Next or PlayStation Next and can clearly see the tech is not possible on current consoles. Otherwise they won’t be a success,” Capps continued.
He also touched on making Unreal technology much more viable for smaller developers too. Epic have recently been getting their technology onto much more mobile hardware, allowing for smartphone games like Infinity Blade to be developed, as well as porting UE 3.0 into Adobe’s Flash.
“I would like to have a vertical solution – for our tech to be useful for mobile projects and triple-A projects,” he said.
“In the past few years I think we’ve learned a lot about our technology and how it works for indie studios. How our tech works for iPhone games, for high-end triple-A studios and for a couple of guys who make a cool UDK game over the summer.”