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Epic Games, a leading developer of graphics engines and popular Unreal-series video games, this week said that it had joined Khronos Group, an industry group that develops open standards for graphics. Although Epic has supported DirectX for about a decade now, it has been emphasizing importance of flexible software-based rendering and limitations of Direct3D rendering pipeline.

Epic Games joined Khronos as a member of its board of promoters. Khronos membership will enable Epic to provide significant input into the development and evolution of key graphics 3D standards, such as OpenGL and OpenGL ES, that enable Epic’s gaming technology on an increasingly broad range of platforms including desktop PCs, game consoles and mobile phones, according to a joint press release of Epic and Khronos. Meanwhile, Epic only claims that it is interested in developing mobile graphics and standards, perhaps, only when it comes to short-term and mid-term future.

“Epic welcomes the emergence of mobile platforms that are great candidates for Unreal Engine 3-powered games and applications, and we have joined the board of Khronos to have a seat at the table in determining how the major APIs for visually compelling mobile graphics will evolve over the next few years. Our goal is to ensure that the functionality essential to bringing rich experiences to mobile users is enabled on both the hardware and software side of modern devices and platforms,” said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games

As a Khronos promoter member, Epic can participate and vote in any Khronos working group, and Epic’s seat on the Board of Promoters will allow it to direct Khronos strategy and play a pivotal role in the evolution of 3D graphics on mobile devices.

Even though OpenGL and OpenGL ES rely on existing graphics processors, such as those available fromATI/AMD, PowerVR, Nvidia, etc., and cannot enable any principally new capabilities, they may take advantage of unique features of hardware that are not supported via Microsoft Corp.’s DirectX.

“Epic is one of the most respected games technology companies on the planet and Khronos is delighted to have their participation as we create the APIs that enable key gaming engines, such as Unreal Engine 3, to tap into the power of 3D GPU acceleration on a wide range of platforms. Epic’s real-world experience and standing in the industry will enable them to bring enormous insight and influence to the evolution of the OpenGL and OpenGL ES specifications that will benefit the entire industry,” said Neil Trevett, Khronos president and vice president of mobile content at Nvidia Corp.

Tags: OpenGL, OpenGL ES, Khronos, DirectX, Epic Games, Epic

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