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Epic Games, a major video game developer and the creator of game engines that are used by hundreds of titles, said that its new-generation Unreal Engine 4 will not support current-generation video game consoles as well as Nintendo Wii U. Generally, this means that the majority of true next-generation games that will be launched within the next several years will simply not be able to run on the new console recently released by Nintendo.

“We have Unreal Engine 3 for the Wii U. Right? Unreal Engine 3 is powering all kinds of amazing games, still lots of games are being made with Unreal Engine 3. We announced today about a new Unreal Engine 3 license. Unreal Engine 3 does not disappear because of Unreal Engine 4. But our goal for Unreal Engine 4 console-wise is next-gen consoles. That is really what our energies are focused on. If you want to make a Wii U game, we have Unreal Engine 3, and it's powering some of the best games on the Wii U already,” said Mark Rein, a vice president of Epic Games, at a Q&A at the GDC conference last week, reports Kotaku web-site.

Even though in the past Epic expressed rather positive attitude towards Nintendo Wii U, the fact that the console is barely more powerful than existing consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. conditioned the decision not to tailor UE4 for Wii U.


Screenshot from an Unreal Engine 4 demo

Unreal Engine 4 has been in development since 2003. One of the major features of UE4 is real-time global illumination using voxel cone tracing, which eliminates the need for pre-computed lighting, but requires high computing performance. Another major advantage of UE4 is ability of developers to see the actual results of their coding work much sooner than before, which reduces the amount of time needed for testing.

The UE4 will not only improve the quality of graphics, physics and gameplay, but will also make it easier to develop advanced titles. As a result, it will be pretty much hard to port games to previous-gen engines or consoles in order to make them run on Wii U (due to its low performance), which means that a lot of game developers will simply skip the console and not develop new titles for it several years down the road, when UE4 will actually be used. Still, there is a technical possibility to run downgrade the UE4-based titles to the level of current-gen consoles.

“If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they want to ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen,” said Mr. Rein in an interview with Engadget.


Screenshot from an Unreal Engine 4 demo

Tags: Epic Games, Epic Unreal Engine, Xbox, Playstation, Wii U, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo

Discussion

Comments currently: 4
Discussion started: 04/02/13 07:24:37 PM
Latest comment: 04/03/13 07:46:55 AM
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1. 
No surprise here, the sub par 5 year old Graphics Chip in the WiiU is outdated garbage.

Unlike the PS4 and Xboxnext that will both be using 2012 current generation (GCN) Chips. that are close to 10 times more powerful on Ps4 and 6 times more powerful on Xbox
4 1 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 04/02/13 07:24:37 PM]
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The Wii U is shaping up the be the worst console Nintendo has ever made. Without UE4 on Wii U, all those 3rd party titles that will use that engine will skip the Wii U.
0 1 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 04/03/13 04:12:08 AM]
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2. 
And later that day, they back tracked and said it would run on any platform a developer wanted to develop it on, including WiiU, x360 and PS3. The engine scales from phones all the way up. It just depends on what shader tech and texture space you can squeeze on screen.
1 0 [Posted by: KeyBoardG  | Date: 04/02/13 08:11:49 PM]
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3. 
Wii U can do 400-500 GFLOPS while PS360 reach up to 200 GFLOPS on their GPUs.
1 0 [Posted by: Filiprino  | Date: 04/03/13 07:46:55 AM]
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