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Epic demos next-gen Unreal engine

"If the next consoles can't do this... Well, Apple increased the iPad 9 times today"

Epic has been demonstrating the latest version of its Unreal 3 engine at GDC, with VP Mark Rein claiming that "this is our proposal for what the next generation of gaming is going to be."

In a demo seen by VG247, Rein demonstrated new DirectX 11 features added to Unreal 3, but denied that this should be considered a new version of the engine. He joked, however, that it could be called 'Unreal 3.975' and claimed it was nonetheless a more dramatic improvement than between Unreal engine 2 and 3.

Although the industry in general perhaps seems less than keen on the prospect of new consoles any time soon, "the whole idea behind this is to tell the hardware manufacturers that this is what you should be doing down the road."

The demo, depicting a high-detail sci-fi city and superhero character, was running on PC, on three NVIDIA GTX 580 cards in SLI. This was the high-end of the engine capabilities, however.

"Another thing that's awesome is that the engine now scales all the way from an iPhone 3GS up to next-generation hardware," said Rein. "That means you could theoretically make a game that'd run on every single one of these devices. Mobile phones to tablets to set top boxes."

He also noted that "If the next game consoles can't do this, well, Apple increased their iPad by nine times today."

The features in the demo, such as sub-surface scattering, shadowed point light reflections and bokeh depth of field, are apparently already available to Unreal licensees.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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