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Why Epic wants all consoles created equal

Mike Capps tells GDC Europe that if hardware differs wildly "I can't ship on both"

Speaking at GDC Europe today, Dr Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, told attendees that tech demo The Samaritan was actually a "love letter" to Sony and Microsoft.

"It was our love letter to console manufacturers saying what we wanted to see in next generation," Capps said of the video that appeared at GDC in March.

"We did this because we though it was the right thing to do, not because it makes us money, not because anyone is trying to license our engine for the next Xbox or anything else. Why did we spend all that time on it? I think it'll be clear to you soon."

Capps made it clear that consumers shouldn't expect to see a Samaritan video game, and explained why Epic wanted limited variation in the specs of next generation consoles.

We did this because we though it was the right thing to do, not because it makes us money, not because anyone is trying to license our engine for the next Xbox or anything else

Mike Capps, Epic Games

"Last generation we saw just about everyone was roughly the same class of computation except for Wii of course, but for cutting edge PCs and the other platforms you could make a game and port it across."

"The last thing we want to see, though it would probably be great for Sony, is to have their platform a hundred times better than than Xbox. Because then I can't ship on both."

"It was just a way of showing what consoles could do and putting it in front of console manufacturers and saying - please, we love you, please make it do this."

It's an Epic tactic that's worked in the past. Talking about the development of the first Gears Of War, he showed concept images that represented what the game would look like on both a 256MB of memory and 512MB, with noticeable differences in detail and quality.

"We went to Microsoft and said - please please please, you need 512 to be competitive, you need 512 to be successful. And it cost them a billion dollars to do it but it's why they were competitive this generation."

Capps also surprised attendees with the news that Epic currently has five games at various stages of development.

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Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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