Epic Games VP Believes Nintendo 3DS Below 'Minimum Specifications' for Unreal Engine

By Xav de Matos, Oct 07, 2010 9:20am PDT If you were waiting on Unreal Engine support for the Nintendo 3DS before rushing out to pre-order the unit, you might want to stay home.

During a GDC Online interview, as detailed by Joystiq, Epic Games vice-president Mark Rein said his company is not working on software for Nintendo's upcoming handheld, stating that "from what [Epic Games] can tell" the system does not meet the minimum specifications for the Unreal Engine.

"We don't have a 3DS, so there's no way for us to verify that," Rein said, "but everything we've been led to believe is that it's below our min-spec. You couldn't do a game that looks like [Epic Citadel] on it, for example."

Rein confirmed that Epic is currently not prepping a version of Unreal Engine for other developers to use with the device. "Like I said, we really don't know enough about it to make a formal comment, but I think if they considered that our engine would be good on it, they would have probably talked to us about it."

Although the comments calculate to little more than "guesstimations" at this time, we anticipate Epic wants to push its engine to as many platforms as possible. Recently, Epic announced plans for an iOS-exclusive title--dubbed Project Sword--utilizing a mobile version of its Unreal Engine 3 technology. Epic Citadel--a free tech demo for the engine on iOS devices--has already been downloaded over one million times since release.

According to Rein, things could change--in terms of the Unreal Engine on the 3DS--when Epic gets its hands on Nintendo's new hardware.

Currently, Epic Games is developing Gears of War 3. For the lowdown, make sure to read about the Xbox 360-exclusive's upcoming beta and our recent preview of the game.

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  • Why is anybody surprised this cold be the case? Just look at the core specs of the 3DS. The thing uses ARM11 based CPUs running at a paltry 266MHz. Just for perspective the the origional iPhone from summer 2007! uses that. The new iptod touch is a far more advanced device. The fact is Nintando is trying to get away with sticking cheap core hardware in their new game machine and slapping the 3D stuff on top of it so they can gouge clueless users for $300...and the Nintendo fanboy fools will probably do it.

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    • Yeah, but the core processor is just that... the graphics chip can make all the difference. It really depends on how the hardware is designed. If most of the work is offloaded to multiple sub processors and the ARM11 is left just executing code and doing some AI etc.. it can still be pretty powerful.

      Based on what I've seen from the screenshots of the 3DS it looks like they went for higher end textures and filters etc.. over pure polygon count. I think that might have been a very good choice for a portable device because on a screen that size you don't really see polygon seems and edges so much. Clean textures with normal maps etc probalby make a bigger impression. Maybe that design choice just doesn't suit the Unreal engine which likes to throw tons of polygons around? I'm not sure.

      This whole thing sounds more like a political thing to me though. It sounds like something is going on behind the scenes with Epic and Nintendo which pissed off Epic. Maybe I'm wrong but it comes across as kind of a 'screw you Nintendo' PR stunt.