Unreal Engine 4 release aiming for 'day one' on next-gen consoles

Epic Games' Mike Capps has revealed that Epic is already discussing the Unreal Engine 4 tech with hardware manufacturers, about sixteen so far, including console manufacturers. And while no one knows when the next generation will begin, Epic wants to make sure they're ready from the beginning.

"I want Unreal Engine 4 to be ready far earlier than UE3 was; not a year after the consoles are released," he said.

"I think a year from a console's launch is perfectly fine for releasing a game, but not for releasing new tech. We need to be there day one or very early. That's my primary focus."

Epic's "Samaritan" demo stunned viewers when it unveiled earlier this year. "It was just that no one knew what a next-generation game would look like – so that was our idea, to show people what we can achieve," Capps explained to Develop. "We believe what we've demonstrated is achievable at a reasonable development cost, so it's what gamers should be demanding for next generation."

"I think it's very important that a gamer sees an Xbox Next or PlayStation Next and can clearly see the tech is not possible on current consoles. Otherwise they won't be a success," he noted.

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Capps also explained that Unreal Engine must also enable smaller titles and developers. "I would like to have a vertical solution – for our tech to be useful for mobile projects and triple-A projects," he said. Recently, the Unreal Engine has been powering a number of iOS games, notably Epic's own Infinity Blade. "In the past few years I think we've learned a lot about our technology and how it works for indie studios. How our tech works for iPhone games, for high-end triple-A studios and for a couple of guys who make a cool UDK game over the summer."