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

Epic Games president Mike Capps talks about the strategies behind developing Unreal Engine 4, and how the company wants to be ready for the next-gen consoles on "day one."

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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.

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."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 26, 2011 3:45 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Unreal Engine 4 release aiming for 'day one' on next-gen consoles.

    Epic Games president Mike Capps talks about the strategies behind developing Unreal Engine 4, and how the company wants to be ready for the next-gen consoles on "day one."

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      October 26, 2011 3:59 PM

      Epic's UE licensing agreement is pretty progressive and makes small projects commercially viable with something like $100 up front. It's very aggressive and the tech is good too. They've come a long way from Epic Pinball.

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        October 26, 2011 4:04 PM

        Shhhhh. We don't say good things about Epic around here.

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        October 27, 2011 12:12 AM

        ^^ Mike Capps shacknews account :P

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      October 26, 2011 4:08 PM

      But didn't they mention 2014? I certainly don't want my next gen in 2014. :(

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        October 26, 2011 4:19 PM

        Exactly. This is stupid. Let's say something spectacular is going to be ready... OVER A YEAR FROM NOW.

        HAY GUYS, I'M GOING TO BE DEBT-FREE... IN TIME FOR NEXT-GEN CONSOLES!

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          October 27, 2011 12:13 AM

          Like every Blizzard announcement?

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      October 26, 2011 4:16 PM

      Quake III > UT

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      October 26, 2011 4:16 PM

      I think it's no coincidence that this news is occurring right after BF3s release. DICE released a game that looks almost as good as The Samaritan demo and I suppose Epic doesn't want us to forget that they have plans to compete. Considering that demo took 3 gtx 480s to run in realtime and you can run BF3 at high fps with one gtx 570 I'd say they have a lot to worry about. Perhaps if Epic didn't abandon the PC they'd have something worth remembering, something that actually makes their engine shine other than a demo. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Gearshead. I'm not some poser either making claims. Been playing GoW since week 1 of GoW1 and played through all the TUs of GoW2. My friends and I are among the top 3 squads that play KoTH and I've dabbled in GB, Underground, and Pubstars of every gametype in GoW2. None of that keeps me from seeing the graphics of GoW3 for what they are dated, extremely dated. It's impressive what Epic has been able to do on the 360 but there's nothing to be done about the low res textures, aliasing, etc. Epics flagship title doesn't even deserve to be compared to being a shadow in comparison to BF3. So, Epic, UE3s profitable, but gamer will be forgetting about UE aftering BF3 and after other games using Frostbite 2 release. Have fun being forgotten till 2014.

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        October 26, 2011 4:47 PM

        it does not look anything close to that demo

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          October 26, 2011 4:58 PM

          Lighting is much better in BF3 though.

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            October 26, 2011 5:04 PM

            its really not

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              October 26, 2011 5:16 PM

              BF3 has excellent, cutting edge lighting.

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                October 26, 2011 6:22 PM

                Ok, but not as good as that Unreal demo.

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                  October 26, 2011 6:24 PM

                  That's bc it's a demo and doesn't have to run on a variety or hardware or have constraints for gameplay. Watch some of the engine vids for BF3, the lighting in Frostbite would be more than capable of producing a demo like that.

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                  October 26, 2011 7:12 PM

                  Yeah I dunno what this shit is about BF3 being ˃ ˂ this close to Samaritan.

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                    October 26, 2011 7:19 PM

                    Yea BF3 looks really good, but its nowhere near this thing. If you showed people this trailer who didn't know before hand it was UE they would all say "Nice CGI trailer" None would say its in engine. That's the difference.

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                      October 27, 2011 9:31 AM

                      Don't get graphics confused with aesthetics. The Frostbite engine from BF3 is more than capable of displaying the kind of fidelity present in the Samaritin demo. The same thing can be achieved in the CryEngine, too. It all depends on who is on the art team, and what look they're trying to achieve.

                      Keep in mind that Dice and Crytek made entire, existing games using their respective engines, and that Epic only made a single city street. That kind of focused art direction tends to look more impressive because more work went into a smaller space.

                      In reality we'll probably never see a game that looks as 'graphically dense' as Samaritin because of this simple reason. Or if we do it will be a couple generations of consoles from now.

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                        October 28, 2011 8:10 AM

                        The Unreal demo was more than just looks... there are techniques going on in that demo which are impossible on current hardware. I know that in the end the aesthetics are what matter... but there were things going on in that demo with complex lighting, surfaces and reflections etc which Frostbite couldn't do (not because it's not as powerful as UE but because the hardware isn't capable of it). I think those rendering advances that are going on in the Unreal demo will be more evident when you are playing a game with them and you see them in realtime and you are controlling the game.

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          October 26, 2011 5:12 PM

          I agree with this 100%, love BF3 but it does not come close. Take it further Crysis 2 on Ultra DX11, High rez texture and tessellation blah blah looks better than BF3.

          Samaritan demo is on another level that shit blows my mind 4x over. When that tech will run our games that will be something.

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            October 26, 2011 5:17 PM

            Funny thing is the Samaritan demo is still 'only' Unreal engine 3.

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              October 26, 2011 5:37 PM

              I know its 3.5, I can not even imagine what 4 will be like? HOLLY SHIT can not wait!

              I will say it now the next consoles will blow our freaking minds unless they do a Wii which I am sure they won't.

              Still till 2014, can you imagine the pimp stuff that will come out on the PC and it should be Unreal Engine 3.5 stuff. Will get a tiny taste of 3.5 in the PC version of Batman Arkham City.

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        October 26, 2011 5:01 PM

        I like how they are developing an engine that will take 3 GTX 480s to run, and the next consoles will more than likely not have anything close to that power. And they stopped PC Development.


        Yet...

        Like you said, DICE released a game that looks amazing on PC, and is scaled down well for the console gamers. I think PC Games and Console Games can live in harmony.

        Obviously DICE still thinks the PC market has enough profit to spend the money for PC development.

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          October 26, 2011 5:07 PM

          Outside of resolution, the graphics fidelity on a new console game usually outdoes or equals high ends PCs for a while. Then after a couple years the making fun of begins. So they may not have to scale it down that much. I think their number 1 priority is taking full advantage of a console. Epic doesn't seem to worried about the PC anymore.

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            October 26, 2011 6:16 PM

            Not worried, then why this news update right about the release of BF3? BF3's real momentum is on the PC and the PC version is gorgeous.

            You're right that console versions are similar in fidelity to the PC version. That's bc devs rarely focus on the PC version. They did with BF3 and the difference is substantial in comparison to consoles. Better yet BF3 funs smoothly at high fps due to how well optimized it is. 64 players, much larger maps, all running smooth on a 560ti.

            Perhaps I overstated things by saying it looks almost as good. I would say it's accurate to say however that it definitely looks more than a third as good as that demo and seeing as it easily runs maxed out on less than a third of the horsepower needed for the demo one could go so far as to say Dice could've increased the Ultra config to truly look almost as good.

            No matter how we nitpick words one thing is undisputed, UE3 doesn't compare to the Frostbite 2 engine. Perhaps graphically it could eventually outpace it with optimization, but the UE3 engine doesn't have the audio capabilities or the level of destruction that makes BF3 shine and like so many console fanboys like to remind us graphics aren't what make good games. I think they're far more important than they want to admit though. On the aircraft carrier when the f18 was about to launch for a moment I half expected to feel g forces. Whatever else you might say or think about BF3 or Frostbite 2.0 one thing is certain, it offers a degree of immersion you're hard pressed to find elsewhere and most certainly not on any title running UE3.

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              October 27, 2011 1:18 AM

              Epic isn't remotely worried about frostbite 2.

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              October 27, 2011 4:15 AM

              One of the biggest advantages of the Unreal Engine is that Epic has always developed easy to use tools.

              Development for other game engines feels archaic in comparison.

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                October 27, 2011 5:02 AM

                On top of that the dozens and dozens of developers who have spent the last 6 or 7 years using unreal's engines, learning the ins and outs of their tools are never going to throw that experience away.

                Its too much of an investment for studios already entrenched in the Unreal tech to move in another direction.

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            October 27, 2011 5:01 AM

            Really, though? Pretty sure Doom 3 and FEAR on high-end PCs outdid whatever the 360 and PS3 could do in '05. And then it went on.

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              October 27, 2011 5:03 AM

              It was a little different for this gen, as the console systems were so rushed, and the initial specs were not pinned down until shortly before they began manufacture, giving developers no time to take advantage of the new systems.

              This time around it will be much different. We'll be back to seeing launch titles that blow our minds.

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          October 26, 2011 7:21 PM

          It took that many cards because PC of the extra overhead of the PC, with windows, drivers etc. They won't need that level of power on the next console because they can be more efficient.

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            October 26, 2011 9:36 PM

            Ya, no need for drivers on a console, the hardware is made of magic and knows what to do without being told.

            Idiot.

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              October 26, 2011 11:46 PM

              That's not what he is saying.

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              October 27, 2011 4:02 AM

              just as long as they can run DX11 well have nothing to worry about .... -_-

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              October 27, 2011 5:03 AM

              Except on consoles they can almost code in fucking assembly. You're the idiot.

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                October 27, 2011 12:53 PM

                The only thing keeping you from using assembly on Windows is probably linking to the DX libraries, which I'm sure could be done with enough work. But, seriously, who would want to write a game in assembly these days? That is just an insane statement.

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          October 26, 2011 8:55 PM

          Frostbite 2 is a good engine, but indoor environments is not it's strong suit.

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          October 27, 2011 1:12 AM

          On release consoles are usually competitive with a high-end PC. Moore's law says that in 2014 a PC should have about 3x to 4x the grunt it has now, so Epic probably have it about right, I'd think.

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        October 26, 2011 5:22 PM

        And regarding BF3's effects, does your main character wear glasses/goggles? Because I don't understand those glass/dirt/moisture effects that pop up on the screen when running by a light source.

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      October 26, 2011 4:58 PM

      so long as assets take more than 6GB.

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      October 26, 2011 5:53 PM

      So, would this engine make an early debut on PC? To say strut its stuff? Or is UE4 games going to be even more consolised than most UE3 games.

      (this isn't a troll post (even though it sounds like one) im actually wondering here, Epic did state that UE4 would be showcased on PC first correct?)

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        October 26, 2011 6:00 PM

        God I hope so, that would be EPIC :) cha ching

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        October 26, 2011 6:10 PM

        Not unless it's an indie developer, or if Epic releases something (which I doubt, unless they're changing their tune on the PC).

        This is more of an apology for UE3's tech launch being a bit of a PR disaster:

        Silicon Knights sued Epic for negligence in supporting UE3, claiming that Epic had prioritized Gears of War development over licensee engine support:
        http://www.shacknews.com/article/48041/silicon-knights-serves-epic-games
        http://www.shacknews.com/article/50928/subpoenas-served-to-multiple-unreal

        That case is going to jury trial some time in the future: http://www.shacknews.com/article/67980/silicon-knights-vs-epic-games

        There's also Midway, who jumped onto Unreal Engine 3 for a ton of its games, and ran into development and engine customization problems: http://weblogs.variety.com/the_cut_scene/2008/11/midway-what-wen.html
        ...which led to bad reviews and bad sales of many of those games, which led to Midway's bankruptcy.

        Chris Remo also posted a blog entry in July 2007 on other developers talking about Unreal Engine 3 (but unfortunately the formatting was corrupted by NuShack): http://www.shacknews.com/article/48086/developers-on-unreal-engine-3

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        October 27, 2011 5:13 AM

        Well, he did say: "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,"

        Game engines do that ever day in 2011, I don't see how this is going to change in 2014. Consoles will always be lesser quality than PC, despite what fan boys tell themselves in the morning. The internal parts are all recycled PC parts, you know the same parts that supposedly cost us $2K to buy.....that we actually buy for for $50...

        There is no way they can actually design a console that can outperform a PC and sell it a market reasonable price. To say otherwise to marketing to the morons. Being that they are demoing it now means the PC in 2014 will make a complete mockery of this engine.

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          October 27, 2011 10:09 PM

          You are dead wrong. Both Xbox machines brought GPU's more powerful than what was available on the PC's at that time. Also the tech from both machines made it into PC hardware later. Typically when consoles are released they are either on par with or slightly more powerful than high end PC's. These days it's not possible with SLi but that is still a niche.

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      October 26, 2011 6:20 PM

      oh rad so we will never be rid of the godawful Unreal Engine Look featuring the World's Worst Particle Effects.

      awesome

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        October 26, 2011 6:22 PM

        also i swear to god, if anyone pretends to be surprised that they make Samaritan into a flagship UE4 title i will be rather cross

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          October 26, 2011 6:28 PM

          As soon as I saw the Samaritan demo, I said, "Oh fuck, that's the next game."

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        October 26, 2011 6:27 PM

        The future of video games is blurry, with no anti-aliasing and texture streaming glitches.

        I'd really like to see Epic go through a full-on regime change to get rid of the art style and shader styles that have been in place since Unreal Warfare, but those responsible for that are fat cats at the company now. Most of those who made Unreal 1 and UT99 great are either at Digital Extremes, no longer with Epic, or have been horribly corrupted into Gears fanatics.

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          October 26, 2011 6:28 PM

          the art department at epic games offends me on a deep personal level

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      October 26, 2011 7:36 PM

      i like how that demo didnt have traditional spash screens god I hate those

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      October 27, 2011 12:07 AM

      I can't wait for this. I know it wasn't really a launch XBox game, but I got Unreal Championship at the launch of Live almost nine years ago. It still conjures up some of my favourite Live memories from the original XBox.

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      October 27, 2011 1:16 PM

      Honestly, this doesn't look much better than the in-engine cutscenes of a lot of newer games now....

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