Epic Games is now more than just a games developer – it's an engine technology maker that licenses its software to other developers to help designers make the games rather than the tools. Now at GDC, Epic is showing off the most bleeding-edge version of Unreal Engine 3.
Judging by where everyone's jaws have dropped, it's odd that Epic isn't calling this Unreal Engine 4, but Epic's Mark Rein did say that if he had to assign it a version number, this would be Unreal 3.975.
Keep in mind that all the images that you see here, as close to CG as they are, run off of three GeForce GTX 580 GPUs – so the hardware to run these sort of graphics are available off the shelf today.
Of course, not everyone has trio of GTX 580 cards sitting around, but Rein did clarify that this engine is scalable all the way up from an iPhone 3GS, with all the details dialed down to the minimum, of course.
“Another thing that’s awesome is that the engine now scales all the way from an iPhone 3GS up to next-generation hardware. 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,” said Rein.
We want a game to play that looks like this right now, but the purpose of this tech demo isn't to show off Gears of War 4. Epic made this to tell hardware makers of what kind of targets developers will be aiming at in the next-generation.
“The whole idea behind this is to tell the hardware manufacturers that this is what you should be doing down the road,” Rein explained.
While we already have desktop GPUs that can do the stunning things seen in the screenshots, it would be a shame if the next-generation consoles wouldn't be able to handle at least this.