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Tim Sweeney reveals more Unreal Engine 3 details

Tim Sweeney reveals more Unreal Engine 3 details

You wouldn't want to meet this beast down a dark alley, would you?

In a recent interview with one of NVNews' forum members, Tim Sweeney discussed some of the implications of the upcoming Unreal Engine 3, which is set to run across three platforms: PC, Xbox 360 and of course, Playstation 3.

There was an awesome Unreal Tournament 2007 demo given at Sony's Playstation 3 unveiling in a pre-E3 press conference.

Sweeney went on to discuss the support for 64-bit processors, and how Epic plan to harness that extra power. He feels that there are performance gains to be had when using a 64-bit processor as there are twice as many registers to work with. He went on to say that "we're really pushing the content... we'll be able to use high-resolution textures with more detail in the environment and that'll be a great thing on PC, which is a really scalable platform."

Unreal Engine 3 will benefit from multi-core CPU's, and is set to use them quite heavily, by doing rendering, animation updates and physics in multiple threads. "I wouldn't say it would double, but it'll increase performance significantly," expressed Sweeney when questioned.

He was asked about the possible install base for games based on Unreal Engine 3 and mentioned that all video cards featuring Pixel Shader 2.0 (DirectX 9.0) or higher shaders are definitely supported, and it is not yet known whether older cards, such as the GeForce 4 series, will be given support at the moment.

The current crop of high end video cards, namely GeForce 6800 Ultra and Radeon X850 XT PE, will be able to run Unreal Engine 3 at 1024x768 with all graphical options set to their highest. While it was also confirmed that high-end hardware that will ship next year, after the upcoming generation of R520 and G70-based products, should be able to play the title at 1600x1200.

The engine will feature real-time soft shadows, which we've started to see introduced in titles such as The Chronicles Of Riddick and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and it will also make use of the upcoming Ageia PPU's that are set to add even more realism in to the Unreal gaming experience.

Sweeney mentioned that "the big thing there is how we'll be able to put far, far more physical effects, with things like particle systems, and fluid effects, where without the Ageia system, we'll have a particle system with only a few hundred particles, and with the system, we could have tens of thousands of particles there."

It is shaping up to be one hell of an engine, and we can't wait to see how this engine will raise the bar in the gaming world, adding more and more realism to achieve that goal of creating a game that is as close as possible to movie quality.

You can read the full transcript from the interview here.

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