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Epic promises Unreal Engine 4 this year

Epic promises Unreal Engine 4 this year

Epic Games promises to unveil the Unreal Engine 4 later this year, while boasting that current generation consoles just won't cope.

Epic has confirmed that it will be launching the next version of its Unreal Engine later this year, while claiming that consoles are going to have to get a heck of a lot more powerful to keep up.

Speaking at the DICE 2012 summit, Epic founder Tim Sweeney claimed that his company's next-generation gaming engine will require consoles ten times the power of the current generation in order to run at its maximum capabilities.

Basing his figures on an analysis of the 'Samaritan' demo released last year as an example of how far the current Unreal Engine 3 can be pushed, Sweeney claimed that the engine running at 1920x1080 with everything cranked up to maximum settings would require around 2.5 teraflops of processing power. By contrast, the original Unreal from 1998 required just one gigaflop of power to run at the then-standard resolution of 1024x768.

The comparison to a fourteen-year-old game is interesting, but it's Sweeney's mention of a soon-to-be-seven-year-old console that really caught the crowd's interest. According to Sweeney, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console pushes around 0.25 teraflops. As a result, the next-generation version codenamed 'Loop' will need to be ten times as powerful if it's going to offer a comparable experience to PC gaming.

The Unreal Engine is one of the biggest successes in middleware. While Unreal, its first official outing in a game, wasn't a huge commercial success, the engine on which it was based has been licensed for hundreds of third-party titles on platforms as diverse as the PC, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and even Apple's iOS devices.

Its fourth generation release has been on the cards for a while now. Back in 2005, Epic vice-president Mark Rein announced that Unreal Engine 4 had been in development since 2003 despite his company having not yet launched Unreal Engine 3. While the third generation engine would appear in 2006's Gears of War, Unreal Engine 4 was revealed by Tim Sweeney to be heading for a 2014 release.

That roadmap has now been revised. Speaking to G4TV, Rein claimed that Unreal Engine 4 will be unveiled before the end of the year. Whether Rein is referring to a first-party title using the engine, the opening of licensing for third-party exploitation or a simple teaser reveal is, however, unclear.

One thing that will be worrying PC gamers is a rumour from 2008 that Unreal Engine 4 would exclusively target consoles. Whether Epic plans to release a console version first to be followed by a PC version at a later date is not yet known, with the company keeping quiet on its firm plans for the engine's release.

With each generation of Unreal Engine bringing impressive leaps in quality, however, one thing seems clear: games are set to get seriously pretty, and consoles are going to have to work harder than ever to keep up.

29 Comments

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Spuzzell 13th February 2012, 12:17 Quote
So, to summarize:

Unreal Engine 4 will be much too intensive for the next gen of consoles to run fully

But won't run on the PC.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 13th February 2012, 12:17 Quote
Never seen that video before...looks a lot like syndicate though! interesting eh?
kosch 13th February 2012, 12:31 Quote
I seem to remember the Samritan tech demo running on 3 GTX 580?
Jaybles 13th February 2012, 12:35 Quote
The 580 is rated at 1.6Tflops while the Radeon 7970 is rated at 3.8Tflops. If/when they release this for PC it could be quite some benchmark.

Also never looked at the flops for AMD/NVIDIA. Interesting to see the differences while they are so close in terms of real world gaming performance.
bowman 13th February 2012, 12:35 Quote
**** consoles. How about giving us a reason to buy all these new graphics cards?

Epic is so console-biased it makes me puke.
GravitySmacked 13th February 2012, 12:49 Quote
It will be a sad day for PC gaming if they really do skip the PC.
Bauul 13th February 2012, 13:05 Quote
Simply stating they've developed an engine that requires masses of hardware power to run properly isn't even close to being something they should be boasting about.

It's the equivalent of Pixar turning around and saying "the engine we used in Wall-E requires a console at least 1,000 times more powerful than the 360, therefore it must be the best games engine EVER!"

Plus, for all we know, the engine could look like horse-dung. Any game dev could wheel out an engine that looks fantastic but is hugely inefficient (e.g. Crytech 2), the skill is creating one that looks amazing but doesn't require a ridiculous leap in hardware power.

I'm not saying UE4 will look awful or be unoptimized (it probably won't), it's just that Sweeney's comments in isolation are pointless.
Deders 13th February 2012, 13:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosch
I seem to remember the Samritan tech demo running on 3 GTX 580?

I could be wrong but i seem to remember 3 570's, either way not many people will have that setup and if the rumours are true the next Xbox won't have anything like that power.
wuyanxu 13th February 2012, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
So, to summarize:

Unreal Engine 4 will be much too intensive for the next gen of consoles to run fully

But won't run on the PC.
spot on. Epic at their best: being an ass-hat.

Epic, do you know what is currently 10 times faster than a console? high-end PC's, you know, you could release the engine now, instead of waiting for proprietary consoles. for all you know, Microsoft next gen console could be focused on motion control.
Bobfoc 13th February 2012, 13:33 Quote
Comments from people like Tim Sweeney are reasons why I am not upgrading my current gaming rig.

If there isn't going to be any software to really push my PC to the limits.... what need is there for me to spend money on ever faster CPUs and GPUs???

From those that love to benchmark, upgrading to the latest greatest spec is a must. BUT, for the majority of us who love to game using our PC's, being able to play Crysis 2 at 120fps is the same as 30fps (added 5fps as a cushion =P).

Come on guys, start giving us some games that make us PC gamers want to spend our hard earned £££????
Centy-face 13th February 2012, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowman
**** consoles. How about giving us a reason to buy all these new graphics cards?

Epic is so console-biased it makes me puke.

Did you even read the article?
Digi 13th February 2012, 15:49 Quote
I had to wipe a little bit of dribble up after I was done reading. The unreal engine always delivers the goods and it will be nice to look forward to a engine that's going to beat consoles into submission. I'd be even happier if they were releasing UT2k12/13 with it! :p
MjFrosty 13th February 2012, 15:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaybles
The 580 is rated at 1.6Tflops while the Radeon 7970 is rated at 3.8Tflops. If/when they release this for PC it could be quite some benchmark.

Also never looked at the flops for AMD/NVIDIA. Interesting to see the differences while they are so close in terms of real world gaming performance.

If by interesting you mean a possible indication of terrible driver optimisation, then sure...very interesting lol.

OT: Epic were banging on about the need for next gen hardware as far back as 3 years ago. Why they still are now I'm not sure. Given that by the looks of things, the Xbox 720 is going to be middle ground, just like the 360 was.

To summarise they're basically saying they've been working on an engine they might not be able to flaunt, and the platform they probably will be able to flaunt it on, they don't want to.

Jesus
schmidtbag 13th February 2012, 16:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Simply stating they've developed an engine that requires masses of hardware power to run properly isn't even close to being something they should be boasting about.

It's the equivalent of Pixar turning around and saying "the engine we used in Wall-E requires a console at least 1,000 times more powerful than the 360, therefore it must be the best games engine EVER!"

Plus, for all we know, the engine could look like horse-dung. Any game dev could wheel out an engine that looks fantastic but is hugely inefficient (e.g. Crytech 2), the skill is creating one that looks amazing but doesn't require a ridiculous leap in hardware power.

I'm not saying UE4 will look awful or be unoptimized (it probably won't), it's just that Sweeney's comments in isolation are pointless.

exactly what i was thinking. one of the things i liked about the unreal engines is they packed so many features and were so compatible yet they performed great on even the worst hardware. a well-developed game is one that looks great and has many nice features while being able to run smooth on mediocre hardware (such as xbox 360). i don't know how nice ue4 will look but it can't be too much better than graphics available now - many games (on pc anyway) are getting very close to looking life-like.
lacuna 13th February 2012, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobfoc


Come on guys, start giving us some games that make us PC gamers want to spend our hard earned £££????

Its the constant battle to keep up that pushed me away from PC Games and its reason why the platform is so poorly supported now.
DriftCarl 13th February 2012, 17:30 Quote
I want a new unreal game :( Unreal 4 please. do it, DO IT NOW
runbmp 13th February 2012, 18:25 Quote
I've noticed more and more that indie titles and molders are taking up the challenge to bring high quality content to the PC.

Skirim with its UI and hi res texture mods, Hard Reset which looks and plays great, The Witcher 2.

These are the true pioneers who are pushing the industry and technology and on many occasions, they do a better job than those who spend millions upon millions to market essentially the same game and same engine.
John_T 13th February 2012, 19:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobfoc


Come on guys, start giving us some games that make us PC gamers want to spend our hard earned £££????

Its the constant battle to keep up that pushed me away from PC Games and its reason why the platform is so poorly supported now.

That is precisely why consoles became so popular: The majority of people got fed up with spending £1,000+ on a gaming PC, only for it to feel outdated and incapable in as little as 18 months later. Sure, people like us in here are happy to tinker with our machines, to buy new components and swap and upgrade bits as we go, but we're in the minority - most people are still uncomfortable taking their expensive machines apart for fear of not being able to get them working again.

Consoles took away that problem, took away that stress and took away that extra expense. I don't use them myself, but I don't see why people get so outraged by people that do like them.

Anyway, I thought that demo looked great, even if most other people thought it was pointless.
Hustler 13th February 2012, 19:15 Quote
"According to Sweeney, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console pushes around 0.25 teraflops."

Hmm, E3 2005 where the 360 made its debut, Microsoft claimed the 360 had more than 1 Teraflop of combined processing power, and Sony said the PS3 had 2 Teraflops.

I have the copy of EDGE magazine with photo's of the presentation slides claiming as such.

Yet in 2012, Sweeney says in reality the 360 has only one quarter the power....

Pfft...
runbmp 13th February 2012, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
"According to Sweeney, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console pushes around 0.25 teraflops."

Hmm, E3 2005 where the 360 made its debut, Microsoft claimed the 360 had more than 1 Teraflop of combined processing power, and Sony said the PS3 had 2 Teraflops.

I have the copy of EDGE magazine with photo's of the presentation slides claiming as such.

Yet in 2012, Sweeney says in reality the 360 has only one quarter the power....

Pfft...

and Sega Genesis had blast processing.. In console land, stuff gets lost in translation...
runbmp 13th February 2012, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_T
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobfoc


Come on guys, start giving us some games that make us PC gamers want to spend our hard earned £££????

Its the constant battle to keep up that pushed me away from PC Games and its reason why the platform is so poorly supported now.

That is precisely why consoles became so popular: The majority of people got fed up with spending £1,000+ on a gaming PC, only for it to feel outdated and incapable in as little as 18 months later. Sure, people like us in here are happy to tinker with our machines, to buy new components and swap and upgrade bits as we go, but we're in the minority - most people are still uncomfortable taking their expensive machines apart for fear of not being able to get them working again.

Consoles took away that problem, took away that stress and took away that extra expense. I don't use them myself, but I don't see why people get so outraged by people that do like them.

Anyway, I thought that demo looked great, even if most other people thought it was pointless.



Consoles did take that away without a doubt, however it also charged you for it. There's a reason you pay more for your games, wallpapers and added content. There's a reason why there's more user made content on the PC as well.

I'd say that nowadays this isn't so much relevant upgrading your hardware. I'm still getting above 60FPS with a pair of 5870's and old I7 920 CPU.
Deders 13th February 2012, 19:37 Quote
This could be aimed at getting Microsoft to choose a better graphics card for the Xbox 720, which if it does can only improve the games that we get ported from it.
Xunsu 13th February 2012, 22:57 Quote
Pcs have that power today...Look at the new radeons, hell look at the Nvidias rumored specs for thiers, by the time this rolls out intergrated solutions will be there :p (witty remark no fact involved)
rogerrabbits 14th February 2012, 04:04 Quote
More interested in seeing some good games than flashy engines.
feathers 14th February 2012, 08:45 Quote
EPIC make one of the best game engines for PC but have a hatred of PC users and so make retarded console gamers their priority. Of course you know the reason for this.. back when Epic were making games for PC, they had a success which they then milked for many years. Unreal in all it's various releases I never liked that much. Had a bit of fun on UT2004 but it was never that great for me. UT got progressively worse and UT3 looked great but I found as boring as any other UT game. Of course they released a couple of other non UT games and they were so awful no one remembers them.

So I guess all that made Epic rather hostile and bitter towards PC gamers. They accused PC gamers of being thieves.

In making games engines and licensing for more competant game developers they made the right choice but it's just a shame they didn't seek anger management counselling to overcome their hatred of PC gamers.
damien c 14th February 2012, 09:40 Quote
I wouldn't mind seeing games using the same level of detail as the demo shown above but I cannot see it happening for atleast 10 or 20 years or until we, get new developers who can be bothered to use the engines properly.

It doesn't matter how powerfull the hardware is, that is available at the time of developing the games because if the developers are not using the engines that are available now fully then they aint gonna, use them properly or fully when the new engines are released regardless of what the hardware is capable of doing.

I will be upgrading my graphic's card this year and that is because my GTX 480 is showing it's age in that, it's starting to play up abit but it's not stopped working yet but it will soon.

If it was not for the fact that even with adaptor's you cannot use a keyboard and mouse on a Xbox or Playstation to the same level as you can on the pc, I would have made the switch to the consoles because to be honest the graphic's are not much lower than that of a current top end pc after installing the high res texture pack's on the consoles.
mclean007 14th February 2012, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
"According to Sweeney, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console pushes around 0.25 teraflops."

Hmm, E3 2005 where the 360 made its debut, Microsoft claimed the 360 had more than 1 Teraflop of combined processing power, and Sony said the PS3 had 2 Teraflops.

I have the copy of EDGE magazine with photo's of the presentation slides claiming as such.

Yet in 2012, Sweeney says in reality the 360 has only one quarter the power....

Pfft...
Come on, it's 7 years old - it's only to be expected that some of the Xbox 360's Teraflops would have leaked out by now. They probably escaped into Ted Stevens' series of tubes and clogged them up.
thil 14th February 2012, 12:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spuzzell
So, to summarize:

Unreal Engine 4 will be much too intensive for the next gen of consoles to run fully

But won't run on the PC.
spot on. Epic at their best: being an ass-hat.

Epic, do you know what is currently 10 times faster than a console? high-end PC's, you know, you could release the engine now, instead of waiting for proprietary consoles. for all you know, Microsoft next gen console could be focused on motion control.

Yeah, I remember them *running the goddamn Samaritan demo on off-the-shelf PC hardware* and then lamenting about how "there's nothing out there that can run this..."
feathers 14th February 2012, 14:04 Quote
So it can be said that Epic are epically demented.
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