As the man in charge of Gears of War and Unreal Tournament 3, his words - often controversial - carry some substantial weight.
On the topic of DirectX 10, which the new Unreal Engine supports, he is particularly pessimistic. "It's not commercially viable to go nuts with DX10 today," he moans, echoing sentiments heard from other games publishers recently. "I don't think you're going to get much higher [quality] until the next generation of consoles... the gulf between a high-end PC and a low-end PC is bigger now than it's ever been... and it becomes less and less economically viable to do the super high-end stuff."
And what does console have to do with it, then? "Consoles will pretty much define what the next five years of games look like on the PC... We're just now at the point where it's viable to ship games on these next-gen consoles and it's going to be a gold mine for a couple of years... People will dabble in DirectX 10 and a couple of PC-only games... but I don't see people going way, way over what these consoles can do because then they can't sell the game."
Wow. Way to make an entire industry balk, Mark.
Rein is a big proponent of console gaming, having spent a lot of time developing Unreal Engine 3 for both X360 and PS3 as well as PC, and seen the first games using it (Rainbow 6 Vegas and Gears of War) ship on the Xbox 360. Unreal Tournament 3 will ship next on PS3, and the PC status of the game is still unknown. Epic is heavily supported by Nvidia when it comes to development, and the news that there is little planned for the next few years beyond refinement of the UT3 engine will probably not please them too much.
Is the gap between the PC haves and have-nots too big to feasibly write games for the PC? µ
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