News Article

Don't Expect Any 3DS Titles From Epic Games Anytime Soon

Posted by Trevor Chan

The VP thinks the system is less technically capable than a iPhone

During an online Game Developers Conference interview with Joystiq Mark Rein, the vice president at Epic Games, didn't sound too keen on the technical specifications of the 3DS. Declaring that the studio isn't working on any upcoming titles for the Nintendo handheld, he explained that:

It's below our [minimum specifications], from what we can tell. We don't have a 3DS, so there's no way for us to verify that... but everything we've been led to believe is that it's below our min-spec. You couldn't do a game that looks like [Epic Citadel] on it, for example.

Epic Citadel is developed for various iOS devices and is more of a technology demo that shows off Epic Games' Unreal Engine than a full game, with the latest engine build standing at version 3. In-house productions include games like Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears of War 2, but the engine has also been used by other developers in games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, and Singularity.

With no plans to develop a less resource-heavy version of the engine for other studios to use, Rein has little reason to make any games for the 3DS although he does note that that situation could change if Epic Games were to be approached by Nintendo:

Like I said, we really don't know enough about it to make a formal comment, but I think if they considered that our engine would be good on it, they would have probably talked to us about it.


From the web

User Comments (70)



CanisWolfred said:

I don't think anyone was expecting them to bring anything to the 3DS in the first place. As for technical jargain, I don't care which device is more technically capable than the other or where they got their ideas from. So they won't bring their engine to the 3DS, that's fine, I'm sure someone else will come up with something instead.



Aviator said:

For people unaware of their game engine, here it is.



CanisWolfred said:


Crap, that was impressive. I'm also somewhat convinced that they may be right about the 3DS being less powerful. Moreover, now I can't wait to see what other companies come up with to compete with that.



Golgo said:

To hell with Mark Rein. I'll never buy a product from Epic for as long as he remains in charge, and I'd advise others to do likewise. I'm still waiting for him to fix my Gears of War on PC, which was balked globally by DRM policy nearly two years ago. His attitude to the customer is well documented as one of total contempt.



Sabrewing said:

Um, is this any surprise? He didn't like the Wii when it came out, after all, even when it was still in its "money printing" stage.



sillygostly said:

Meh. I've stopped caring for Epic since Jazz Jackrabbit 2, after they, like 3D Realms, shifted their focus exclusively to FPS games. I have absolutely no interest in the Unreal series. .

Ports or a full sequel to the Jazz Jackrabbit and Jill of the Jungle games would be nice, but I wouldn't expect that to ever happen.



Oregano said:

All the Citadel demo has on the 3DS is bigger texture resolution. All the lighting effects are prebaked and there is nothing dynamic in it and despite having no game logic or character models it still has a crappy framerate.

Meanwhile Capcom has been able to port MT Frameworks, which is an engine at least on par with UE3, to the 3DS and implement HDR, Self Shadowing, object based motion blur etc. and they have an actual game going on with a stable framerate. People who played the game said it looks nearly exactly like Resident Evil 5.

The 3DS could likely replicate the Citadel demo, but it would have lower resolution textures... which wouldn't be as noticeable on the smaller(and lower res) screen anyway.

The problem Mark Rein has is that UE3 is built only to run on ES2 whereas the 3DS' GPU is ES1.1 with the Maestro function having easy to implement, fixed functions that replicate ES2.



Chunky_Droid said:

Pre-FPS Epic was all I was interested in as well sillygostly

Also, whatever the hell Oregano said sounds damned impressive for the 3DS to me



CanisWolfred said:

Epic hasn't made an FPS in years, guys. Although I guess Bullet Storm will be their first in a while.



GamesX99 said:

Who needs epic games! We have mario,kid icarus, legend of zelda, japanese baseball, ninten dogs + cats and more. Unreal tournament began to lose interest for me at 3 also if epic games dosent want to make games for a system thats gonna sell for millions JUST in the UK its their lose not mine



LordJumpMad said:

I heard about this on another site, but is sounded alot more bias toward the 3DS.
Saying something like, "I don't want to work on a Handheld system"
I guess the iPad is not a Handheld system....



edhe said:

I don't think I'd be interested in buying anything from a company that called themselves 'Epic Games' anyway...



King_Boo said:

so he's saying, in other words, "give us a 3DS dev kit or we'll hold our breath. Please Nintendo", then if they don't he continues to half insult the system he hasn't even used.



FierceRegalia said:

I won't be able to sleep now that there are no Epic games.

Damn, I guess I will have to play OOT (aka best game ever) and SFIV 3DSe until then...




Oregano said:

It's not actually Epic's Games that we'd want on the 3DS, it's the actual engine because nearly all developers are experienced in it and it would help a lot with getting developers up to speed on the 3DS. I don't even think it's the actual effects that are important but the way the engine is set up.

Also it's obvious that they don't really intend to try and get it running on the 3DS, otherwise they'd have a dev kit now. The dev kits are readily available now and all you have to do is apply for them. Considering even indie developers have got their hands on dev kits there's no excuse for Epic not to.



Slapshot said:

Maybe its just me, but I didnt see the guy insulting Nintendo, and it sounded like his comment was a direct answer from a questioning journalist. Anyways, Ive never been a big fan of Unreal games and Im not holding my breath that 3DS can make RE5 look like it does on PS3 until I see it for myself as well as a reasonable price tag. It all sounds like rumors to me!



TingLz said:

Oh no, no Epic games. I am totally saddened by this. In reality, I couldn't care less for these technology (insert insults here)



Token_Girl said:

Seems like just an answer to me too. The reported specs are not as good as the current iPhones. It's just the truth. He doesn't want to mess with struggling to port the engine. Who cares? If it ended up being profitable enough for them, he'd probably reconsider.



motang said:

I was going to make a wise crack till I saw @Aviator's post! Now that is one impressive what Epic Games has done.



Oregano said:

@28: Those reported specs aren't confirmed and there's evidence that contradicts them. Such as the fact they reported it has 1.5gb of internal storage whereas Iwata said the internal NAND is for firmware and built in Apps whilst the SD Card acts as the storage. Not to mention the fact that it can multitask and pull off games like the aforementioned Resident Evil: Revelations which simply could not happen with only 64mbs of RAM.

Additionally we don't have any idea how strong the GPU is, the specs for the PICA jumped massively between 2006 and 2008 and there's another two years of progress then, not to mention we have no idea how many pipelines it has and considering the fact that DMP only recently added proper 3D support to the line(called 3DSquare as well) there's a good chance Nintendo is using a custom built/brand new version of the line.

There's a good chance that it's not as powerful as the iphone 4(which keep in mind costs $600 with a contract) but those rumoured specs are far from concrete and we shouldn't be taking them as gospel. The main issue with what Mark Rein has said is that they(Epic) haven't actually even got a devkit to test it and he himself says he can't verify his claim.

There is a precedent for the 3DS being able to handle PS3/360 engines though with the fact that Capcom we able to port MT Framework in just two months and Foundation 9 have said that their 3DS engine(called Atomic) is built on their Console technology. As I said before though, the issue may not be raw power, it more than likely is the issue of programmability where the 3DS uses fixed functions(which Mark Rein is known for hating anyway) to fully replicate ES2 whilst only having ES1.1.

EDIT: Wow, didn't realise I just wrote an essay.

EDIT2: That reminds me, the first ever demo we saw for the 3DS' GPU is actually pulling off all the same techniques as Epic's Citadel, and more such as a dynamic lighting, it's just not a big area like Citadel(which is why it might be misleading).



StarDust4Ever said:

The current iPhones also cost like 600 dollars without a contract. That's considerably more money to sink down than a PS3. Plus the guy at my local AT&T store told me the iPhone is the least durable smartphone on the market. At least if I'm on the run and I cram the 3DS in my pocket with my loose change and keys (the rubber shock protector for iphone is useless against bludgeoning by sharp or blunt objects), or lose it in the sofa, drop it more than six inches without said rubber protector on it, etc. My DS phatty survived blunt force trauma to the shoulder buttons from heights of over four feet and still works fine. And seriously, wtf up with this ipad? For that size and less $$$, you can get a netbook and do a whole lot more stuff with it

I may be old fashioned, but I prefer quality over convienience. I have a Samsung flipphone to make calls, a Nikon Coolpix for taking pictures, a Cowon A3 media player for music, movies, pictures, and other digial media, a DS for playing games, and a netbook for surfing the web. And each one is cheaper than an iphone and beats snot in what it does best, compaired to the one-gadget-does-everything iPhone. My Samsung doesn't drop calls, my Nikon can take gorgeous macro shots at up to 12 Mpix, the Cowon plays virtually every non-DRM'd format I throw at it, open or not, DS/DSi/3DS pwns at games, and my netbook let's me do homework, surf the web, and run literally any software I want.

Oh, and one more thing - iphone can't do 3D, goggles or not



MasterGraveheart said:

And I STILL don't get the big draw of the "Unreal Engine." Whatever.

The only game there I'm really dissappointed in that we won't be playing is Arkham Asylum, but that's a Warner Bros. Game, right? Is it possible that it can still get on 3DS without the Unreal Engine?



SMW said:

Much better than IGN's article on this. IGN made it sound like the Unreal Engine couldn't run on the 3DS period. Thanks for explaining that they meant Unreal Engine 3. (Unreal Engine 1 and probably 2 could run fine on 3DS. Hard to say about 3.)

Either way, Nintendo never approached Epic in the past, so I don't see why they would expect Nintendo to now. Epic could make a 3DS game if they wanted to, this just seems like a way to hype up their iPhone game to me. Case in point: I wouldn't have ever heard of Epic Citadel if it wasn't for this.



Xkhaoz said:

OH WHAT?!?!?!? You think a PHONE is more powerful than a DEDICATED GAME MACHINE?!?!?!? WTF



RyuZebian said:

Gears of War is awesome. I'm sorry about Epic's attitude against 3DS! But oh well, Activision has shown Wii a lot of love lately, and the thought of a 3DS COD makes me much more excited than this! xD Imagine the epic multiplayer as both online and local wi-fi! <3



Slapshot said:

@Oregano... that video does look really good. Its obvious that the 3DS will be able to render 3D graphics easily but I wouldnt put it on the level of PS3/360. RE looks great there with a single enemy and one moving in the background and shooting mechanics appear fluid, but as a whole there is no way for me to beleive that a portable PS3 is what I will find in a 3DS. Not with a reasonable price tag, and I honestly hope its not, that itsnt what I want in my Nintendo handhelds.

(Havent gotten too into the hype around 3DS as its all getting blown way out of porportion as anything Nintendo always does, Im buying day one so it doesnt matter )

Its clear 3DS has power and with the video Oregano posted Im sure it can run the Unreal engine. But here is the ONE major thing Im suprised Im not reading here in comments that put the 3DS at a major advantage in this gamers opinion.... BUTTONS!



LuWiiGi said:

Heh heh, the man is a stupid, thinks 3DS is less technically capable than the iPhone.



Oregano said:

@Slapshot82: Well it doesn't have the raw power of the PS3 but it doesn't need it because of the smaller screensize and resolution, which means less AA is needed, textures can be smaller and if done intelligently you don't even need as many polygons on screen. Resident Evil: Mercenaries 3D contains all the Mercenary levels and Enemies(and probably characters) out of Resident Evil 5 so I think that will be the best point of comparison. I think it's even using the same downscaled assets.



MeloMan said:

@ 1. Sadman
I agree, I lol'd at his pic after reading his statement too. Just because of the comment and his smug face, I almost want to put that as my avatar, but then I'd be flattering him. No thanks



TrevorTheChan said:

Let's not forget, the 3DS is essentially outputting two images (one for each eye) which is obviously using a fair amount of resources. Judging from the early Resident Evil trailers, imagine what can be achieved if a game had no fancy 3D visuals.



JebbyDeringer said:

A couple of things. The 3DS is obviously going to be cheaper (but very close to the new itouch). The idevices aren't on a console cycle so they will outpace the 3DS in a short time (though game development is slow due to many retaining compatability). Buttons are nice but the games for the iphone can control very well if time is spent on that. Some games are still just far better with real buttons. The 3DS is a dedicated gaming device which some people like while others that already have an iphone might not want to bother with.

I just bought an original Gameboy and a Gameboy Advance SP (brighter screen) two days ago. I definitely appreciate Nintendo's portable line but for pure convenience I enjoy my 2nd Gen iPod touch. Size is also a factor and if the 3DS didn't have to maintain DS compatability perhaps it would have gone the single screen route.

Anyway that tech demo is impressive but lacks any enemy models or AI which will only bring the framerate down.



SavageBlackWolf said:

Sounds to me that Epic relys too much on that engine. If they have the talent and time, they could build a game to run on the system. I liked Cliff Bleszinski`s attitude toward it alot better. Maybe he can talk some sense into Mark. Better yet, he just needs to swallow his pride and ask Nintendo for a development kit. That`ll put all this speculation nonesense to rest.



BrainBoxLtd said:

Mark Rein is just a corporate salesperson who's biggest concern is selling his company's Unreal Engines. Epic doesn't even really make games so much as Tech demos that happen to be games these days to sell their engine.

They've made the Gear of Wars series only because Microsoft bank rolled them to do it. Other than that they made Unreal Tournament 3 which was given a PS3 release first to showcase the Unreal 3 Engine on the PS3, Shadow Complex on XBLA to advertise it to companies making download only games on the HD consoles, and now this Citadel demo to try and drum up sales with iOS developers. They also said they'd port Gears of War to Mac's, likely to market to OSX developers. They actually never did, probably because Microsoft largely owns the Gears IP and doesn't want it appearing on their main competitor.

Epic doesn't like Nintendo systems because they are relatively to program for, don't do HD resolutions, and tend to emphasis gameplay over graphics. All things that undermine they need for other companies to shell out money for Epic's brand of graphical engines.

I don't know if the DS can run Unreal 3. I wouldn't be surprised if Mark Rein doesn't know either because this has nothing to do with specs. You won't see Unreal 3 on the 3DS because it's not needed, irregardless if it's actually capable of running it or not. As pointed out by Oregano Capcom has already adapted their MT Framework (An Engine they originally built to use for the 360/PS3) to the 3DS for Resident Evil and SFIV and that's before it's even been released.

Notice the last thing he says in this article. "...but I think if they considered that our engine would be good on it, they would have probably talked to us about it."

He doesn't know what the 3DS can do or not do. Nintendo calling him tomorrow wouldn't change what the 3DS is made of. It's not about specs it's about business, and Nintendo doesn't want to do business with Epic because there is no need to.



Kid_A said: It's not like the 3DS is in desperate need of third party support.



SwerdMurd said:

@slap - I agree. I think these comments of "ported MT framework!" are largely overblown and BS, as the graphics I've seen so far don't look any better than anything I've seen on the Wii (which couldn't even come close to replicating RE5's engine) - the only change is for the low resolution to work in its favor...and even so, given the double-horizontal-res thing needed for the 3D effect, I can't see that mattering much either.

I think we're gonna get a gimped, substantially less powerful MT framework. After all, SF 4 doesnt' really look much better than Tatsu vs. Capcom, and running it at lower res than either of the above can't be that hard.



Oregano said:

@Swerd_Murd: Nope, MT Framework on the 3DS isn't gimped at all, it uses all the same tools as the PS3/360 and uses techniques that the Wii just plain can not do. HDR, Self shadowing and Normal Maps are examples of stuff the 3DS excels at and aren't possible on the Wii,

Also the 3DS' total resolution, including the bottom screen is still below HD so yes it makes a difference...and again people have played these games at Nintendo's event last week and commented that they look close to Resident Evil 5. Or are Capcom, the Japanese press and Masahiro Sakurai all lying?

EDIT: IGN's comparison(keep in mind the Resi5 shot has more AA because it's shrunk down.

Apart from the weird greenish filter the screens could probably be passed off as the same game. It's not quite identical but it is close.



Wolfcoyote said:

I read about this topic via 1Up. It's not as if Epic was planning anything for the 3DS anyway (or even the PSP/PSP2 for that matter). I consider this statement nothing more than an attempt to make press coverage for Epic and their upcoming next-gen games.

We get it, Rein. The dozens of FPSs that you produce cannot or will not be recognized within 3DS's hardware constraints which have yet to be realized. I'm no Nintendo fanboy (I like Steam better nowadays more than the console makers at the moment) but it's people like Rein, Cliffy B, and others who bask in their self-endowed...well...I'm done.



Deviant_Mugen said:

...Who cares...? The 3DS already has plenty of third-party support, not having tools of war on it won't hurt it a bit...

It's nice to see that people still run their mouth about things they know nothing about, though...



shingi_70 said:


cliffy B has never bad mouthed nintendo.

Also the unreal engine can do more then FPS (the guy who said that didn't know what he was talking about.)



RionaaM said:

I would also hope to see a sequel, or even port, of Jazz Jackrabbit (preferently of JJ2), and Jill of the Jungle, but I'm sure that won't happen, unfortunately. Not after the bad game JJ Advance was.



JimLad said:

That shows their integrity as game developers, can't make a decent game if they haven't got high end graphics to support it.




Who cares. Over CGI'd films are lame as much as hyper graphic video games. Dilutes the gameplay and character. Good luck to you in your empty world



Pod said:

Feh. The 3DS has a much lower resolution than the iPhone, but opts instead for rendering two images. It would need less RAM, but close to the same processing power.

I have never purchased anything running on the Unreal Engine, and while Epic Citadel looks impressive, I have a hard time imagining it will be a game I'd care much for.
Expect this to run amazingly on PSP2 though.



Alphack3r said:

Ugh, I'm not gunna totally shoot down the attempt Crapintosh is making, but lemme tell ya, the PSP is/was more technically capable than the DS/i, but where is it now? I havn't seen hide nor hair of the PSP saleswise for quite sometime now...ya know why? 'Cuz it's a fail!
Now I'm just hatin...oh well, if you challenge Nintendo, it ain't gunna be no cake walk.



Robo-goose said:

If my DSi could talk, it would be crying constantly due to the abuse its been through. Dang, those things are durable!
EDIT: Except for the crappy "L" button! This is the second time I've had to send my DSi in because of that thing.



gatygun said:

The specs are not even 100% confirmed, nobody knows whats inside the 3DS, besides that pica is involved.

Its all rumors rumors rumors. This men stated that they where interrested into nintendo 3DS. And that they hoped on getting in contact with nintendo about it. But nintendo never contacted them. Because they simple dont care.

This men is just butthurt because of it, and starts to shout that the 3DS is undpowered etc.

while there litterly isn't even 1 100% confirmed spec for the whole 3DS design. the only thing you know is that the graphical part comes from pica. Even the speed of the device is pure rumors.

A company like him would if they had there act right, never comment on something they dont know for 100%.

this interview is just some blowed up comment, which aimed more towards " atm it doesn't seem like 3DS is powerfull enought"

or els its a plain dumb statement.

First i wanna see the real specs.

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