News Article

Epic Games: Developers Can Use Unreal Engine 4 For Wii U Titles

Posted by Andy Green

Mark Rein clarifies his previous comments

Unreal Engine 4 is Epic Games' impressive next-generation engine, which can help developers deliver more impressive visuals when making their latest titles.

It's being geared towards the upcoming PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox, both of which are expected to have plenty of power under the hood.

Recently Mark Rein, Vice President at Epic Games, said Unreal Engine 4 would not be something Wii U gamers can look forward to, saying if developers want to ship Wii U titles they can use Unreal Engine 3.

However, he's now backtracked on this statement in an interview with Engadget:

You heard the stupid gaffe yesterday about the Wii U. If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they wanna ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen.

Unreal Engine 4 is scalable technology, therefore should developers wish to use it when developing Wii U games they can - though naturally the visuals would be compromised as a result. It's fair to say Epic Games certainly won't be using it for Wii U, but that doesn't mean others won't.

Do you think it matters which version of the Unreal Engine gets used on Wii U? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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User Comments (64)



Zyph said:

He could've said those from the start! Stupid gaffe indeed.
Well Mark Rein wasn't very fond of Nintendo to begin with...
I think Wii U could benefit more with UE4 than with PS360 knowing that it's a bit more powerful. Devs should just learn how to leverage different techs.



th3r3ds0x said:

I miss the days when games were about gameplay instead of graphics. Developers need to start focusing on gameplay and new ideas again instead of releasing the same BS year after year with prettier visuals. The game engine really doesn't matter if the game sucks.



darkgamer001 said:

What an idiotic little fanboy. The fact that people like these occupy these important positions, instead of just at the bottom of some Nintendo-hating internet thread were they belong, is disturbing to say the least.



TingLz said:

@darkgamer001 For that matter, why do we have a bunch of important people who are biased in a lot of companies in the world?



darkgamer001 said:

@LzQuacker...well played, a fair argument. Though I only follow the gaming industry this closely and thus can't comment much on what happens in other sectors



shingi_70 said:

So it won't get Unreal Engine 4 good to know. If epic won't spend the time to optimize Unreal Engine 4 for Wii U than what are the chances that some external company that has its hands full with the actual development of the game will take time out to port the engine to Wii U. Only way this will happen at this point is if Nintendo itself takes the engine and ports it and the chance of that are happening are pretty slim.

Hate to rain on the parade but by the logic rein is giving here than the WIi would have gotten unreal 3 ports. SO while its quite possible it probably won't happen unfortunately,



MAB said:

Really! didn't this guy say that last year. WiiU might be pro brodude after all... dammit



bizcuthammer said:

I dont really care anymore... I doubt any of the games i like (first party ninty games, sonic games, indie games) will use it anyway



Nintenjoe64 said:

I think epic are worried about all the iOS and Android developers who might not look at UE4 after his 'next gen' comments.

I can't wait to see the real PS4 and Xbox. I'm sure they'll be good and hopefully it will make Nintendo try even harder to make good content. At least one of Sony and MS will also suffer at the hands of the other which will take pressure off poor Mario.



shingi_70 said:


You do realize that everything developed by unreal doesn't fit into a werid non defined term only well the less desirable side of gamers use.



AceSpadeS said:

How dare somebody who develops technology for a very specific industry have an opinion on what the people in that industry are doing. I mean really, how dare he decide that a company who isn't in line with what his company is developing is somehow a lesser company to him. Clearly he should make sure UE4 can run, and is licensed, on every console, especially the PS2. PS2 still has the highest market penetration, so clearly it's in his best interests to focus on making UE4 work best there. The whole idea that the company should focus their resources on the consoles where their technology works best should be damned! Because if he thinks that the Wii U isn't powerful enough to be worth putting UE4 on or developing it for, that is clearly fanboy hate and not a decision based on business logic.



Damagemanual said:

They way all the Devs have been acting in the last few months, you would think their all in middle school still. Bunch of kids.



rjejr said:

Predictable backtracking was predictable.

There are plenty of UE3 games that look like crap on PSN, so I'm sure there will be plenty of UE4 games on eShop that look like crap as well.

What the guy should have said and probably meant was you won't see top end graphics on the Wii U that you will see on the PS4, which is probably accurate.



sr388survivor said:

Personally, what bothers me is the way he derisively laughs at the notion of the Wii U running UE4, saying it's only for "next-gen" consoles, then goes back and says it can absolutely run it and compares it to the 360. I think it's the fact that a lot of these "important" people have been acting like kids having a flame war on some forum, except that a lot of people actually care what these guys say. It's really just the way these things have been said that gets to a lot of people on here, I think.
As for me, I'm tired of this subject. Off to play Lego City. lol



Dpishere said:

Graphics don't mean anything to me, art style is far more important in my opinion. All the high res textures in the world don't matter if the art style doesn't appeal to my tastes.



Slapshot said:

@skjia No, it's the "kids" on websites that are acting like "kids." Epic Games is a business. What is a business' top priority? To make money. Epic Games doesn't see a viable profit in spending its time a resources to optimise the Unreal Engine 4 for the Wii U, so it isn't doing so. It's just that cut and dry. It isn't some sort of bias or fanboy logic, these are highly intelligent and highly educated businessmen - not that they always speak in this manner - that are out to make a profit. That's why it's leaving it up to external developers time and money to optimise its engine for the Wii U.

As others have stated before me, the Unreal Engine 4 is a complete game engine and it would indeed be more than just a graphical downscaling to optimise it for the Wii U - graphics are just but one part of the whole picture when it comes to game engines.



earthwormjimx3 said:

Well, if NFSMW U can do PC like graphics, I believe Unreal Engine 4 will have the power to run pretty, or at least almost perfectly, on the Wii U

If Criterion and FrozenByte showcased the Wii U's graphical power, i'm sure Unreal Engine 4 will work here, too, especially that if Epic considers it, it can release Jazz Jackrabbit 3! >u<



darkgamer001 said:

Having an opinion is one thing, derisively laughing at it just because it doesn't fit with your "MOAR POWAR" motto is another, and smacks of fanboyism - a level of fanboyism which, imo, shouldn't be present at the top echelons of game development
Is that too much to understand?



XCWarrior said:

It's Unreal how this guy is allowed to speak in public. There should be tests for these type of things. If you can't pass them, you can't speak in public.



hYdeks said:

Basicly I get that Wii U can use the Unreal Engine 4, but it would be scaled down compared to systems that will have alil more power (PS4, next xbox) That's not exactly a bad thing, considering we all know the Wii U isn't as powerful as PS4, but is more powerful than the current 360 and PS3. As long as Nintendo shows the games, everything will be ok in the end

This Mark Rein guy should have really stopped, thought about what he's saying, THAN spoke -_-



GiftedGimp said:

This is his original statment from ages ago which Is what I was saying on yesterdays unreal4 story.



seronja said:

i think engine is important alot, so beeing able to play a game on unreal engine 4 is a great news.



Captain_Toad said:

Ugh. This was a poorly timed April fools joke. Now that the UE4 can be ported to the WiiU, the devs will have zero excuse to port their games from 360/(maybe)Ps4 to the WiiU. (they'll probably continue otherwise....)



marck13 said:

Bottom line once more: the more games are coming the more people buy the WiiU, the more people buy the WiiU, the more games will come and are going to be ported ..any way around you like chicken and egg, egg and easterbunny etc.
Another newish engine that runs is good news, hope to see it in action on WiiU soon.



Vee_Flames said:

So why did he first say developers should use UE3?
I think it's because he's biased. But he then realizes that there is no excuse not to include the engine.
But anyway, I'm so happy that it's included. Now we wait for Retro's!



Smug43 said:

They don't like Nintendo because Ninty sided with the Unity engine. . For the most part, AAA big budget games arw going bye bye... and who honestly notices the differences anymore? I have a high end PC and NFS MW on Wii U looks incredible.. I'm just not seeing the difference anymore.. from the last 3-4 years on.. it's negligible at best.. not enough to give a poop.. if it really makes development that much easier. . Fine.. but at what cost?



AltDotNerd said:

I swear if I hear one more company say "we're not working with Wii U for no reason", I'm gonna HM01 somebody.



Haxonberik said:

As it was said before, it still stands. His comment yesterday only got things already clarified confusing. They are not targeting the Wii U but if a dev wants to he can adapt his game on it and get it to it. That was said last year in fact.



DePapier said:

@darkgamer001 I'm pretty much sure you've said it right all along.

So I see he backtracked sooner than I expected. That's good, that's good. About that optimization (if it will ever be needed, that is), I'm quite convinced we'll hear him talk about it in a couple of months or a few years.



fregrold said:

@th3r3ds0x agreed. This is what Nintendo's always built it's culture on. Though it's cool that we now have a system them can finally support awesome high-end visuals, even my 11-year old said that she doesn't care about fancy graphics. She actually likes to play a lot of the older system games (esp. N64), just because they're fun to play.



DePapier said:

Now though, I have to say he should have kept that "haha" attitude to himself, we don't want that around our console.



CorporalPegasus said:

The people here that are all like "Uh whatever i don't care about graphics" need to do their homework, as LZ already said, an engine is way, waaay more then just graphics. This is great news for the Wii U.



AcesHigh said:

@darkgamer001 I agree with you 100% and have been saying this for a while now as well. There is most definitely a level of diplomacy, professionalism and grace that these executives should demonstrate when addressing the public. Whatever your personal issues are with a certain platform, it does your company no good to make future consumers of your own products feel bad about the decisions they've made. Its called burning bridges. And if I'm and executive that has products that span all platforms, I'm going to make sure that all of my bridges are fully functional.

At first, I was taken aback by Richard Garrott's comments about current developers sucking. It's the same kind of lack of grace I hate to see. But I'm beginning to agree with him.

Either way, it's a good thing that we at least still have Nintendo's execs to serve as models of humility and professionalism in the industry. You never hear a snyde comment from them and when they make mistakes, they admit it and work to fix it. That level of leadership alone shines so brightly in the quality of their games and is deserving of my full backing - Unreal engine 4 or 3!



SMW said:

Its Mark Rein, I'm always skeptical of anything he says since he tends to speak before he thinks. That and his anti Nintendo attitude.

As for the Unreal Engine, I couldn't care less which version shows up on Wii U. All of them are awesome. People are still finding new things and creating more advanced stuff for Unreal Engine 1! (Look up Unreal 227)



DrSlump said:

@earthwormjimx3 Yes Most Wanted is a pc gaming like,but the pc version is a porting from the other consoles. This means that when pc portings will come from for example ps4, a graphics and texture down grade will be needed. Not to mention other technical downgrades due to limited wii u cpu power. We have to submit to the fact that wii u, compared to the upcoming consoles, is like the "old" wii compared to the last gen consoles. Infact i will buy a ps4 or a xbox720 to place side by side to the wii u, as well as i got a ps3 near my wii.



Faruko said:

Copying something that said "Will Speakman" person on Destructoid website, and i could not agree more
What Rein should have said

"Sadly no. Right now we as a developer are not supporting the WII U with Unreal 4 because we want to fully flesh out the engine and show what it can do to potential buyers. PC is best platform for that, and the Wii U is not structured like a PC or as powerful. Now if another 3rd party wanted to take the development time and scale down the engine a little to work on the Wii U, they could do that."

There, a respectable and professional response.



Zellybeanie said:

He's still a douchebag. The laughter was completely uncalled for, extremely juvenile, promotes bullying, and an utter turn off.

And I get it. I get that many people feel Nintendo is for nerds and they need to prove that video games are cool and hip by constantly wanting to kill things and blow poop up. I get it. But it still doesn't make his attitude and the blatant scorn many have harbored toward Nintendo okay.

I'm also quite proud of being a nerd. When I had friends bragging about their GameGears in 7th grade, I proudly rocked out on my GameBoy.



Neram said:

With the way things are going, I don't think this really matters. Developers aren't even putting their current-gen games on Wii U, so what makes us think they'll bother scaling down their next-gen games for it?



SCAR said:

I just think it's funny how lots of people took what he said to heart. Seriously, nothing has changed about this situation besides his attitude.
We already knew for a fact it was able to show up on virtually any platform, the main argument was whether you actually believed it or not.



Luffy said:

epic games is a sinking ship if their higher up's are that unprofessional. rip EPIC GAMES.



aaronsullivan said:

What a weird thing to not know or advertise about your game engine. Oh, yeah, it's scalable to older systems. Really odd from a company that has been very successful at leveraging their engine for mobile graphics, for instance.

Engines are very important and the latest advancements aren't just about fidelity but about the amount of work needed to get to those great visuals.



Tuturoopa said:

Well of course it wont look as nice as it does on ps4 and whatnot, I was more worried about developers not supporting because it cant run it



SpaceApe said:

It can run on the Wii U but which devs are going to make games using the engine and slap it on the Wii U ? Probably noone because most devs are lazy.



Araknie said:

It was not a gaffe, it's this effing gaming jorunalism, it thinks too much without actually asking.



element187 said:

@Zyph "Well Mark Rein wasn't very fond of Nintendo to begin with"

yeah his little snipe at the wii u on Friday was pretty bad.... I mean its something you expect from a child, not a mature adult..... Seriously who does crap like that besides 14 year old kids who play call of duty?



element187 said:

@th3r3ds0x Games have been about graphics since the days of the SNES.. the Sega fans were boasting how great the graphics were in Sonic, how much better it is than Nintendo yadda yadda... the last time it was about gameplay was the NES, and hasn't been about that since.



element187 said:

@MadAussieBloke if Nintendo became all about the Dudebro games, I would just give up on the console space all together and stick to PC gaming. Nintendo is the last console company that likes to put out unique titles from what everyone else is doing. Let Sony/Microsoft fight over the dudebro market.



Shining-Void said:

It's great that the wii u can run unreal 4, however not to their liking. This pretty much cements that it won't be the wii all over again. The wii couldn't run any of the new engines, so third party was slim. Then again maybe developers were just being lazy. I have a gaming pc for the high end stuff, so i don't really care too much.



Lopezdm said:

I knew the comments made before were just BS. The Wii U gets this rap for having no power but it will cost less money to develop for compared to the PS4 and Next box. I think we will see developers come back to Nintendo after the PS4 game sales are in. The PS4 games will cost 69.99 while Wii U games will sell at the current 59.99. Have fun trying to talk your parents into buying games for kids.



Nintendo4Lyfe said:

Rein needs to prove everyone wrong that the Unreal Engine 4 is possible to run on Wii U's hardware and take advantage like Criterion Games had with Need for Speed: Most Wanted U.



TheRealThanos said:

@DrSlump Ehm, no: Yes NFS MW was a port from the other consoles that, as a bonus, incorporated the PC textures to give the Wii U version a graphical update and the edge vs the other versions. See the article posted on N-Life titled "Digital Foundry - Need For Speed: Most Wanted U Delivers as Definitive Console Version". It seems that says it all.

This means that when pc portings will come from for example ps4, a graphics and texture down grade will be needed. Not to mention other technical downgrades due to limited wii u cpu power.

Not a definitive 'no' but also not as certain as you make it out to be. If the previously mentioned NFS also made use of PC textures at the high end of the scale (which it did, because it was CLEARLY stated several times by the people of Criterion themselves that they'd used the uncompressed PC textures) then other games on Wii U will also be able to do that, for quite some time to come. Graphics in games will not fly sky high that fast that the Wii U won't be able to keep up for the next couple of years. All three new consoles will be able to use uncompressed PC textures and the differences will be in optimization and graphical effects. If programmers get smart (and fast) they will be able to even out the score by reprogramming the Wii U versions to take maximum advantage of the GPGPU, which will DEFINITELY be able to make a good counterweight for the supposedly 'weak' CPU. Besides that, most of the new game engines will be scalable, so even though the Wii U version won't be the best looking, it will still be possible to make use of the engine. If smart phones can, so can Nintendo's console, one way or another.

We have to submit to the fact that wii u, compared to the upcoming consoles, is like the "old" wii compared to the last gen consoles.

NO. We don't 'have to submit' to anything seeing as this is NOWHERE NEAR the same situation. Believe that and you're oblivious to rock solid facts. In the previous generation, the difference (as even any kid knows) was SD vs HD and a HUGE difference in power, making the other two consoles around 8 to 10 times more powerful. In this generation, the PS4 is roughly 2 to 4 times more powerful, and the new Xbox will probably be more or less the same, or maybe even a bit more, but still not as big of a difference as before, so they will all still be in the Full HD ballpark and seeing as most of us will NOT have a TV that can display more than 1080p, it will only be in the details, as I have always said from the beginning. OF COURSE these details DO matter, because they can also mean better frame rate, better AI, larger game worlds and more and better animated effects, but still: details. Textures and graphics will basically not be THAT hugely different like they were before. And besides that: having a 42" to 55" TV (which is the average HD TV owner) and sitting about 10 to 12 feet away from it, the graphical differences will NOT even be noticed by the frankly very pathetic human eye. You WILL be seeing the differences I previously mentioned because most of them have nothing to do with graphics. For example: even an idiot can see the difference between 10 enemies on screen at once in a fluid framerate as opposed to 24 or more, and you can also replace that with any of the other details I named. I do think Nintendo needs a reality check and needs to start making headway with developers, and fast. You did make a good point on owning multiple consoles. I do the same and it's the only way to get the best of both worlds. As for the rest, the doom spelling for Nintendo needs to end. Now.
I'm not a fanboy (especially not at my age) but I am a realist and a bit of slow and easy breathing and logical thinking will go a long way towards seeing things as they are as opposed to what we may fear or think.



AlexSora89 said:

With that U logo on a blue background, it was kind of a given. Unreal foreshadowing, anyone?



QuickSilver88 said:

@DrSlump What you say is not quite true because old Wii was SD and ps360 were HD....Wii-u is HD and ps4/nextbox are not going to be UHD so difference will not be as pronounced. We will see better lighting and textures but when resolution and color depth are the same again differences will be less pronounced. We really are reaching the point of diminishing returns on hardware and the long 6-7 year cycles of this current generation as well as the leveling off of PC power is proof of that. I plan on buying PS4 probably next year but I plan to keep enjoying ps3 as it has so many great titles coming out this year and I Wii-U will have a lot I want to play like Rayman and WatchDogs and 1st all my years of buying game machines (over 30) I rarely ever saw a console hit its stride until about 18 months out so about the time you are getting 1st wave ps4/720 you will be getting 2nd gen Wii-u games and I expect people will be surprised how little difference there is! I remember how GOW2 and FF12 looked better than most x360 games in 2006.



ninja89 said:

Now if only they could confirm if Frostbite 3 can be used for Wii U titles and that would make my day. I'd be happy with a Mass Effect 4 port, at least give us that.



unrandomsam said:

@TheRealThanos Could be great presuming epic is going to do the work to get it working properly. They were one of the main shareware developers from last time (Along with id software). The terms are just give them 5% of gross revenue and that is all from what I can see. It can be used on all platforms. (So it can be just done and tested before involving Nintendo). The cut they want is tiny compared to what e.g Steam or Nintendo would be taking anyway. I cannot see anything bad about what they are trying to do. (That is presuming I understand it).

Wrong Article - Should have been the newer one about the indie game using it

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