Epic’s Tim Sweeney says Unreal Engine 4 intended for unannounced platforms

epics tim sweeney says unreal engine 4 intended for unannounced platforms xbox 720

In twenty years, when we look back on the console generation that birthed the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and soon the comparably powerful Wii U, we will remember that period as the generation of Unreal Engine 3, when Epic’s C++ based software framework became one of the most widely used foundations for video games in history. Well over one hundred games built on Unreal have hit Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and even the iPhone and Adobe Flash. The games range from the high fantasy of RPGs like Lost Odyssey to games where 50 Cent and G-Unit shoot terrorists.

The winds of change are blowing though, and Epic is increasingly discussing Unreal Engine 4 and the machines it will run on. Unknown machines at that!

Gamasutra ran an extensive interview with Epic CEO Tim Sweeney on Monday. The executive shed some light on the next generation of the Unreal Engine, even offering tantalizing hints about the next round of video game consoles. “We’ve started a behind-closed-doors showing of the engine to developers; this is part of our very early ramp-up cycle,” said Sweeney, “We went through this cycle with Unreal Engine 3 starting in 2003 and 2004. At some point we’ll make public announcements and ramp up to the point where developers are shipping games, but it’s very early right now. We’re aiming very high, and the intended platforms this is aimed at haven’t even been announced.”

Given the fluid, always evolving nature of PCs, it isn’t a very big leap to determine that Sweeney is discussing the Unreal Engine 4 as a platform for development on the next round of game consoles, namely the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720. Sweeney said that it’s still early to be showing off Unreal Engine 4 to the public, but Epic told the press in March that it hoped to show off the engine to public by the end of 2012. This was just after the engine had been demoed privately for developers at the Game Developers Conference.

Greg Short, CEO of video game market research company EEDAR, said it was likely that the Unreal Engine 4’s public debut would accompany the announcement of a new console, possibly Microsoft’s Durango or Sony’s Orbis.

Though Unreal Engine 4 has been in development since 2003, we still haven’t seen the last juice squeezed out of Unreal Engine 3. Epic’s “Samaritan” demo, pictured above, from 2011 introduced a number of effects and lighting techniques including image-based lighting that can’t be utilized on current consoles. The Unreal Engine’s reign is just beginning it seems.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Tricked-out e-scooters and bike lights that lock

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

Walmart drops deals on Xbox One X games and accessories for Memorial Day

The most obvious deals are on console bundles, but there are also discounts on wireless controllers here and there. If you're just looking for new Xbox One games to play, Walmart is offering popular titles for cheap.
Buying Guides

The best PlayStation 4 exclusives you can get right now

The PlayStation 4's game library and an incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

Microsoft Project xCloud will support all current and future Xbox One games

Microsoft's Project xCloud video game streaming service will support all current and future Xbox titles. This includes more than 3,500 games for the Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, and more than 1,900 future games for the Xbox One.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer moves to Epic Games, Fortnite esports

Nate Nanzer, the founding commissioner of the Overwatch League, will be leaving his post to join Epic Games and oversee competitive Fortnite. Nanzer will be inheriting a robust esports scene, but one besieged by cheating.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night DLC stirs controversy for Kickstarter backers

The post-launch DLC for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has been revealed. The $10 Iga's Back Pack DLC that will allow players to earn the Swordwhip weapon, however, has stirred controversy among the game's Kickstarter backers.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will focus on troubling, realistic emotions

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is reportedly the title for this year's entry in the series. The game is also said to draw inspiration from the controversial No Russian level of 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Dell drops huge savings on XPS and Alienware gaming laptops for Memorial Day

We've seen a lot of different Memorial Day sales come down the pipeline this week, but some of the best so far have been from Dell. With big discounts on XPS and Alienware gaming laptops, now is a great time to pick up a new computer for…

Dauntless hits 5 million players in first week; Phoenix Labs tries to keep up

Dauntless suffered from matchmaking problems and server issues in its first days after launch. Things have started getting better for the Monster Hunter: World challenger though, as the game surpassed 5 million players in its first week.

Cyberpunk 2077 development at full speed, but still not playable at E3 2019

The development of Cyberpunk 2077 is at "full speed," but it will not yet be playable at E3 2019. CD Projekt Red's president, meanwhile, opened the possibility that the game's release date will finally be revealed at the annual event.