Nintendo's 3DS Specs Too Low for Epic's Unreal Engine

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Nintendo's 3DS Specs Too Low for Epic's Unreal Engine

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Mark Rein from Epic says that the technical capabilities of Nintendo's 3DS handheld cannot handle the Unreal Engine.

Epic Games is trying to break into the handheld market but it is largely ignoring Nintendo's buzz-worthy device. Mark Rein, VP at Epic, said in an interview that he hasn't seen a 3DS yet but, based on the information that he's read, the company's Unreal engine wouldn't be able to run on Nintendo's 3DS.

"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," Rein said. "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 debuted a downloadable demonstration for its Unreal Engine on Apple's iDevice platform last month by letting you walk through a medieval castle. The Epic Citadel looked super pretty and it garnered more than a million downloads in just under two weeks.

It seems that Epic is betting on Apple for its handheld strategy and that's partly because Nintendo hasn't approached Epic to try to get its software to run on the 3DS. "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," Rein said.

Of course, this could all change if and when Epic gets its hand on a demo 3DS device, but the fact that Ninetendo didn't reach out to them seems to point to no games using Unreal on the new handheld.

Source: Joystiq

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That's a shame. I'm sure they could modify it, but they wouldn't bother unless it was going to give them enough return on it. I don't think it's a huge loss to be frank, but let's see what happens.

I guess they'll save it for the PSP2 then.

That slightly confuses me, shouldn't a console be able to outpreform a glorified MP3 player

Does that mean an iPhone is more powerful than a 3DS? Has the 3DS' final specs been revealed yet?

That tech demo only worked on the 3GS and iPhone 4 so I didn't get a chance to play it, but I hear it's amazing.

ChromeAlchemist:
That's a shame. I'm sure they could modify it, but they wouldn't bother unless it was going to give them enough return on it. I don't think it's a huge loss to be frank, but let's see what happens.

I guess they'll save it for the PSP2 then.

Unreal Engine Light? hehe

And this is a shame, many games use the Unreal Engine...

Wonder how they will work around it.

You want Unreal? YOU CAN'T HANDLE UNREAL!

Seriously, the Unreal Engine is the mutts nuts.

Lost In The Void:
That slightly confuses me, shouldn't a console be able to outpreform a glorified MP3 player

Same...

An iPod can play it, but a dedicated, nextgen gaming platform cannot?

Alas, no Arkham Asylum on the 3DS. Damn.

P.S. Thanks

I doubt it.

Maybe we couldn't do a game that looks like Epic Citadel on the 3DS, but I bet you can do games that are a lot more fun to play. Mark Rein, please take this opportunity to point your nearest web browser to "www.yaybuttons.com". Thank you.

Also, at least he admits that he could be wrong since he doesn't actually have a 3DS in his hands yet.

Bullcrap. Epic got the damn thing to run on the Iphone 3G, and we know the 3DS has more horsepower than that. Mark Rein is notorious for his anti-Nintendo comments, so I wouldn't put too much weight on his words.

The only way I could imagine the iDevices being higher spec is if you assume the 3DS can ONLY do 3D. I read somewhere that working in 3D mode effectively halves the power of the machine; if that's true then surely theirs a way to disable it for high-spec games?

Otherwise it's just baffling that a GAMES CONSOLE coming out in 5 months time can't match a PHONE that's been out for aaaaages.

Mr. Fister:
Bullcrap. Epic got the damn thing to run on the Iphone 3G, and we know the 3DS has more horsepower than that. Mark Rein is notorious for his anti-Nintendo comments, so I wouldn't put too much weight on his words.

Oh. In that case, instead of going to your nearest web browser, please locate the nearest fire and jump in, Mark. Thank you.

thenumberthirteen:
Does that mean an iPhone is more powerful than a 3DS? Has the 3DS' final specs been revealed yet?

That tech demo only worked on the 3GS and iPhone 4 so I didn't get a chance to play it, but I hear it's amazing.

Well the iPhone has to run an OS in the background, so it was bound to be powerful. We've seen some powerful looking stuff from the 3DS though so we'll have to wait and see.

The_root_of_all_evil:
You want Unreal? YOU CAN'T HANDLE UNREAL!

Seriously, the Unreal Engine is the mutts nuts.

It gets whored out on every other title on the market so I guess it is.

Heh, mutts nuts...

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who plays things like fps's on a hand held anyway? ffs - handhelds is for puzzlers, 2d platformers, strategy games and RPG's. Things like proffessor layton... jeez.

Personally, I cgaff if apple come out with an iphone that has better graphics than a PS3, it's control system will suck ass.

Oh no, my handheld gaming system isn't godly enough? What ever shall I do /monotone voice

Just make the games fun, that's all that matters to me =D

I also call bullshit. Frankly, the 3DS should be more than capable of topping an iPhone, it's just that Epic don't give a damn.

Aw, is Epic sad that the big N passed them by?

Dioxide20:

Lost In The Void:
That slightly confuses me, shouldn't a console be able to outpreform a glorified MP3 player

Same...

An iPod can play it, but a dedicated, nextgen gaming platform cannot?

You seem so in love with a term "next-gen" without actually understanding what it means. Next generation doesn't really have to be more powerful than competitors - it just has to be more powerful than previous iteration (like Nintendo DS).
The thing is DS's hardware was horribly outdated to begin with, and now 3DS contains something not much faster than PSP. It's probably on par with iPhone 3GS, but with no programmable shading support and 4 times less RAM. This means less memory for textures and geometry and also simple lighting (in comparison with what can be achieved on iPhone 3GS).

Of course, a gaming console like 3DS has an advantage of fixed hardware (not like iPhone/iPod with a crapload of generations and different specs) and very little overhead due to simple OS and thin APIs, so it'll have games like nothing on the iPhone 3GS in terms of visuals. And of course these games will be much more advanced, "big" and proper due to big budgets (and higher price of "real" games, unlike iPhone's cheap apps) and other factors.
But still, hardware is weak in comparison with iPhone 4, and nothing can be done about it - there's simply no point in porting Unreal Engine 3 to 3DS, because there won't be direct game ports from home consoles there (I damned hope so).

I'll wait two years after launch. Someone will eventually get the Unreal Engine to run on it, whether that be Epic themselves or some middle-of-nowhere mod team.

aaaaaDisregard:
You seem so in love with a term "next-gen" without actually understanding what it means. Next generation doesn't really have to be more powerful than competitors - it just has to be more powerful than previous iteration (like Nintendo DS).
The thing is DS's hardware was horribly outdated to begin with, and now 3DS contains something not much faster than PSP. It's probably on par with iPhone 3GS, but with no programmable shading support and 4 times less RAM. This means less memory for textures and geometry and also simple lighting (in comparison with what can be achieved on iPhone 3GS).

Of course, a gaming console like 3DS has an advantage of fixed hardware (not like iPhone/iPod with a crapload of generations and different specs) and very little overhead due to simple OS and thin APIs, so it'll have games like nothing on the iPhone 3GS in terms of visuals. And of course these games will be much more advanced, "big" and proper due to big budgets (and higher price of "real" games, unlike iPhone's cheap apps) and other factors.
But still, hardware is weak in comparison with iPhone 4, and nothing can be done about it - there's simply no point in porting Unreal Engine 3 to 3DS, because there won't be direct game ports from home consoles there (I damned hope so).

Source please, otherwise I'm going to assume that you're talking out of your arse.

What...? I don't get it.

So you're telling me that the Iphone is a more powerful gaming system than the 3DS?

Wtf?

Delusibeta:
Source please, otherwise I'm going to assume that you're talking out of your arse.

"3DS is powered by twin ARM11 CPUs clocked at a relatively meagre 266MHz, while overall system storage (sans SD card) is 1.5GB. Onboard RAM is 64MB, with 4MB of video memory. DMP's PICA-200 graphics chip is said to be running at a relatively lightweight 133MHz."
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-3ds-techspec-exploration-blog-entry

and behold
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone#Models
800MHz Cortex CPU for iPhone 4/1GHz for iPad
512MB RAM for iPhone 4/256MB for 3DS
PowerVR SGX535 as video chip.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2782/3
which supports OpenGL ES 2.0 with fully programmable shading
http://www.imgtec.com/demo_room/
http://www.imgtec.com/factsheets/SDK/PowerVR%20Technology%20Overview.1.0.2e.External.pdf

So in terms of pure hardware power iPhone wins. But as I've said earlier, most games for 3DS will be visually better than iPhone ones due to better art, low overhead and better optimization - all thanks to higher budgets and 3DS's gaming focus - let alone gameplay-wize better.

SteelStallion:
What...? I don't get it.

So you're telling me that the Iphone is a more powerful gaming system than the 3DS?

Wtf?

Yes, it is. iPhone 4 and the new iPod touch have quite a lot going on under the hood. Even six-axis control.

Delusibeta:
I also call bullshit. Frankly, the 3DS should be more than capable of topping an iPhone, it's just that Epic don't give a damn.

Have you even used an iPhone 4/iPod touch? Do try to get your hands on one (even if it's just trying out Epic Citadel).

Danzaivar:

Otherwise it's just baffling that a GAMES CONSOLE coming out in 5 months time can't match a PHONE that's been out for aaaaages.

3GS came out in 2009, the iPhone 4 came out in June 2010 and the 4th gen iPod touch came out last month.

SteelStallion:
What...? I don't get it.

So you're telling me that the Iphone is a more powerful gaming system than the 3DS?

Wtf?

Iphone 4

Apple A4 is based on the ARM processor architecture. The first version released runs at 1 GHz and contains a Cortex-A8 CPU core paired with a PowerVR SGX 535 graphics processor (GPU)built on Samsung's 45 nm process.

The Cortex-A8 core used in the A4 is thought to use performance enhancements developed by chip designer Intrinsity (which was subsequently acquired by Apple)[10] in collaboration with Samsung.[11] The resulting core, dubbed "Hummingbird", is able to run at far higher clock rates than other implementations while remaining fully compatible with the Cortex-A8 design provided by ARM. Other performance improvements include additional L2 cache. The same Cortex-A8 CPU core used in the A4 is also used in Samsung's S5PC110A01 SoC.

The A4 processor package does not contain RAM, but supports PoP installation. The top package of the A4 used in the iPad & iPod touch 4th gen contains two low-power 128 MB DDR SDRAM chips for a total of 256MB RAM. For the iPhone 4 there are two chips of 256 MB for a total of 512 MB. RAM is connected to the processor using ARM's 64-bit-wide AMBA 3 AXI bus. This is twice the width of the RAM data bus used in previous ARM 11 and ARM 9 based Apple devices, to support the greater need for graphics bandwidth in the iPad.

PowerVR SGX 535

PowerVR's SGX series is used in many popular devices, including the Apple A4 (which powers the iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV) and Samsung's Hummingbird (in Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices) and Motorola's Droid phone. It features pixel, vertex, and geometry shader hardware, supporting OpenGL 2.0 and DirectX 10.1 Shader Model 4.1.

Intel uses the SGX 535 as its GMA 500 & GMA 600 integrated graphics chips.

The iphone 4 is a serious piece of tech

Awww. :(

Unreal Engine is awesome. Oh well.

We'll see what they say after Carmack hacks up a version of Rage running at 60fps in 3D on the night after he gets the dev kit :)

Ok . . . so maybe 5am the night after.

The funny thing is the specs.

CPU:
The iphone has had a CPU that's a 300-400Mhz(iPhone), 400Mhz(3G), 600Mhz(3Gs), or 1Ghz(iPhone 4) ARM CPU. The GPU handles OpenGL ES 1.1 (iPhone, 3G) or OpenGL ES 2.0 (3Gs, iPhone 4).

The DS lists a dual CPU, both ARM (So similar architecture) at 67 and 33 Mhz. The DSi, however, is 133Mhz/33Mhz. The 3DS specs I couldn't find on CPU, but since rumors of the GPU mention 400Mhz, I assume that the CPU would be similar.

The Wii, Gamecube, PSP, and Playstations use different architectures, so speeds aren't comparable.

RAM:
The iPhone ram, not flash disk space, has been 128MB (iPhone, 3G), 256MB (3Gs), and 512MB(iPhone 4). The OS takes a good chunk for mulitasking, but an application can be guaranteed to have at least 15-30MB of RAM all on its own, even on the first iPhone.

The DS ram has been 4MB for the DS, and 16MB for the DSi. Perhaps the 3DS has up to 32 or 64MB of RAM?

The Gamecube and Wii have 86 and 91MB RAM; Main, buffer and texture ram combined.

The PSPs, since 2007, have 64MB RAM

The PS2 and PS3 have 36 and 512MB RAM; Main, buffer, and texture ram combined.

It's worth noting that Epic Castle on the iPad (which has 256MB RAM like the 3Gs) barely fits (IE, it forces Safari and Mail to make room in RAM) so it may be that RAM alone excludes the 3DS. Perhaps even the Wii won't be able to handle it.

The game binary itself, in terms of application ipa is 82.3MB as of version 1.02. Uncompressed, it's about 134MB.

If you want real heresy, consider that Carmack said that the iPhone kills the prev gen consoles, and is not far from latest gen consoles (PS3, XBox360), with no comparison to handhelds at all. ( http://kotaku.com/5611523/id-unleashes-rage-on-the-iphone )

Surely they can use the Unreal 2 engine, probably version 2.5. That's good enough for me

I don't believe anything from Mark Rein, he's back tracked from his statements too many times in the past.

What? Surely the 3DS is more powerful than the iPhone.

The 3DS is more powerful than the Wii, which is more powerful than the iPhone. My powers of deduction tell me that Epic is either lying or lazy.

Timbydude:
What? Surely the 3DS is more powerful than the iPhone.

The 3DS is more powerful than the Wii, which is more powerful than the iPhone. My powers of deduction tell me that Epic is either lying or lazy.

May want to actually look at the iPhone 4 specs.

Timbydude:
What? Surely the 3DS is more powerful than the iPhone.

The 3DS is more powerful than the Wii, which is more powerful than the iPhone. My powers of deduction tell me that Epic is either lying or lazy.

Guess again

Timbydude:
What? Surely the 3DS is more powerful than the iPhone.

The 3DS is more powerful than the Wii, which is more powerful than the iPhone. My powers of deduction tell me that Epic is either lying or lazy.

Nope, while the 3DS games will be better than those found on iPhones, 3DS's hardware is your typical underpowered crap.

Lost In The Void:
That slightly confuses me, shouldn't a console be able to outpreform a glorified MP3 player

Yes, but the DS is a glorified iPod Touch.

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