Epic Exec Wants Consoles to Catch Up to PCs

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Epic Exec Wants Consoles to Catch Up to PCs

The PC is a window into the future of gaming, says the Epic VP.

Epic's Mark Rein wants console manufactures to add a lot more power to the next generation of consoles. He thinks that gaming PCs have "shot past" consoles, and hopes to see the gap close a little when the next wave of hardware arrives.

Rein hoped that the "Samaritan" demo, which appeared at GDC this year running - supposedly in real time - on a very high-powered PC, would give console manufacturers something to aim for. If they aimed to get that level of detail on a console, they did, he said, they would be competitive with what a reasonably priced PC would be capable of in around 18 months. Of course, implicit in that is the idea that high-end PC gaming will have moved on again, but Rein doesn't seem to think that that's necessarily a bad thing.

"Don't forget every game that's ultimately built is built on a PC. PCs are always going to be the tools through which all games get made," he said. "With the PC you can simulate the future; you can put enough hardware in a PC to show you what a future console will look like."

In terms of raw power, PCs are always going to have to the edge over consoles; a console is a fixed platform with a lifespan of several years, while the PC is constantly changing, with new hardware coming out all the time. Some new hardware in consoles would be nice; as Ubisoft said last week, developers are starting to bang their heads on the ceiling. But whether Sony and Microsoft will go all out and cram as much power as possible into the next PlayStation and Xbox models remains to be seen. I wouldn't be all that surprised if they showed a little restraint, not only to keep manufacturing costs down, but to keep game development relatively affordable too.

Source: Eurogamer

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well....duh?

"gaming PCs have "shot past" consoles"... the second the consoles came out...

Developers and publishers are always complaining about the time/cost of making games these days, and I don't see another graphical overhaul helping with that issue.

It's just going to drive prices up, for a graphical increase I don't think many of us feel is needed.

It's like going from HD to 3D: Sure it's nicer, but is the extra prettiness really worth the extra cost?

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Canadish:
Developers and publishers are always complaining about the time/cost of making games these days, and I don't see another graphical overhaul helping with that issue.

It's just going to drive prices up, for a graphical increase I don't think many of us feel is needed.

not quite. the major investment now will be processing power, not graphical capabilities. what this can do is actually lift many constraints when making a game. so, you like your thousand men battles in Shogun 2? How about hundreds of thousands in a battle? or maybe you want your Battlefield game to have 256 players like mag. sure. processing power allows devs to not constraint their own game so much. as for graphical capabilities, i think for now you wont see much increase as youve seen in the past decade.

draythefingerless:

Canadish:
Developers and publishers are always complaining about the time/cost of making games these days, and I don't see another graphical overhaul helping with that issue.

It's just going to drive prices up, for a graphical increase I don't think many of us feel is needed.

not quite. the major investment now will be processing power, not graphical capabilities. what this can do is actually lift many constraints when making a game. so, you like your thousand men battles in Shogun 2? How about hundreds of thousands in a battle? or maybe you want your Battlefield game to have 256 players like mag. sure. processing power allows devs to not constraint their own game so much. as for graphical capabilities, i think for now you wont see much increase as youve seen in the past decade.

You know, I thought that straight after I hit post.
And that would be a fair point. Still don't think it would justify needing to buy a new machine. On top of that, the current ones are fragile enough as it is, I dread to think at how quickly the next gen consoles would brake/overheat.
It only takes a warm day to Red Ring a 360.

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And Activision Execs want money to rain from the sky, but that's not going to happen either.

I HUGELY disagree. What the industry needs now is finding ways to lower the cost of making games, not new ways to increase production cost. Lower cost is good for everyone, lower prices for the gamer, more room to take risk for the developer, and less at stake for the publisher.

How exactly will this work? The reason why PC's are ahead is that you can replace the inner-workings. Need a new graphical chipset? Well buy it and (permitting it fits) pop it in! I don't see that being possible with home consoles. Eventually the same effect will happen, and they'll be behind top-line PC's again.

Canadish:
It only takes a warm day to Red Ring a 360.

Maybe if your console is console was six years old. The new Jasper/Vejle chipsets only RRoD when something goes seriously wrong, which has effectively phased out random Red Rings and makes the 360 as reliable as any other console. Knocking the console about with a spinning disc inside it however.....

Why's he suddenly trying to lick our arses?

Epic - and much more specifically him - talk to and treat their PC customers like twats. Bulletstorm was supposedly their big fucking push on the platform, and yet this was a game with GfWL, forced mouse smoothing (in an FPS of all fucking things) and a demo that was released over a month after the game itself was.

Logan Westbrook:
whether Sony and Microsoft will go all out and cram as much power as possible into the next PlayStation and Xbox models remains to be seen.

I doubt they will, like you said, they may show restraint on account of the losses they took with the current generation. Not just money, but it's difficult to make the kind of powerful tech I have in my rig small enough to fit in a little box. My PC weighs about about as much as a small child and stands about 2.5 feet tall. One of the appeals with consoles is that they're small and relatively cheap, go all out on the technical power and all that is gone.

I honestly think that it's about time that all developers need to realize that graphical ceilings aren't the end of a console's lifespan. We've only caught glimpses, really, of what games could be like this generation without having to dazzle us with pretty pictures. It's time that they stopped dangling those shiny keys in fro ... in f ... oooooooooooooooh shiny. What? Where was I? Oh yeah! Developers, start focusing more on the gaming experience. Uncharted 2 raised the bar significantly with how games need to be evolving. (I mean, hot dang what a hootnanny it was to be inside of a falling building, killing bad guys and watching everything go do ... did I just say hot dang? Wait ... did I just say Hootnanny? ;_; WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MEEEEEEEEEEE?) And to my knowledge, nobody has ever gone beyond that bar since Uncharted 2. Maybe Uncharted 3 will, who knows, but I'd like to see others try as well. (I could be horribly wrong, but just the fact that I'm having a hard time coming up with a gaming experience beyond U2 should say enough, shouldn't it?)

And just as a PS here: Stylized graphics, like in Prince of Persia, are coo' too.

PPS: Hope that this is a satisfactory first post ^^

PPPS: As in, first post on the forums. Not as in "FIRST" xD

Just give it more processing power to generate bigger worlds, I don't care about the detail so long as it isn't like... Crayola level.

Woodsey:
Why's he suddenly trying to lick our arses?

Epic - and much more specifically him - talk to and treat their PC customers like twats. Bulletstorm was supposedly their big fucking push on the platform, and yet this was a game with GfWL, forced mouse smoothing (in an FPS of all fucking things) and a demo that was released over a month after the game itself was.

Finally someone that thinks alike. I had his words ringing in my ears when I booted the Bulletstorm demo back in March. "It will be super-awesome on PC aswell as on consoles". Well, fuckwit, you don't make a super-awesome PC-game where said game is almost unbearable to play with a mouse and keyboard. You know, the control device we usually like to use when playing PC-games. Especially FPSs.

I agree that the new wave of consoles is due soon, although I wouldn't mind waiting a few more years, but why do we all assume that Microsoft and Sony will be behind them? New console gens cost companies *millions* for the first few years after they come out, and both companies are already making tidy profits on their current machines. Why would they risk a new gen?

Is it not impossible that EA and Activision could be behind the next generation? Of course, they're making tidy profits as of now too, but they're the only companies who might have a serious interest in the next generation.

I don't think that this will necessarily happen, but I find it somewhat weird that everyone would assume that Sony and Microsoft (and Nintendo, now that they're back) will be solely behind the next generation of consoles.

draythefingerless:

Canadish:
Developers and publishers are always complaining about the time/cost of making games these days, and I don't see another graphical overhaul helping with that issue.

It's just going to drive prices up, for a graphical increase I don't think many of us feel is needed.

not quite. the major investment now will be processing power, not graphical capabilities. what this can do is actually lift many constraints when making a game. so, you like your thousand men battles in Shogun 2? How about hundreds of thousands in a battle? or maybe you want your Battlefield game to have 256 players like mag. sure. processing power allows devs to not constraint their own game so much. as for graphical capabilities, i think for now you wont see much increase as youve seen in the past decade.

If things happen how the Epic guy wants them to happen, the major investment will still be graphical capabilities, which would cause costs to rise.

But it probably won't. I hope it won't, at least.

RoseArch:
I honestly think that it's about time that all developers need to realize that graphical ceilings aren't the end of a console's lifespan. We've only caught glimpses, really, of what games could be like this generation without having to dazzle us with pretty pictures. It's time that they stopped dangling those shiny keys in fro ... in f ... oooooooooooooooh shiny. What? Where was I? Oh yeah! Developers, start focusing more on the gaming experience. Uncharted 2 raised the bar significantly with how games need to be evolving. (I mean, hot dang what a hootnanny it was to be inside of a falling building, killing bad guys and watching everything go do ... did I just say hot dang? Wait ... did I just say Hootnanny? ;_; WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MEEEEEEEEEEE?) And to my knowledge, nobody has ever gone beyond that bar since Uncharted 2. Maybe Uncharted 3 will, who knows, but I'd like to see others try as well. (I could be horribly wrong, but just the fact that I'm having a hard time coming up with a gaming experience beyond U2 should say enough, shouldn't it?)

And just as a PS here: Stylized graphics, like in Prince of Persia, are coo' too.

PPS: Hope that this is a satisfactory first post ^^

PPPS: As in, first post on the forums. Not as in "FIRST" xD

And look at that, your first post is good enough to be quoted!

You're exactly right. High end graphics are not important to me at all. Looking nice, yes, that's important, but that's different. Stylized graphics can offer the same (if not better) visual impressiveness that high end graphics can. My favorite examples? Okami. The Sly Cooper games (I love me some cell shading). Minecraft (my old roommate who is usually ONLY concerned with graphics was even impressed with how beautiful it could look).

And yes, new gameplay ideas are far more important to me than graphics. I hope Sony and Microsoft save us some money and don't worry as much about the graphics.

RoseArch:
I honestly think that it's about time that all developers need to realize that graphical ceilings aren't the end of a console's lifespan. We've only caught glimpses, really, of what games could be like this generation without having to dazzle us with pretty pictures. It's time that they stopped dangling those shiny keys in fro ... in f ... oooooooooooooooh shiny. What? Where was I? Oh yeah! Developers, start focusing more on the gaming experience. Uncharted 2 raised the bar significantly with how games need to be evolving. (I mean, hot dang what a hootnanny it was to be inside of a falling building, killing bad guys and watching everything go do ... did I just say hot dang? Wait ... did I just say Hootnanny? ;_; WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MEEEEEEEEEEE?) And to my knowledge, nobody has ever gone beyond that bar since Uncharted 2. Maybe Uncharted 3 will, who knows, but I'd like to see others try as well. (I could be horribly wrong, but just the fact that I'm having a hard time coming up with a gaming experience beyond U2 should say enough, shouldn't it?)

And just as a PS here: Stylized graphics, like in Prince of Persia, are coo' too.

PPS: Hope that this is a satisfactory first post ^^

PPPS: As in, first post on the forums. Not as in "FIRST" xD

Haha, very nice. :) Welcome to our forums, and hopefully you'll like them enough to stick around. :P

That's very flashy and all but utilizing all that power will just mean mulitiplying the already staggering cost of AAA development.

The power isn't worth much these days because Gameplay > Graphics. Really, why pour a fortune into super fancy AAA production? Look at some of the most powerful competition out there... Minecraft? Angry Birds? Whateverville? World of Warcraft? WoW's the fanciest but no one's gonna accuse it of being a graphical powerhouse, never mind that its getting pretty long in the fang.

Games don't need better graphics (which would still be shiny, but secondary), they need better game design.

Bobbity:

Haha, very nice. :) Welcome to our forums, and hopefully you'll like them enough to stick around. :P

Thank you ^.^ And things are looking shiny around here :)

SoopaSte123:

And look at that, your first post is good enough to be quoted!

You're exactly right. High end graphics are not important to me at all. Looking nice, yes, that's important, but that's different. Stylized graphics can offer the same (if not better) visual impressiveness that high end graphics can. My favorite examples? Okami. The Sly Cooper games (I love me some cell shading). Minecraft (my old roommate who is usually ONLY concerned with graphics was even impressed with how beautiful it could look).

And yes, new gameplay ideas are far more important to me than graphics. I hope Sony and Microsoft save us some money and don't worry as much about the graphics.

My favorite example is Jak and Daxter. Jak 3 is visually very stunning but Jak 4 (that PSP game) is butt ugly in comparison. They tried to make it too ... euh, I can't find the right word so I'm going with "realistic" here.

The problem is, the highest of high end PC's are around $5000 and no console could ever afford to go near that price point. The developers of PC's can always push hardware and graphics in ways consoles couldn't dream of because high end PC's are used in fields that need that stuff that isn't just for video games.

Canadish:
Developers and publishers are always complaining about the time/cost of making games these days, and I don't see another graphical overhaul helping with that issue.

idTech spent around two years to optimize Rage so that the consoles could support huge environments and run at 60FPS. Optimizing a modern game for 6 year old hardware drives up cost as well. New DX11 features like tessellation and new texture compressing algorithms actually lower the hassle of making good-looking games. Just saying.

Woodsey:
Why's he suddenly trying to lick our arses?

Epic - and much more specifically him - talk to and treat their PC customers like twats. Bulletstorm was supposedly their big fucking push on the platform, and yet this was a game with GfWL, forced mouse smoothing (in an FPS of all fucking things) and a demo that was released over a month after the game itself was.

I really never cared much for Epic's line of releases since UT2k4, but damn, I love them for the licensing terms of UDK and the constant stream of updates and documentations. Epic is going to turn into a darling for indie devs.

Not G. Ivingname:
The problem is, the highest of high end PC's are around $5000 and no console could ever afford to go near that price point. The developers of PC's can always push hardware and graphics in ways consoles couldn't dream of because high end PC's are used in fields that need that stuff that isn't just for video games.

Consoles don't have to compete with 5000$ high end PC's. I have a 3 years old laptop and my laptop has better hardware than a PS3.

Not G. Ivingname:
The problem is, the highest of high end PC's are around $5000 and no console could ever afford to go near that price point.

$5000?

I think Epic and Ubisoft will be happy enough if Sony and MS aims at a $500 rig. ;)

but...but movie bob said gaming consoles are dead.

then again hes a complete know-it-all-mightier-than-thou-douche-bag
------

Not G. Ivingname:
The problem is, the highest of high end PC's are around $5000 and no console could ever afford to go near that price point. The developers of PC's can always push hardware and graphics in ways consoles couldn't dream of because high end PC's are used in fields that need that stuff that isn't just for video games.

yea but the beauty is you dont need to spend 5k to get "The best", you can build one for $450-500 and be good for 6 years, if it starts chugging a bit upgrade it . for the PS3, assuming you bought the top of the line model you spent $600. I never really understood the PS3 myself because it CAN play games in 1080p but there still aren't many games that require it. Probably in the next console generation...

However I totally agree with your second point. I think its a damn good one. PC's are always evolving to bring the best to bear because they are only limited by time. Once you buy a console your stuck with what you have until you crack it or they come out with a new system. The way things are done now means that its almost impossible for a console to keep up with pc's because you cannot reach in and tweak them up a few notches without a hardware upgrade. Once you can update the hardware it ceases to be a classic version of a console and it becomes a PC.

You know what I want? More time spent making good games that anyone can play, rather than working on bleeding edge hardware and perpetuating the obssession over graphics.

They need RAM. Lots of RAM. Heck, any decent laptop has, at the very least, 2 gb of RAM and a regular console has 512 mb of RAM. It would be nice if they added extra Ram, like 4 or 8 gb, so that they can load as much game data as they can and make the new consoles less dependant on streaming data from the disc all the time. In theory, it would drastically reduce loading times, improve the performance of the games and prolong the life span of a console.

But that's just me, I don't know the how much it would cost such a thing.

Woodsey:
Why's he suddenly trying to lick our arses?

Epic - and much more specifically him - talk to and treat their PC customers like twats. Bulletstorm was supposedly their big fucking push on the platform, and yet this was a game with GfWL, forced mouse smoothing (in an FPS of all fucking things) and a demo that was released over a month after the game itself was.

to be fair, People can fly was the developer of Bulletstorm. They were the ones who took much longer to make the pc version of the game.

Well, good luck with that.

PC seems to have a pretty much constant lead.

I guess that's why most of their games are console exclusives. Epic Games is just a bunch of cunts.

Why bother? PC's are just going to shoot past consoles again in a matter of months. Why not simply make games for PC and forget all about consoles?

Microsoft and Sony make money on consoles and they want you to buy them. It doesn't mean it's a good idea to do that. Consoles are exactly what's killing gaming. Think about it. This motion control crap came from consoles, advertisements in games came from consoles, exclusive pre-orders and payed DLC came from consoles. Everything we hate about gaming today happened because this generation of consoles made gaming mainstream. And what's even worse, they are slowly preparing us for cloud gaming!

I can't even imagine what kind of shit they'll come up with for the next generation of consoles. But whatever it is it won't be good. Of course it will be advertized as the best thing since sliced bread and a lot of people will fall for that. Just so they can squeeze even more money out of people who are already paying too much. Most games are not worth $60 anyway, and you shouldn't have to pay to be able to play your games online (Xbox Live) when you already bought your multiplayer game for $60!

Everytime a new console is released it closes the gap between the previous gen consoles and PC's. Why is this even news?

Up Next: Fable creator Peter Molyneux went to the bathroom and had an opinion about seashells and toilet paper!

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