"It Has To Be Huge And Fundamentally New"
Epic Games are ready for the next generation. They've said so before, they wowed us with the Samaritan tech demo, and they've now thrown down the gauntlet to console manufacturers by insisting that the any new hardware must be "a dramatic leap in quality" rather than an incremental upgrade. They're spoiling for new tech, and we've got the full story below.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney stated that the next generation needs to go big or go home.
You should only replace the hardware when you can make a dramatic leap in quality, not just two times or three times. It has to be huge and fundamentally new.
The longevity of this console generation has been a mixed blessing. On the game side, it’s been really great for our business. With each new title, there is a bigger and bigger Xbox 360 installed base of users, so the games can sell more. On the other hand, it gets harder to generate the same excitement from the same hardware. That is when the new hardware is justified.
Epic were instrumental in convincing Microsoft to double the Xbox 360's RAM from 256MB to 512MB using the Gears Of War tech demo as leverage, and they'll be looking to ensure that the next generation is as powerful as possible - working with hardware manufacturers to plan out the consoles' future.
The really important thing that we do long term is work with the hardware manufacturers like AMD, Nvidia and Intel and really talk deeply about their long-term roadmap.
Not just what’s coming next year but what’s coming out in two years, five years from now. Where is the industry going to max out? We give each other a lot of feedback and can have considerable impact on their direction.
Will the next generation be able to handle the next Unreal Engine - and Samaritan? Epic certainly hopes so, but we'll have to wait and see.