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Epic: No Unreal Engine 4 On Wii U Or Current-Gen Consoles [UPDATE]

Jonathan Lester
Epic Games, Unreal Engine 4, Wii U

Epic: No Unreal Engine 4 On Wii U Or Current-Gen Consoles [UPDATE]

“Hahaha No"

Epic Games blew the lid off Unreal Engine 4 at GDC, which will simply be too powerful for current-gen consoles to handle. Unfortunately, the doubtlessly influential piece of middleware won't be supported on Nintendo's next-gen offering either, since Epic aren't convinced that the Wii U is actually a next-gen console in the first place.

UPDATE: But developers are welcome to try.

“Hahaha no," scoffed Epic Boss Mark Rein when Kotaku asked whether Unreal Engine 4 could run on the Wii U. "I mean, sorry, it’s not really a correct answer. We’re not… we have Unreal Engine 3 for the Wii U. Right? And Unreal Engine 3 is powering all kinds of amazing games, still lots of games are being made with Unreal Engine 3. We announced today about a new Unreal Engine 3 license. Unreal Engine 3 doesn’t disappear because of Unreal Engine 4."

"But our goal for Unreal Engine 4 console-wise is next-gen consoles. That’s really what our energies are focused on. If you want to make a Wii U game, we have Unreal Engine 3, and it’s powering some of the best games on the Wii U already.”

It's clear that Unreal Engine 3 will still play an important role over the next few years, but the lack of Wii U support could well mean that Nintendo's console misses out on even more multiplatform releases. Since the likes of Tomb Raider, DmC and even Colonial Marines haven't made it to the Wii U - and Battlefield 4 will steer well clear - Nintendo will need to improve their networking to ensure a slew of third party releases between the big first-party flagships.

Neither the PS3 nor Xbox 360 will be able to run Unreal Engine 4 games, but Epic Games have shown off an impressive new PC and PS4 tech demo. Watch this space.

UPDATE: Talking to Engadget after the fact, Rein suggested that it's up to developers to get Unreal Engine 4 working on other platforms. "If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they want to ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen," he clarified. It's going to be important for Nintendo to make it worth their while. [thanks, GigahurtzUK]

Add a comment6 comments
sits69  Mar. 30, 2013 at 22:16

And yet they brag that UE4 is scalable. There's such a lad culture at Epic and I'm fed up with the fat douchebag that is Mark Rein.

Anarchist  Mar. 31, 2013 at 03:00

He is right though. Just because wii u was released 8 years late doesn't make it next gen, it makes it 8 years late. He could probably have made a more official worthy statement though I guess.

GigahurtzUK81  Mar. 31, 2013 at 08:40

Has he not then gone on to say the Engine is actually scaleable and could be used to create games on wii u just without the nextgen effects etc?

Last edited by GigahurtzUK81, Mar. 31, 2013 at 08:52
GigahurtzUK  Mar. 31, 2013 at 11:18
JonLester  Mar. 31, 2013 at 11:50

@GigahurtzUK: As always, developers have the final word when it comes to middleware like this - I've updated the post and credited you.

However, the fact that a significant amount of work will be necessary to make UE4 run on Wii U acts as a major hurdle, especially when the bottom line is becoming increasingly important for most publishers (Crysis 3, for example, never made it to Wii U because EA felt there was not enough "business drive" to fund the extra development). We hope that Nintendo - and Wii U sales - make it worth third party studios putting the tech development time, money and effort in.

Last edited by JonLester, Mar. 31, 2013 at 12:08
GigahurtzUK  Apr. 1, 2013 at 20:10

Thanks Jon, As you say final word is with the developers & no doubt most publishers will be put off by the extra work required to make the games run on Wii U but at a critical time when Wii U needs support and with consumers looking towards future IP's, news stating that one of if not "the" best engines can't run on Wii U is damaging.

Nintendo aren't doing themselves any favours with promoting Wii U so they should be mindful of "bad press" and it would be in their best interest to support developers either financially or technically to allow Unreal engine 4 games to run on the console otherwise the Wii U will get lost in the crowd with only first party titles to keep Hardcore fans happy.

Thank you for the credit.

Last edited by GigahurtzUK, Apr. 1, 2013 at 20:22

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