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Wii First Person Shooters (Games)

Unreal 3 Engine to Skip the Wii 245

Mark Rein, speaking with Chris Kohler and Game|Life, has stated that Epic's next-gen Unreal engine will never make it to the Wii. Touting the virtues of high-definition gaming, the 360, and the PS3, Rein said that their engine is simply not designed for Nintendo's hardware. He also quickly mentioned the upcoming deal between Epic and Square Enix: "It's definitely a challenge to convince Japanese developers to work with a third-party technology like ours. But Square Enix, they're the granddaddy. I'm hoping that'll be pulling the stopper out of the drain, and we'll gradually crack that nut. We've been looking to hire somebody in Japan, to be our representative there. " Update: 02/06 04:19 GMT by Z : Accidentally misattributed the interview to CVG when it was a Game|Life piece. Fixed. Also, Chris made sure to point out that a partner of Epic's is trying to get UE3 onto the Wii, so ... maybe someday?
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Unreal 3 Engine to Skip the Wii

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  • Re:No Wii? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pc_Madness ( 984705 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:19PM (#17897344)
    No, its because the Wii's graphics card isn't capable of doing the kind of things that this engine is designed for, which is obviously delivering realistic graphics, which isn't the focus of the Wii. Seems abit stupid to gut the main feature out of the engine just to get it to work, only to have an engine equivalent of the previous generation.. I could be wrong, but didn't they say the Unreal 2 engine would work fine on the Wii?
  • Re:High def gaming? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @07:35PM (#17897554) Homepage
    Watch me care.. I'd think almost any game engine can pull off 480p at a decent framerate these days, it's not like any game looking for one will come up short. Btw: A note to all Wii gamers, Warioware: Smooth moves is the most overrated game so far with a short SP and hardly any simultanious play in MP. Get Rayman's Raving Rabbits, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz or hold out for Mario Party 8.
  • Re:No Wii? (Score:3, Informative)

    by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:05PM (#17897978)

    Huh? Nintendo came out said (and proved through actions) that the Wii was not about graphics, but gameplay. Why should it be a surprise that Epic took that to heart and decided not to invest in getting it's latest engine to run on underpowered hardware?

    And really, is this a loss for Epic or Nintendo? If a killer game comes out using unreal 2 I think I'd still buy it.
    I think you're missing the very obvious point: if Epic doesn't port the Unreal 3 engine to Wii, then that's Y games that won't be appearing on the Wii.

    Here's how it works:

    1). Publisher creates game for Xbox360 using Unreal 3 engine
    2). Publisher realizes he can rework the control scheme, turn down the model polygon count and texture resolution, and recompile the code for the Wii engine at marginal extra development cost. The profit and revenue generated from hitting an extra market (of 10+ million consoles or however many Wii's are out there) far outweighs the porting cost.
    3). Publisher sells video game for not only Xbox360, but Wii also
    4). ???
    5). Profit!

    If the engine isn't there the Wii can't play the game.
  • Re:High def gaming? (Score:4, Informative)

    by JanusFury ( 452699 ) <kevin,gadd&gmail,com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:12PM (#17898084) Homepage Journal
    Running a DX9/DX10-class game engine or graphics application on a DX7-class or DX8-class GPU is not remotely close to being as easy as 'compiling it for the Wii and the PS2'. No offense, but if you knew *anything* about game engines, you'd realize this. There are significant hurdles preventing an engine like Unreal 3 from running on hardware like the PS2 or Wii without being designed specifically for it in the first place.

    The problem here is that UE3 was designed for a system with a modern graphics processor and fairly high end CPU. The Wii and PS2 have neither of these things, so UE3 simply won't run on them. Obviously, stuff like the previous Unreal Engine (used by Red Steel) runs fine on the Wii, so it's not as if the Wii can't run games. It just can't run UE3.
  • Re:No Wii? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:57PM (#17898580) Homepage Journal
    Your 5 step process falls apart around #2. It's not as trivial as you imply and you make two assumptions that aren't justified.
  • Shaders (Score:3, Informative)

    by Drilian ( 661329 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:04PM (#17898650) Homepage
    In a nutshell:

    The UE3 engine is heavily built around pixel shaders. Everything it does is based around shader support.

    The Wii is not capable of doing pixel shaders. The hardware can't do it. Period.

    Take away the shader support, and UE3 becomes no different than UE2. Note that UE2 does, in fact, support the Wii platform.

    This is a hardware issue, it has pretty much nothing to do with Epic.
  • by Purity Of Essence ( 1007601 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:10PM (#17898718)
    I have serious doubts that Source and other truly advanced game engines will ever appear on Wii unless they are severely compromised. The sad fact is, as awesome and powerful as the Wii is in a lot of ways, Nintendo made a huge mistake not adding to the feature set of the GPU. GPUs have moved a bit beyond 2001; Nintendo hasn't.

    Although on the whole the Wii is more powerful than the original XBox, and Source did appear on the XBox in the form of Half-Life 2, Valve has stated (although I can't find the quote) that Half-Life 2 will not be coming to Wii.

    Still, Gabe Newell continues to talk up the Wii saying: "I'm betting that by Christmas of next year, the Wii has a larger installed base than the 360. Other people think I'm crazy. I really like everthing that Nintendo is doing."

    And Doug Lombardi said in an interview about Half-Life 2 for PS3: "Understanding the [PS3] has been the biggest challenge of all, since we're still learning a lot about the control and interface. It's really just a design challenge, but nothing impossible to overcome. The bigger challenge will be if we ever did a Wii version down the road."

    Valve seems a bit wishy-washy on the topic, so who knows? It seems like an obvious choice to port to Wii, but maybe this quote from Red Steel developer Novel Campos Oriola puts things into perspective (sorry for the bad translation): "I do not have the right to speak in details of what Wii can do graphically. What one can say, it is that on the sum of all that it can do, Wii is more powerful than Xbox. But there are things which Xbox can make and which Wii cannot make." Red Steel uses the Unreal 2 engine.
  • Re:No Wii? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MustardMan ( 52102 ) on Monday February 05, 2007 @11:20PM (#17899822)
    Don't get me wrong, I've been labeled a nintendo fanboy by most people I know...

    But red steel as an example of good game play? Give me a break. I own the title, and the controls outright suck. The FPS controls on a minigame in monkey ball are more responsive than red steel. From what I hear, far cry is a massive improvement, and of course we can expect metroid to be better still... but the controls in red steel are, to use the vernacular, teh suck.
  • Re:High def gaming? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @12:29AM (#17900304)
    High-def apparently means whatever people care to pull out of their asses at the time to best suit their point.
  • Re:What? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, 2007 @12:47AM (#17900424)
    1) "Proper DX8 pixel shaders" are just a fancy looking layer over register combiners. All it is is a syntax to convert your psudo-assembly into byte code. There are also macros to write shader code directly without using the seperate assembler. Guess what? They are almost exactly the same as TEV macros. I won't mention the fact that there are rougly twice the number of TEV stages and inputs than a "Proper DX8 pixel shader". I will also glaze over the fact that the texture units on the flipper allow for several levels of indirection, which is simply not possible on DX8 hardware.

    2) My paired-singles skinning assembly *looked* a lot like vertex shader code... does that count? In all seriousness, good PS skinning code is about as fast as a vertex shader would be anyways. With all the nifty tricks that CPU allows you to do (not to mention the fast memory speed of the system) you end up moving around significantly less data than you do on an identical spec DX8 engine. The problem is of course you can't do anything in parallel while the CPU is busy. On the other hand, a good defered renderer will eliminate most of that problem letting the GPU chew on the last frame data while the CPU works on the current. There are some things that you can do better/easier using DX8 vertex shaders, but a lot of that functionality is provided by the Flipper's texgen unit on the GameCube.

    The moral of the story is the DX8 shaders on the Xbox weren't "Proper DX8 shaders" either. There are several hardware specific extensions, as well as several limitations over the PC version of DX8. After having to backport a PC game to the Xbox, I became painfully aware of this (starts with a "T" ends with an "App").

    And no, you don't have to get all Warioworld on us. This being the 21st century and all, I think we can have e-penis fights on the intarweb like adults. Newsgroups are so 1990s.

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