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Unreal Tournament 3 -- image courtesy GameSpot
Epic's Mark Rein opens the flood gates for a discussion on the latest tech

Game Informer recently had a chance to chat with Epic's Mark Rein on a variety of subjects ranging from Unreal Tournament 3 to Windows Vista to the PlayStation 3 vs. Xbox 360 battle. Rein, never one to bite his tongue, held nothing back in this one-on-one.

Rein first spoke about Unreal Tournament 3, which will be a headliner title for the PS3. It was also recently announced that the game would see the light of day on the Xbox 360 platform. "I think it was the realization that we might be able to sell a few copies on this PS3. We had a little success on Xbox 360, and we might be able to sell a few copies there," said Rein.

The tide then turned rather quickly to Sony as a whole, given its recent PS3 sales shortfalls in Japan and North America. The PS3 itself also came under attack recently by Valve's Gabe Newell when he stated that the console is a "total disaster." Rein balks at such commentary and says that the PS3 platform is alive and well. "They sold more PS3s in North America than Microsoft sold Xbox 360s in its same period of time, and they clearly aren’t going to have the shortage problems that Microsoft had. So as long as people are willing to pay the price for the machine -- and I’m sure lots of people are -- I think they’re hopefully in a good situation," said Rein. He went on to say "There’s not a lot of games on there, but the ones that are there are really high quality, and I’m really impressed with the games. It’s a beautiful machine, it’s a great-looking piece of equipment, so I think Sony’s going to be fine."

Rein also gave his thoughts on the Windows Vista platform. In his opinion, there are too many version of the operating system and it has boiled down to a love/hate relationship. "So, I love the feel of Vista, and I love all the cool power tools that are built right in this time. I love the way it organizes all your content for you. I love all the gaming features," Rein told Game Informer. "I hate the fact that there’s a 32-bit version of it, and I hate the fact that there are versions that can run without Aero Glass."

Rein blames the reasons for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the operating system on Intel. "I think these were compromises they made for Intel, and I think those are mistakes that’ll hold the industry back. There’s no reason why every machine out there shouldn’t be 64-bit now. There’s great 64-bit processors -- AMD has been shipping them for years. Intel was shipping them for years -- and then threw the core processor, the original core processor, into the mix and the Core Duos were 32-bit, and they shouldn’t have."

While it's understandable that Rein would like a swift move to 64-bit computing, the rest of the industry doesn't appear to be ready. The driver support just isn't there and the performance advantages on the consumer side haven't been fully realized yet. Rein, however, will likely get his wish with the next generation Windows operating system.

Game Informer didn't let Rein get away without throwing a Halo 3 question his way. Halo 3 is due to ship later this year, just in time for Christmas. "We’re a long way from Halo 3 still, so it’s not like we’re releasing them in the same week. They’re both complementary. I mean if Gears helps build the audience for Halo 3, then I hope Halo 3 helps build the audience for Gears."

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money money money
By someguy123 on 1/29/2007 7:06:40 PM , Rating: 4
Good lord. does this person seriously think everyone is rich? in the last interview he had he talked about intel integrated as a cheap solution noone though COST is never a factor. where the hell are all these people who can easily afford these $600 video cards and consoles?

Is it me or does it seem like he does absolutely nothing except random interviews now? If he was actually developing for the ps3 he'd realize how insanely expensive, time consuming, and difficult it was compared to the wii and 360. Considering the PC gaming world depends a lot on the gpu....i'd say people actually doing work creating the ps3 version of unreal3 are having the worst time ever trying to meet the gpu power of future pc video cards with multiple threads on the cell processor.

RE: money money money
By ViperROhb34 on 1/29/2007 7:22:37 PM , Rating: 3
I agree.. Sony isn't having trouble selling a PS3 because of the hardware.. but the price of entry is steep.

In all fairness to Mark Rein - He said " long as people are willing to pay the price for the (PS3) machine.. PS3 will do well " .. This statement is a oxymoron. He's not lieing that its a beautiful machine and all that though .. but he has to be positive because his company is releasing a game on both consoles and they'd like it to sell well on both consoles!

I think reality is both will look and behave alike on both consoles .. more copies will be sold on Xbox on this games launch.

RE: money money money
By someguy123 on 1/29/2007 7:30:04 PM , Rating: 2
That is true, but he also added "-which they will-" to the line....basicly saying people are willing to/have the kind of money to throw at such a system.

Don't get me wrong, the ps3 is quite the system....however annoying to developers and costly it maybe. It's just that Rein's attitude and comments seem to show that he believes gamers SHOULD be throwing money at devs/consoles as though money flows the streets.

RE: money money money
By greyfade on 1/29/2007 8:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
The base model of the PS3 is $499. The 4GB iPhone will be $499.

People are expected to buy the iPhone in droves.

Explain that.

RE: money money money
By Frosen on 1/29/2007 8:28:20 PM , Rating: 3
That's different. Owning an iPhone is a status symbol for people, just like owning a luxury car. A PS3 does not hit the same market of people, nor does it have the same sort of status influence. One would buy a PS3 to play games or watch movies, but one buys an iPhone to look cool and impress people, many could careless about its increased functionality or ability to play music. I get your point, but the two just don't relate.

RE: money money money
By TomZ on 1/29/2007 8:31:08 PM , Rating: 1
Owning an iPhone will be an easy way for the rest of us to identify an fool from a distance. As in, "a fool and his (her) money are soon separated."

iPhone's impact to the cell phone market will be small. Even if they achieve their 10M unit goal, that is still a small fraction of the overall market.

RE: money money money
By dagamer34 on 1/29/2007 9:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
You cannot easily parade around a PS3 as you can an iPhone, iPod or car, thus, it can't as EASILY fall into pop icon status. I say "as easily", since the Wii is definitely on it's way to being "it" for 2007.

RE: money money money
By jtesoro on 1/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: money money money
By ViperROhb34 on 1/30/2007 10:30:07 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. People who drive luxury cars are outnumbered by Ford, Chevrolet and Honda drivers.

The put this into perspective Luxury car drivers make alot of money of their cars. iphone most likely doesnt cost 800 dollars to make like a PS3. So they'll make money and money off downloads.

Sony loses money on each PS3. The only way for them to come back is to sell so many PS3's they make it all back on software sales ( and yes BLu-ray movie sales )- which wouldnt happen for several years.

If they were fortunate to somehow come in even second place Im not sure if they'd make a profit with 200-300 dollars on each console ?

RE: money money money
By ViperROhb34 on 1/30/2007 10:35:20 AM , Rating: 1
On the last sentence.. I mean 200-300 dollar loses on each console. Sell 5-6 million consoles the 1st year and you're number three and not selling enough software. Come in second place.. sell 13 million multiply that by 250 dollars and that comes to 3 BILLION dollars in losses that have to be made up in Software by Sony.

The only way for them to make it happen is for Bluray to become a sure success.. This is either the the worse or best bet in the world. And one thing is clear.. They had the arrogance to bet it all because they didnt beleive they were betting.

RE: money money money
By jtesoro on 1/30/2007 11:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Here's what I'm saying. Some people consider cars simply as a tool for them to get from point A to point B, and that's OK. For others that is part of it, but they also see their car as a way to express themselves or show something about who they are. So they buy a Lexus, and that's fine too.

I could also say the same thing about clothes. Some will get nice no-name sweater and others will get some pricey thingie with a big branded logo on the front.

The person who wants an iPhone probably wants to look cool and in his world maybe an iPhone will make it happen. Come on, after all we know that too many people buy an iPod just because of that.

There's nothing wrong with these people. They've got different needs, different views on their things.

iPhone people are different. Not a problem. Not fools too.

RE: money money money
By retrospooty on 1/29/2007 11:06:24 PM , Rating: 3
"People are expected to buy the iPhone in droves."

I highly doubt it. That is expensive as hell for a phone, regardless of what it does. Treo's and Blackberries got away with that price because it is a business tool where you can get your secure corporate email on the go... Therefore most people expense it to their companies. The iphone does not do that and won't have that option. I wonder who exactly is expecting "droves"... Apple? Isn't Apple the same company that had a superior Personal computer platform at one time and charged 2-3x what the competition was paying and eventually lost their marketshare which now hovers around 3% globally? Apple makes me laugh.

RE: money money money
By jtesoro on 1/30/2007 6:07:46 AM , Rating: 2
I have some doubts as well. However, I wouldn't laugh off so easily a company that is able to dominate a technology market using fashion as a major pillar. Who would have thought MP3 player = "cool"?

Will the iPhone fail? It might. Underestimate it's chances? I'd be very careful.

RE: money money money
By gramboh on 1/30/2007 6:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
No it won't. I know tons of idiots who will line up for presales who also own $5,000+ of Apple hardware/software they can't afford. I make fun of them constantly for overpaying for this stuff.

I'll consider one at a lower pricepoint if data plan costs come down 50%.

RE: money money money
By yak8998 on 2/1/2007 4:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I laugh too at how they totally dominate the portable music field as well...

They'll be able to get away with the iphone same way they got away with the ipods. It isn't just the rich that are running out and buying ipods. Your blackberry argument is pretty awful too in relationship to an apple product.

RE: money money money
By Zoomer on 1/30/2007 3:42:29 PM , Rating: 2

If aero is a requirement for vista, we'll have fast, good integrated DX9 graphics that has sufficient speed to play most of today's games - perhaps some in crap quality -, it would be a good thing for the industry. For the game industry. ;)

RE: money money money
By Ringold on 1/29/2007 7:29:53 PM , Rating: 3
You've got to consider his audience to which he was speaking, and the medium he was speaking over; to gamers, in a gamer magazine. In that sense, sure, comments like integrated graphics are something no one needs -- in his target audience.

Similar concept to the console crowd, but I wont comment much since I'm a solid pc gaming zealot and dont understand the console craze at all. Nothin' like a good ol LAN for me..

And to be fair, he never said anything about needing $600 video cards, either.

This guy saying integrated graphics are fine (to his audience) would be like Car and Driver saying Ford Pinto's would be a nice used car buy.

RE: money money money
By someguy123 on 1/29/2007 7:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
You make a good point and I agree that hes speaking in a correct manner to the audience of the gamer magazines (aka those probably willing to spend extra on gaming related items). What hes saying his this interview makes sense in that respect....but his comments about integrated being a huge factor in "slowing" the gaming industry still seem way to harsh and senseless even in that context.

It's true he didn't say $600 cards, but it seemed like those were the ones hes referring to (top of the line). lower end cards can seem pretty close to intel's new integrated lines.

RE: money money money
By Ringold on 1/29/2007 7:44:08 PM , Rating: 3
That's true. If he blames lower end hardware on slowing the industry, then.. well, it's a slowing that probably has to happen. I think it would make financial sense maybe not to accomodate integrated (which sucks upon release) but to accomodate older hardware. Steam survey's show that, like you said, not everyone has 8800OMFG's.

Alan Wake and Crysis, on the other hand, don't look very slowed down to me from a technology standpoint.. so I'm not sure where he'd be coming from there either.

RE: money money money
By Lakku on 1/29/2007 11:31:54 PM , Rating: 2
Alan Wake and Crysis also just about require those 8800OMFG's to run well at high resolutions. Alan Wake uses 80% of one core just for physics, and will make use of quad cores. Crysis ran at 30fps or below at 2560x1200 or whatever it was running at during CES, on an unidentified core 2 duo and 8800GTX. Granted, few run at that reso, but you can expect to need an 8800 series card to get 30 to 50fps at 1680x1050 or above. To run these two games at their high settings or the settings you see in the videos, you will need the kind of hardware few people have.

RE: money money money
By BladeVenom on 1/29/2007 10:11:57 PM , Rating: 2
And to be fair, he never said anything about needing $600 video cards, either.

QFT. You don't need a $600 video card to play games, you never have. Also their previous game, Unreal 2004, played very well on even low end video cards.

RE: money money money
By FITCamaro on 1/29/2007 7:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
As sad as it is, they're called people with credit cards.

RE: money money money
By rushfan2006 on 1/30/2007 10:36:52 AM , Rating: 2
As sad as it is, they're called people with credit cards

Yep and its also why, we, the citizens of the USA have more per capita revolving debt (like credit cards) than any other nation on the planet. I believe on average, as of a month or two ago - the report was about $12,000 in credit card debit per house hold.

Also, being in the mortgage business, I can tell you that people mortgage to death, lots of 2nd mortgages and what not to cover pre-existing debt.

Now realize some of these loans are taken out for legitimate investment people -- if you are smart with the markets you can actually make money with OTHER people's money (loans)...but that is NOT the vast majority of the "average jane or joe".

So all data and financial statistics point to the fact -- you know what you see little johnny with a shiney new $600 PS3, or you wonder how in the hell does "THAT" guy afford a BMW?

There is a great chance its all credit card debt and loans on top of loans.

So don't be "so impressed" because of someone's material possessions -- chance are debt wise they are probably worse off than you!

RE: money money money
By PJMODOS on 1/29/2007 7:35:14 PM , Rating: 4
The problem is that Intel integrated solution is much worse than $50 ATI/nVidia card, he wasn't talking about $600 cards at all.

RE: money money money
By phusg on 1/30/2007 3:42:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah they are so much worse when it comes to power consumption and price ;-)

C'mon guys get a grip, it's not all about performance. Not everyone needs to run Alan Wake on a business PC...

RE: money money money
By darkpaw on 1/30/2007 11:11:13 AM , Rating: 2
Business PC's with integrated graphics are fine, but they still ship far too many home pc's with that crap too. A lot of home users would actually like to be able to play games and not necessarily even cutting edge, but most IGP don't even run two year old games well.

I'm always asked for advice from people buying computers and if they want to play and kind of games at all I make sure they go with something better then integrated.

RE: money money money
By jak3676 on 1/30/2007 9:38:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say the problem is that they are so much worse than integrated ATI/nVidia cards (x1150/6150). I'll agree that not everyone needs to get a high-end card (especially in laptops), but GMA 950 is pretty sad.

RE: money money money
By vanka on 1/29/2007 7:45:39 PM , Rating: 2
in the last interview he had he talked about intel integrated as a cheap solution noone though COST is never a factor. where the hell are all these people who can easily afford these $600 video cards and consoles?

Ok, I can understand a reluctance to pay $600 for a graphics card, but paying $50-$80 for a budget DirectX9 card that's Vista capable is a no-brainer. I understand that most computer users are not enthusiasts and so have no need for the high-end cards, but Rein has a point about integrated graphics. My dad and uncle (guys who use their computers exclusively for internet, office apps, and tv/video/music and maybe some solitaire) both recently sprung the extra cash for low-mid range cards. In fact when they first decided to experiment with assembling their own PCs, they opted for the Voodoo 3500 (summer of 99). They understood that a dedicated GPU and dedicated video ram frees up system resources hogged by an integrated solution and gives you breathing room for future upgrades (Vista, etc). I really don't see a place for integrated graphics on the desktop; but that's just me.

RE: money money money
By Chaser on 1/30/2007 10:55:17 AM , Rating: 3
Good Lord. I wonder how many people who find yet another way to complain about PS3s can afford and buy them? Point is just because you and others won't buy a PS3 Blue Ray DVD player doesn't mean its out of the pricing ballpark to be a success. Plenty of people can afford it, are buying it, and will continue to buy it. There's some great games coming out for it in the near future.

For those of you that think $600 is too much for a price for a console then vote with your wallet and leave it at that. Get back to your 360, Wii, and let us enjoy our PS3's without your sour grapes campaign of doom and gloom for it. I want all the consoles to be a huge success!!

Thank you!

RE: money money money
By ViperROhb34 on 1/30/2007 1:47:33 PM , Rating: 1
I disagree.. much of PS2's success has been its headstart over Nintendo, 2yr headstart over MS, and its PRICEPOINT. In one year it went from 299 to 199 dollars. One year. Much of PS2's audience is middle income families with limited incomes. It also helps PS2 sales that it was just released in China over 2yrs ago.. so there its basically "New" since neither Xbox 360 or PS3 is on sale there yet.

Back to your point. Maybe the people who can't afford PS3's have a right to complain. Many of them have PS2's and feel like they're left out.

PS3 price caters it to a different market and different income of people. This alienates PS2 buyers who felt 200 dollars was still alot. I'm surprised Xbox 360 has done as well as it has, but they do have the 299 model if you can't buy the 399 one. And I know some who have bought the 299 model because it was all they could afford for their kids

RE: money money money
By someguy123 on 1/30/2007 2:10:04 PM , Rating: 1
actually i have a ps3. me owning a ps3 doesn't mean that the majority of people can or want to.

my point was that he spoke of the price point as minimal.....which was what seemed very awkward to me considering you'd have to be decently well off (or living with your parents) to be able to toss $600 easily for a console.

RE: money money money
By someguy123 on 1/30/2007 2:12:01 PM , Rating: 2

also I wish i hadn't bought it until late 07.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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