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
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
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.
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."
quote: Also, device driver support for 64-bit is not there yet, especially for older devices, and so you have a lot of other customers that will load 32-bit Vista for that reason also.
quote: On the flip side, what is really the benefit of 64-bit, for applications? Being able to address more than 4GB of RAM? What is the real need for that today on a desktop of laptop? I can understand the need for that on servers, it's not really a need for other computers at this point in time.
quote: 32bit can utilize up to 64GB using PAE.
quote: The benefit of 64 bit is the sophistication of the mirco code. 64 bit allows the developers to create better code in general. x86-64 really is a huge leap foward when it comes to the x86 architechture.
quote: The reality is that, regardless of demand, most companies are not going to release 64-bit device drivers for old hardware, e.g., devices that are more than one year out of production. It is just not economically sound. That is a barrier for users to going the 64-bit route.
quote: In my case, for example, I have a 6-year old Thinkpad - there is zero chance of getting 64-bit drivers for any part of that machine. And yet, since I could load 32-bit Vista on it, I can use Vista on that machine.
quote: And looking at the other side - the benefits of 64-bit, in my case are zero for me. I have no need for >4GB at this point in time, and I'd rather be able to use my existing hardware rather than buying all new hardware.
quote: Which is why 32 bit Vista is such a bad idea. Now companies have to release a Vista 32 and a Vista 64 driver. If they'd done the Vista and 64 bit switch at once, then ALL Vista drivers would be 64 bit, and the problem you're describing would not exist.
quote: Actually, if your laptop is using the 32 bit Vista drivers, theres probably 64 bit versions, since I think MS ships all their included drivers in both versions, but I could be wrong.
quote: The real limit is more properly >2-3GB of RAM in XP-32. Hitting 4GB would involve Linux and some good luck in 32 bit mode.
quote: Intel "held up" (as you say) 64-bit from consumer and business desktop, simply because there is no requirement from these markets for 64-bit. Never was, and still isn't today.
quote: Clearly, the future belongs to 64-bit operating systems, and it is not a question of "if," but "when." But to say that Intel was to blame for slowing down supplying something that the market didn't want or need is simply inaccurate.