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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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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.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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