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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 7:35:33 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.

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