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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: 64bit support
By dagamer34 on 1/29/2007 10:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
More secure or more restrictive? As far as I know, you can't use any unsigned drivers on Vista 64-bit, making it that much more obvious that Vista is slowly taking over your system from the outside in.


RE: 64bit support
By saratoga on 1/30/2007 1:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
You can use unsigned drivers if you really need to, but you have to boot into a special mode. The idea is to prevent Sony from rooting people's PCs again. This is a very good thing.

Anyway people are already running in the 32 bit limit today, since XP32 hits it at 2.5 to 3.4GB of physical memory. In a year, a hell of a lot more people are going to need 64. Drivers and software support needs to be ready BEFORE then.


RE: 64bit support
By Shintai on 1/30/2007 7:13:27 AM , Rating: 3
I think you mistake memory controller limitations with OS limitations. XP can perfectly fine use 4GB. The problem you talk about are PCI/AGP/PCIe resource mappings below the 4GB limit. Specially people with 7950GX2 gets heavily affected. But alot of MBs today got remap fuction to counter it. Else you will have the same limitation in 64bit.

Let me show you an example:
http://shintai.ambition.cz/pics/remap1.jpg
http://shintai.ambition.cz/pics/remap2.jpg


RE: 64bit support
By Spoelie on 1/30/2007 8:15:39 AM , Rating: 2
those screenshots are on a x64 operating system, while he was talking about 32 bit systems.

show us the same on xp 32 bit


RE: 64bit support
By Spivonious on 1/30/2007 10:06:44 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, look at the screenshots. There's 4GB of memory installed, but XP 64-bit only recognizes 2.93GB without the remapping tech.


RE: 64bit support
By saratoga on 1/30/2007 10:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think you mistake memory controller limitations with OS limitations.


I think you have no idea what you're talking about.

quote:
XP can perfectly fine use 4GB.


Not in 32 bit mode. Read the MS KB articles explaining why this is the case if you still don't understand why.

quote:
The problem you talk about are PCI/AGP/PCIe resource mappings below the 4GB limit. Specially people with 7950GX2 gets heavily affected.


People with any devices at all are effected. The only way to avoid this problem in x86 is to not have a graphics card, keyboard, NIC, sound, or mouse. Have fun.

quote:
But alot of MBs today got remap fuction to counter it.


But not for XP or Vista users. Hope you like Linux.

quote:
Else you will have the same limitation in 64bit.


"Remap" is automatic in 64 bit mode. You cannot support 64 mode without it, since all addresses are greater then 32 bits anyway. Your mortherboard evidently lets you limit yourself to addresses below the 32 bit limit, however that is not the same thing.

quote:
Let me show you an example:


Now see what happens if you try that in 32 bit mode.


RE: 64bit support
By TomZ on 1/30/2007 9:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can use unsigned drivers if you really need to, but you have to boot into a special mode.

Can you please provide more information on this? My read of the available information was that there was simply no way to load unsigned drivers on 64-bit Windows.


RE: 64bit support
By Spivonious on 1/30/2007 10:08:45 AM , Rating: 2
You have to boot into a kind of "unsafe" mode every time you boot Vista by hitting a key...F8? Something like that. It basically disables the signed driver check. There was a way to automate this in Beta 1, but they took it out in RC1 and up. To use unsigned drivers you'd have to hit this key every time.


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