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GDC 2012: Consoles in danger of being ousted by Apple, claims Epic's Mark Rein

GDC 2012: Consoles in danger of being ousted by Apple, claims Epic's Mark Rein
Apple's claim that iPad is the top choice for gamers has been followed by a warning by Epic's Mark Rein that Microsoft and Sony risked being overtaken by iOS platforms.

According to the Epic VP, the studio is constantly encouraging home console manufacturers to push the specs of their new machines so they stay on the bleeding edge – a stance signified by the firm's latest Unreal Engine 3 demo, Samaritan.

Push it real good

"This is why we did Samaritan and why we're doing a really high-end demo in the room here," Rein told CVG.

"We really are pushing these guys, because if they don't, Apple will go right past them."

Rein's view is that developers want console manufacturers to stick to their strengths – i.e. serving up machines capable of lush visuals.

It's a completely difference approach to the one Nintendo adopted with the Wii, but the only way Rein believes new systems from Microsoft and Sony can hope to fend off the iOS attack.

Unlimited power

"The only way they're [consoles and tablets] going to go away is if they don't stay true to what they are," Rein added.

"The console gaming experience is about delivering something that's way out past the bleeding edge and subsidising it through the software royalty model - just like Apple does with the phones. It's not that much different.

"That's the console gaming model, and if you don't do that - if you don't stretch just far enough, you don't just have enough of a difference to make people want to take the leap with you...it all falls down."

Epic's forthcoming iOS release Infinity Blade Dungeons (see below) was one of the games showcased at Apple's iPad unveiling, of course, with high quality visuals clearly a priority. However, Rein is confident console manufacturers will still have a role to play on this score.

"I think the console guys are going to blow us all away," he concluded.

"There's no end in sight for what we can do with unlimited technology. So we're always going to be pushing and I'm sure we'll be pushing for more than is possible to give."



[source: CVG]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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