Speaking with an editor from Joystiq while walking the hallowed halls of this week’s Game Developer Conference, Vice President of Epic Games Mark Rein was prodded with a line of questioning regarding the Unreal Engine’s absence from the 3DS. As pressure on a relentless piece of subject matter would do to anyone, Rein felt he needed to clarify, exactly, why the Unreal Engine is not being put on Nintendo’s hardware.
Those paying attention can read between the lines and infer that Rein’s reasoning applies to any piece of gaming tech currently available. Here’s how Rein responded to Joystiq:
“Why do people keep asking about the platforms we ‘don’t love?’*…Nothing’s changed…There’s only so much time in the day; our engine requires a certain level of hardware capabilities to make our pipeline, our tools work — and we work on the ones that do. The second Nintendo releases a piece of hardware that can run our engine well, we’ll be on it like water on fish.”
Rein and the folks at Epic Games hold no aversion to any single platform. They develop on the hardware that makes sense both fiscally and technically. Rein went on to explain that there’s no gripe:
“There’s nothing against Nintendo. I hate that people somehow think that’s the case. If we felt it could run [Unreal Engine] and deliver the kind of experience people license our technology to build, we’d be on [the 3DS].”
Face it, while Nintendo’s always been great for innovation and first party quality, their machines are known for holding back when it comes to hardware that dominates the market. Part of that lies in the fact that Nintendo has always taken the position that gamers don’t game simply for graphics, they game for fun. But the skimping on technologically stellar hardware makes Nintendo’s platforms consistently more affordable for consumers.
Rein’s clarified that Epic has no qualms with Nintendo. Maybe it’s time people recognize that some hardware just wasn’t made with every type of game in mind.
*Note: Air quotes added for probable intended tone.