PS4, Xbox 720, Wii U: No Unreal Engine 4 Debut, Gaming's Future on Hold

By , Updated May 19, 2012 07:00 PM EDT

Epic Games has unveiled screenshots of its next Unreal Engine 4. The images revealed the next generation Unreal Engine and how it will become the means for the future of gaming.

"UE4 represents nothing less than the foundation for the next decade of gaming. It may make Microsoft and Sony rethink how much horsepower they'll need for their new hardware," as reported in Wired on discussions with Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney regarding Unreal 4 Engine.

"It will streamline game development, allowing studios to do in 12 months what can take two years or more today. And most important, it will make the videogames that have defined the past decade look like puppet shows."

Unreal 4 Engine will come with improved dynamic lighting system which will reduce the pre-rendered lighting effects.  Rendering time will be effectively removed so that developers can see changes in real time. It will come with improved version of Kismet scripting tools for easy interface with programming object behaviors for designers, artists and other non-programmers. 

A demo for Unreal Engine 4 was revealed to top tech companies during Game Developers Conference 2012 in March which runs on a single Nvidia Kepler GTX 680 graphics card. It showed a knight awakening from his volcanic tomb as he surveys the surrounding areas as eruption blankets the countryside in lava and ash.

Unreal Engine 4 will be revealed to gamers in June redefining the future of gaming with its unique innovation technology included in the engine.

"We're much more in sync with the console makers than any other developer is. That means we can give detailed recommendations with a complete understanding of what is going to be commercially possible," said Sweeney.

Developers of the Unreal Engine 4 hopes to tap console makers like Microsoft and Sony to choose their engine which will definitely open up ways for the next generation games.  But to integrate the new UE4 technology with next-gen consoles that are already in production may be a daunting task.

Nintendo's Wii U already confirmed that it is running Unreal Engine 3 and with its console due up first, time may prevent a UE4 integration. Sony's PlayStation 4 officially announced that it plans to launch ahead of Microsoft's Xbox 720, thus leaving it little time to fine tune its console fur UE4. Microsoft's later launch may bring opportunities to debut with the latest engine, but even that may be a long shot. Also in earlier reports, Epic mentioned that Unreal Engine 3 will be used on the Xbox 720, at least for the debut.

If any UE4 elements will enter the new consoles, it may need to wait until the next round of hardware upgrades from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.  No official details yet on Engine Unreal 4's release date.  For now, the future of gaming is on hold.


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