Mobile devices are aplenty, and while some of them – and others not – can be classified under the “future” category, what Epic’s Mark Rein referred to at GameHorizon in Gateshead was the iPad, iPhone and Android devices, calling them “the consoles of the future.”
“These are the consoles of the future,” Rein stated, and implied that if such mobile devices were to increase their hardware power “even two more times, you can play Gears of War on this.” The question we ask ourselves is how great of an experience would it actually be to play a grand title like Gears of War on such small screens?
But then again, that’s exactly Rein’s point. Given the ever-increasing market, he expects more triple-A titles will be coming to mobile phones and portable devices such as the iPad, albeit not necessarily cheap or free for that matter. “I’m a big proponent of AAA games. Triple-A isn’t going away, it’s going everywhere. As the quality of the games go up, the cost of the games go up, you’re going to have to monetise them better,” said Rein.
“I’d rather sell 10 million games at $25 and have a chance to sell DLC than 5 million at $50 on a disc that gets traded around,” said Rein. “I think it’ll change, and it’ll change for the benefit of the customers. We’re definitely going to experiment with micro-transactions and lower-price games.”
Let’s not forget that Epic already has Unreal engine prototypes running all of the aforementioned devices, and no matter what system powers the phone, these prototypes have made a remarkable impression considering the hardware they’re running on. All this just goes to show that Epic is in this for real and is very much exploring the possibility of expanding to these devices. So given these indications, we’re left with the following: what triple-A titles will Epic be releasing, and just as importantly, when?