Next-gen has to face up to Apple – Epic

Epic Games had a huge presence at yesterday’s Apple conference. The company complimented the new iPad announcement with a new Infinity Blade title in Infinity Blade: Dungeons.

So confident are the Gears of War makers in iDevices, that VP Mark Rein recently claimed next-gen hardware would be beaten by Apple, should it not be up to scratch.

“Don’t worry. We are absolutely every day [pushing platform holders],” Rein told CVG during GDC. “This is why we did Samaritan and why we’re doing a really high-end demo in the room here. We really are pushing these guys, because if they don’t, Apple will go right past them.”

It was this time last year of course that Epic revealed its Samaritan demo, featuring tech they expect to use in the next-generation, which Rein called a “love letter” to hardware manufacturers.

“We really like the big screen, home console experience and we really like iPad gaming,” he continued. “We like all these gaming experiences and we don’t think consumers want them to go away.

“The only way they’re going to go away is if they don’t stay true to what they are. 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.”

He added: “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.

“Now, I don’t think that’s going to happen – I think the console guys are going to blow us all away. But as you say, we’re on them.

“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. But yes, we feel that’s kind of our duty. That’s what Epic is here for.

“Not everybody in the games business is going to use our technology and that’s OK. But if we can help the games business as a whole then we help the people that use our technology, we help ourselves, we help consumers.

“So for us that’s something that we work very, very hard on. That’s something that I’m personally involved in. [Epic founder] Tim Sweeney is really the guy at the front of the ship, but I’m rowing right behind him. We’re constantly contacting these guys and constantly pushing them.”

Just in terms of sheer power, the prospect of a next-generation is something that’s hard to grasp. Just yesterday Quantic Dream seemed to reach new heights with the PS3 hardware in the Kara tech demo. What will Microsoft and Song do to up the ante?