Epic Next-gen Screenshots: We’re Pushing Better Next-Gen Xbox Specs

Epic unveil genuinely amazing next-gen screenshots ahead of public E3 2012 reveal.

The Unreal Engine 4 preview seen behind closed doors at GDC? They’re public, and awesome

We know Epic likes to tease its next-gen engines: last year the Samaritan demo debuted, showing off the engine in action, while the press got to see the engine at GDC 2012. Screenshots from that preview are available, while Epic claims to know what the specs are for the next-gen consoles.

The screenshots are from the 153-second demo, which was running on a Nvidia Kepler GTX 680. The demo looks very Diablo-esque, showing a character that looks like a demon knight in a fortress surrounding by spewing lava. There’s a screenshot of snowy mountains, which has incredible draw distance and detail. Eurogamer says it’s designed to show lens flare, distortion and environmental destruction.

Gears of War design director, Cliff Bleszinksi, said the studio has a huge responsibility to bring the industry into the next generation (though judging by the screenshots, it’s achieved that emphatically). He said it’s down to Epic and Tim Sweeney – Epic Games founder – to make sure Microsoft don’t deliver underpowered consoles. Bleszinski added we all want to see Avatar rendered in real-time, even if we don’t know it. Actually, I do know it, thank you.

Sweeney also said they’re much more aware of what the consoles are going to look like, and understand what’s going to be commercially possible. They’ve apparently seen the specs of the Durango Xbox and Orbis PlayStation 4, and are lobbying for them to be more powerful.

The full reveal of Unreal Engine 4 will be made at E3 which is, somehow, just three weeks away. Despite worries that this year will again be dominated by motion controls, perhaps we’ll see something hardcore gamers can really get excited about. An Unreal Engine 4 Zelda or Mario? Yes please.

E3 expectations

In terms of what we’ll see at E3, I think there’s going to be three different approaches from the main companies: I believe Microsoft will push Kinect and the Xbox 360 owning the living room, because they’ve sold 10 million – and probably more – Kinect units and media apps are becoming very popular. Sony will push third-party titles, while Nintendo will appeal to all of its demographics.

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Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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