Epic Games: We can still get more out of Xbox 360 hardware

While Microsoft still isn't saying anything official about its plans to launch a successor to the current Xbox 360 console, most of the rumors claim that it will be revealed in the very near future, with a launch later this fall. If that happens, what will become of the current Xbox 360 in terms of new games?

Epic Games certainly might know something about the capabilities of the Xbox 360 in terms of graphics. Its released quite a few games for the console over the past several years, including the Gears of War series. The latest game, "Gear of War: Judgement," will be released on March 19.

In a new chat with the OXM website, Jim Brown, Epic's lead level designer, stated that when the first Gears of War game came out in 2006, many people thought that the game was already hitting the limits of the console's graphics hardware. Epic has finished three other games in the series since then and, according to Brown, "every single time we've been able to step it up and find some corner of the 360 that no one was aware of and more areas for us to push."

People Can Fly, an Epic subsidiary, co-developed "Gears of War: Judgement" with Epic's main studio. Its art director, Waylon Brinck, says the game has "way more enemies, way more particles" than previous games in the franchise, along with some new and more dynamic lighting effects. He also said that the team could add even more visuals in the future with the current Xbox 360, adding, "Yeah, there'll always be something more we can figure out, do better."

Source: OXM | Image via Epic Games

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But is there any point in trying to squeeze more out of the box? I mean we are already at sub-720p resolutions for many titles and overall the games look pretty good considering how old the hardware is. At this point I'd rather see them running at proper 720p with a solid framerate and above all good gameplay rather than trying to get more visuals on the screen.

The next gen consoles will up the graphics department a lot, probably to the point of making the old "PC is soooo much better" argument more about the fact that on the PC you can mod games and choose what kind of controller you want to use (I play some games with a PS3 controller even on PC). Mods make for example GTA 4 a thousand times better than the console versions. I seriously hope now that the three main platforms are x86 based we will have better PC ports and shorter development times.

Of course they can, I guarantee some of the first games for PS4 and Xbox 3 will claim to "push the console to its max".

What they don't tell you is most of the time it's due to a badly coded, bloated engine.

This says it all really, the pc lovers will go on and on about how consoles kill pc gaming with bad ports and holding tech back which is true to an extent. What they won't tell you is how console development because of it's limiting hardware forces devs to code better, find out new ways to get more out of hardware and that all translates over to the PC in the end. Lots of these new ways they figure out to do works just as well on the PC as on a 360.

It goes also the other way around too. Much of stuff done PC makes for better games on the consoles. For instance cutting edge 3d was done on the PC first and then came to the consoles.

GP007 said,
This says it all really, the pc lovers will go on and on about how consoles kill pc gaming with bad ports and holding tech back which is true to an extent. What they won't tell you is how console development because of it's limiting hardware forces devs to code better, find out new ways to get more out of hardware and that all translates over to the PC in the end. Lots of these new ways they figure out to do works just as well on the PC as on a 360.

It does not translate to PC.
Most PC games and especially ports take horrible usage of available resources.
Problem is with allot of the more serious gamers being on i7's and high end NVidia's/AMD's. They have plenty of resources to waste.
But every so often I come across decently optimized games and they run so smooth with superb quality on low-mid end hardware.

Resolution is more than good enough as is. TV screens are only 1080p also anyways.
It'll be a long time till anything uses 4k, and a console will probably go to that long before a PC will.

360 games like i siad above as other have siad most of then render below 720P so just like the Ps4 the next xbox will allow developers to bring huge amounts of details out of there games in the world and run them at native 1080p

Very few Xbox 360 games render at 1080p, and many don't even do a full 720p. Halo 3, for instance, runs at 640p (although Halo 4 is at 720p).

I personally game at 2560x1440 on my PC, so it matters little to me.

The 360 games most of them 98% of them the big AA titles with lots of graphics and stuff ar less then 720P so they are rendered @ sub HD resolution so his statment is sound and true because what Epic did not say is that with the new gears game just like the past ones with all the graphics they shove in they can not render more then Sub HD resolutions

goatsniffer said,
Are you from the future? I highly doubt anything higher than 1080P will be standard in the next 2-3 years.

No games on the current gen (360 or PS3) render at native 1080p. Most don't even hit native 720p. Many are like 540p or something like that and then get upscaled to 720 or 1080p.

New consoles will be able to hit native 1080p. Just imagine at how sharp everything would look.

mnl1121 said,

No games on the current gen (360 or PS3) render at native 1080p. Most don't even hit native 720p. Many are like 540p or something like that and then get upscaled to 720 or 1080p.

New consoles will be able to hit native 1080p. Just imagine at how sharp everything would look.

There are some games that are native 1080p on the PS3 and Xbox.

mnl1121 said,

No games on the current gen (360 or PS3) render at native 1080p. Most don't even hit native 720p. Many are like 540p or something like that and then get upscaled to 720 or 1080p.

New consoles will be able to hit native 1080p. Just imagine at how sharp everything would look.

Yeah, just imagine!

Except, most people don't even have optimal viewing distance setup for 720p or 1080p on their size TV so it's going to be wasted money. It's one of the main reasons why people don't seem to notice much in the difference of low res games not being 1080 on their 50" TV when they're sat 3ft away from it.

The rest I'm guessing can't see due to visual defects with their eyes that they won't use glasses to correct for viewing, unless it's very bad vision people simply forgo the use of glasses. I know that I'm part of this group, although my TV is setup for optimum 720 viewing I don't bother wearing my glasses for TV sometimes, and while I can tell I'm not getting the full 720 effect there are a lot of people who simply don't understand why you have to sit further back to with bigger TV sets.

Bumping a consoles graphics to 1080p or even 4k isn't automatically going to make games look great. Sure, it's going to help somewhat, but for the most part, people can vastly improve the quality of graphics simply by checking their viewing/gaming distance.

JonathanMarston said,
Very few Xbox 360 games render at 1080p, and many don't even do a full 720p. Halo 3, for instance, runs at 640p (although Halo 4 is at 720p).

I personally game at 2560x1440 on my PC, so it matters little to me.

great you can hit high rez with textures, but are the games using more polygons? Do you think devs are going to redo all the 3d models just for PC?

goatsniffer said,
Are you from the future? I highly doubt anything higher than 1080P will be standard in the next 2-3 years.

Thing is the 360 can't do real 1080p.

LaP said,

Not for games like GoW. Not even close.

I didn't say it could for games like GoW, you flat out said the Xbox can't do native 1080p. There are some games on the 360 that are.

McKay said,

I didn't say it could for games like GoW, you flat out said the Xbox can't do native 1080p. There are some games on the 360 that are.

Of course it can output native 1080p lol. The gpu aint that old. But to me being able to do native 1080p means being able to do it in games like GoW and Halo.