First Unreal Engine 4 screenshots released; public demo in June

Unreal Engine 4, the next major version of Epic Games' graphics engine, has now had its official reveal. Wired has posted up an extensive article about the engine, along with the first screenshots from an Unreal Engine 4 demo. Unreal Engine 3 debuted in 2006 with Epic's Gears of War 3, and since then the engine has been used for over 150 console, PC and even mobile games.

For Unreal Engine 4, PCs and next generation consoles will need some pretty meaty hardware to run all of its features. For example, the engine is capable of showing millions of fire and ember particles on screen. In contrast, for Unreal Engine 3 games, just one ember slowed down a game's performance.

In addition to a better visual experience, game developers should have an easier time making games with Unreal Engine 4. The article says that developers will be able to see any changes they make to a game instantly with the new version. There's also Kismet 2, a new scripting tool that should make it easier for non-programmers to add in code to games.

The article states that Epic plans to show a public demo of Unreal Engine 4 in June, which makes an E3 2012 appearance very likely. The demo was first shown to a private audience in March at GDC, consisting mostly of game publishers and developers.

Image via Epic Games/Wired

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eilegz said,
hope it works for xbox360, ps3 and the wii u

I remember Epic (might've been Tim Sweeney) saying that Unreal Engine 4 was going to be for next gen consoles and PC hardware only. Don't expect to see a Unreal Engine 4 games on any current gen console (or even PC), except for maybe low quality on PC.

eilegz said,
hope it works for xbox360, ps3 and the wii u

No it wont run on current genrations of consoles they have made that clear already in early interviews on next generation engines . The Wii U most likely can and will handle the new engine because it is generations more powerful then that of the PS3 and xbox 360 . and i am sure it will work on current PCs as Pcs are not locked down and can be upgraded so i am sure a core i7 2600K and GTX 470 like mine play fine with it

eilegz said,
hope it works for xbox360, ps3 and the wii u

The whole point of the GDC demo the Wired article is about was to push hardware manufacturers to make the next gen consoles powerful enough to take advantage of the new engine. Not only will it not run on the Xbox360, PS3, or Wii U. According to current spec rumors the underpowered PS4 and Xbox720 won't be able to run it either. The Wii U is rumored to be using an AMD RV770 GPU which is equal to a Radeon HD 4000 series GPU (several generations old) and both the Xbox720 and PS4 are rumored to be using Radeon HD 6000 series GPUs which are one generation back NOW but will be even more outdated by the time these consoles launch late 2013 or 2014. Epic is trying to convince the console guys to go bigger by saying "see what we could do if we had better hardware". I think Nintendo's Wii argument is going to win out though as they raked in tons of money by just rereleasing a slightly modified GameCube CPU and Sony got hammered for going bleeding edge with Blu-Ray on the PS3.