Epic's Mark Rein • Page 3

On Unreal Engine 3, Natal, Cliff Bleszinski and more.

Eurogamer: Doesn't have quite the same ring as 'PlayStation 4'.

Mark Rein: The two companies are very smart. They invested a lot in R&D, they have very good hardware that still has plenty of life left in it and they're both relaunching it with new experiences. We'll see new consoles, but they're a long way off. Look at Sony's financial situation - it's pretty clear they need to amortise this machine over a longer period.

Let's look at, say, Christmas next year. Where both PS3 and 360 will be at that point will be mature titles, developers knowing how to get more power out of them, auxiliary experiences like movie downloads and all that stuff.

Eurogamer: By Christmas next year I expect to be living in space, having games which I play just by blinking beamed into my eyes.

Mark Rein: I should be very careful what I say here...

Eurogamer: Are you going to say we're actually going to have games beamed into our eyes?

Mark Rein: I'll just come out and say it.

Eurogamer: YES!

Mark Rein: Over half the users who played Gears of War 2 so far do not have HDTVs. [Dramatic pause.]

5

Denis and Mark Rein sitting in a tree, L-I-T-I-G-A-T-I-N-G.

Eurogamer: Oh.

Mark Rein: I think that tells you there are still a lot of people making the leap to HD.

Eurogamer: So you're saying we're have to increase the userbase of HDTV before we can beam games into people's eyes?

Mark Rein: No. My point is, of the systems that are out there now, the majority of them aren't plugged into HDTVs. So there's no way we're ready for the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox Whatever.

Eurogamer: Or the beaming?

Mark Rein: Or the beaming.

Eurogamer: What did you think of Bobby Kotick's recent suggestion that Activision could stop supporting PS3 unless Sony lowers the price?

Mark Rein: I don't know. That was a weird comment.

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Bored? Why not try phoning your local Kwik Fit and saying your Unreal Engine's gone?

Eurogamer: Did you read it and think, 'I can see where he's coming from,' or did you think, 'What a nob'?

Mark Rein: People talk about, 'The Wii has run away with this generation.' I don't think that's true. Nintendo's made a lot of money and the software developers on that platform are scratching for seconds.

Microsoft is clearly a big market for third-party games. PS3 has a smaller installed base, but it's still millions of users. I'm sure Bobby still sold three, four, five million copies of Modern Warfare.

Eurogamer: I think he's probably doing all right, what with the Modern Warfare and the Guitar Hero and the Tony Hawks. I doubt he's putting his office furniture on eBay.

Mark Rein: I think he's just frustrated in that he hasn't sold seven or eight million, like he has on 360. The truth is Sony has had a difficult year and I think they had to do what they had to do to try to be profitable. They have their own financial issues to solve and lowering the price of the console would probably have made their situation worse. They will get around to it in their own good time. If you're willing to look at this as a long-term play, they're going to be just fine.

Eurogamer: What did you think of Bethesda buying id Software? How much of a threat is that to your engine business?

Mark Rein: I don't think that's a threat. That's two great companies putting themselves together and that's cool. The Bethesda guys are really smart, they make great games, and obviously so do id, so my reaction was, 'Wow, that's awesome!' The CEO of Bethesda's a friend of mine so I called him to congratulate him.

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