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Rein defends console patches

"Not a bad thing" to fix games.

Epic Games' Mark Rein has defended the console shift towards patching and post-release downloads, arguing that it's "not a bad thing".

For a start, he thinks downloadable content is important to a game's extended lifespan. "The Long Tail, I guess you could call it. The downside is that people will say, 'we've brought PC-style patching to console.' But that's not a bad thing, to be able to fix something you didn't get quite right, or create new types of gameplay..."

Speaking in an interview with Wired, he added that he felt the hard disk was crucial. "I'm glad people have hard drives and the ability to download new content," he explained. "We've very much applauded Sony for having the hard drive on every single [PlayStation 3].

"We will absolutely take advantage of the hard drive on [Unreal Tournament 3]. So if you don't have a hard drive on Xbox 360 and you want to get the most out of your UT purchase, think about getting one," he added.

Rein was speaking in the aftermath of Unreal Engine 3's first serious uptake in Japan - having been licensed by Square Enix - and of course he was pressed into offering his views on the other next-gen formats besides Xbox 360.

"I think they're both great machines. I don't understand all this crazy negative backlash toward PlayStation 3," he said. "It's like, people aren't happy that there aren't enough machines, and then they're not happy that there are? Get over it! You want to be able to buy the damn thing!"

Asked whether he had any plans to enter the Wii "space", he protested: "Hey, we're in that space! Red Steel, Splinter Cell - those use our previous engine technology. But it's not in our plans to bring Unreal Engine 3 to the Wii. It's really designed for next-gen, high-definition," he added.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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