Wii U Will Not Support The Unreal Engine 4

By William Usher 2012-05-29 14:48:16 discussion comments
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Well, there's no reason to get up in arms about the Wii U's future-proof capabilities. It has been confirmed that the Wii U will not be supporting Epic Games' newest iteration of their popular multi-purpose middleware, meaning that we won't be seeing any dedicated Unreal Engine 4 games on the Wii U.

The news comes courtesy of MCV UK who picked up on a twitter response from Geoff Keighley. The Spike TV host confirmed that at this year's Game Developers Conference, Epic Games' Mike Capps mentioned that the Wii U will only be capable of running the Unreal Engine 3.

Epic has been lobbying hard for Microsoft and Sony to upgrade the current hardware capabilities of their next-gen consoles to make the most out of the Unreal Engine 4's capabilities. As it stands they just didn't feel like the next-generation consoles were going to be powerful enough to utilize all of the software potential the Unreal Engine 4 had to offer, which is something that was mentioned in the Wired article.

I would definitely be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, because future-proofing is probably one of the biggest downsides to console gaming; or having consoles that can scale enough to maintain presence amid all the constant hardware upgrades in the PC universe. This means that the Wii U will definitely be a step behind the Xbox 720 or PS4 if either (or both) consoles can support the Unreal Engine 4.

The only saving grace in this situation is if all the features Epic is pushing for in the UE4 are purely "cosmetic". Terrain, character or particle deformations, performance optimization or environment scaling are key components to exploring the evolution of certain genres and so long as the Wii U can keep up, or the advancement of the aforementioned features aren't chiefly restricted to the Unreal Engine 4, then there's still some hope that Nintendo's console may not be entirely archaic by the time it releases this fall.

Epic plans to showcase the first public real-time demo of the Unreal Engine 4 at this year's E3, next week. So there is definitely some excitement in the air to see what the engine has to offer...it's just unfortunate Nintendo's console won't be a part of it.

(Update: Epic has now said that the Unreal Engine 4 support is unconfirmed for all platforms save for PC.)
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