Epic Games vice president Mark Rein believes that mobile devices will be comparable with home consoles such as PS3 and 360 “within a few short years”.
In an interview with Develop, Rein offered high praise for Tegra 2 – Nvidia’s latest system-on-a-chip for mobile devices – suggesting it would fit well with the Unreal Engine 3.
“Tegra 2 isn’t ‘lower spec stuff’,” he said. “It is definitely about the future rather than the past. Tegra 2 features a high-speed dual-core architecture mated to a DX9-class GPU with a decent amount of memory and a good bus speed.
“It is amazingly powerful for a mobile platform and performs well within the power range that you’d want for Unreal Engine 3, so it could be a good fit for our engine.”
Rein said Tegra offers a bridge to the future of mobile game devices.
“If Tegra 2 can do what it does today just think how much power we’d get with Tegra 3 and Tegra 4,” he said.
“Same goes for future generations of iPhone and iPod Touch. If current trends continue then in a few short years we’ll see mobile devices that are easily as powerful as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on a per-pixel basis and soon even beyond that.”
In December last year Epic demonstrated a mobile edition of UE3, positioning the company as a more direct competitor to other iPhone and mobile platforms such as Unity and Torque.
Rein acknowledges that there is a “big business” in the iPhone market.
“These devices are going to be able to deliver the kind of compelling experiences for which Unreal Engine 3’s superior tools and efficient pipeline provide a massive benefit," he said.
"What we’re doing now is getting ready for this future. There are still a lot of business issues to figure out, but we’ve at least demonstrated our engine can play in this arena.”
It was recently speculated that Nintendo was partnering with Nvidia to develop a custom Tegra chip for the successor to the Nintendo DS.