Vice President of Epic Games, Mark Rein, recently spoke at the GameHorizon Conference 2010, giving his opinion on all things handheld. Having recently demoed Unreal Engine prototypes running on iPad, iPhone and Android devices, Rein was quick to boast the positive features of handheld gaming, and even suggested that future incarnations could be powerful enough to play host to games like Gears of War.
It's not hard to imagine, either. Sure, the 3DS may not be able to handle Gears-quality graphics, but give it time, and perhaps we'll be playing a ported Gears of War 3 on iPad Version 4.0. Forget about the problems of practical controls at this point, Rein is solely talking about processing power.
"[If handheld console power increased] even two more times, you can play Gears of War on this."
When it becomes a reality (and I'm sure it will), I think it's fair to say that, as a consumer group, we'll have been so desensitized to the graphical upgrades on gaming systems that it won't seem like a big deal, but now? Imagine playing Gears on your iPhone. How amazing would that be?
It seems that this may be happening sooner than you think, as well. Rein stated that he believes:
"[Mobile Devices] are the consoles of the future."
Does this mean that Epic are working on an i-Device exclusive title? The iPad and iPhone App stores are well-known for their exceedingly low price points, and Rein also covered the practicalities of cheaper games against big budget Triple-A titles:
"I'd rather sell 10 million games at $25 and have a chance to sell DLC than 5 million at $50 on a disc that gets traded around. I think it'll change, and it'll change for the benefit of the customers. We're definitely going to experiment with micro-transactions and lower-price games."
This isn't to say that Epic are going to stop making Gears of War-eque titles, however. They may be pursuing cheaper videogames, but Epic are still devoted to the Triple-A titles.
"I'm a big proponent of AAA games. Triple-A isn't going away, it's going everywhere. As the quality of the games go up, the cost of the games go up, you're going to have to monetize them better."
Frankly, I'm pleased to hear that. As much as I may disagree with some statements that Rein has made (most notably those about the Wii), I think Epic's Gears of War is one of the most polished, enjoyable shooters I've played on any system, and to lose such titles would be a damned shame.
What do you think about the idea of Gears of War coming to handhelds? Do you like mobile gaming? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Industry Gamers