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  • Codeman03xx - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    they already said crysis can be played on iphone. whats the big deal about unreal 3. Reply
  • kimtaylor - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    I Really enjoyed reading your blog...

  • silverblue - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    As it's a PowerVR chipset, it'll be far more efficient than a standard rendering solution as well as cheaper to produce and run as it doesn't need the fastest parts. Imagine how these things would perform if given a high clock speed and fast RAM, especially nowadays that they possess hardware T&L. Reply
  • papapapapapapapababy - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link


    what about the Wii epic tards?

    you know the biggest selling console worldwide?

    there is really no excuse now...

  • ralahinn1 - Thursday, December 24, 2009 - link

    I agree, there are still some of us out here who want a way to play a game and use a phone on two different units. I don't want someone who makes a phone to decide what games I might like Reply
  • slang - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    "what about the Wii epic tards?

    you know the biggest selling console worldwide?"

    It isn't the "biggest selling console worldwide", that's the DS. Besides that, 3rd party games simply don't sell very well on the Wii...and Epic knows that.
  • papapapapapapapababy - Friday, December 25, 2009 - link

    Both your comments are 100% factually incorrect.Deluded or ignorant? I think both... Look at the actual numbers instead of babbling pure nonsense, it makes you sound stupid ( neoGAF sales age is a good place to start) Reply
  • Locut0s - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    as far as 3D applications go I don't see the need for that kind of power. Similar to what Lonyo was saying bellow about space one doesn't really need the power of the XBox 360 or greater on an iPhone. It doesn't take a huge amount of power to render things at the iPhone's native rez of 320 x 480. At that low rez you could get crisis running smoothly with no where near the kind of power it takes to run stuff on modern consoles and PCs. I would like to see them put a relatively small GPU in there and use the rest of the transistors for other purposes. The iPhone was never meant to be an iGameBoy and while it's nice to be able to place full 3D games it would be even nicer to see some other types of hardware acceleration built in and other creative uses for those transistors. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    If anyone thinks that control scheme looks awkward, that's exactly what I think when I see an FPS played on a console. And yet they work and people enjoy them, s I bet it will work here too. Reply
  • T2k - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    ...remember Carmack's wife? She was suppose to conquer the mobile gaming market with id's engine and games:">

    Well, it's 2 years later and aside of some ported games I don't really recall too much noise about them...
  • dgz - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Just look at how wrong you are.

    What about Doom Resurrection -">
  • T2k - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Right.... and? To me it looks like sh!t and it's Doom... pleahhhhse, let it die already - Doom 3 was sooo bad the entire game journo scene was baffled by how much it sucked. The only nice thing was the dynamic lightning but in return we got pontyheads and stupid, closed tunnels and nonexistent AI (replaced with a 1996-styled triggered scripted-action NPCs.)

    id is pathetic, seriously - Hollenshead might can raise PR hell but there's no product to sell, they know little about making a modern game engine and don't know shit about creating a game nowadays, period.
    The Doom 3 engine was a ROYAL FAILURE, NOBODY LICENSED IT while UE3 was licensed faster and more than any other engines before.

    No wonder id had to be sold - they probably took a hard, long look at their revenue hopes and concluded 'nah, it's not gonna work, we have nothing to show' and looked for an investor. End of story was ZeniMax obviously didn't want to invest after seeing their books but offered to flat out buying id - no option left they went with the only choice they had and sold id.
    Good for everyone, I guess - now that their finances are in order we might will finally see some good games coming out of this techdemo-company...
  • dgz - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    wow, what a pointless rant.

    I couldn't care less for your gaming taste. Fact is, Doom Resurrection DOES look impressive, given its running on all iPhones. Epic's simple tech demo runs exclusively on 3GS which is a few TIMES more powerful. And it's not even a product.

    Now, call your parents to pick you up.
  • T2k - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Sony Ericsson Satio:">

    Samsung Omnia HD:">

    Nokia N900:">

    IIRC next PSP in 2010 rumored to come with PowerVR SGX graphics HW...

    IMO the biggest audience is still the S60 v5 platform (SE and Samsung + other Nokia devices), waaaay bigger than iCrap 3G$.

  • T2k - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    "The same Unreal Engine 3 that powers Gears of War 2, running on an iPod Touch."

    Ummm, no, not really - the word "porting" means IT IS NOT THE SAME, IT HAD TO BE PORTED.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I don't think you know what porting means. It's not rewriting the engine, or creating a new engine. You end up with the same engine, ported. Reply
  • T2k - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Nope, you're not. Porting = you have to recompile then "fix" it in various places so it's very rarely the same and almost never when it comes to advanced things like a game engine. Reply
  • R3MF - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    "The engine also works on the iPhone 3GS, and Mark tells me that we’ll see it on another mobile platform at CES (hmm...)."

    i so want this on my Nokia n900!
  • JimmiG - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I remember playing the original Unreal Tournament on a 900 MHz Athlon in a full tower case with lots of fans, and with the huge Voodoo5 5500 card. This demo looks better and runs on a tiny hand held device.. Reply
  • T2k - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    What a surprise, ouch... perhaps because it's NOT THE SAME engine, let alone being a different game...? Reply
  • JimmiG - Saturday, December 26, 2009 - link

    Well duh, obviously it isn't. But it's a 3D game. Same as Doom II and Crysis being different games, but a good indication of how far technology has progressed. My point was just that today's smart phones produce more realistic graphics than a full tower from ten years ago. No need to try to be a smart@ss. Reply
  • spaceholder - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    At what point does the smartphone become more powerful than an Xbox 360? Sometime in the next 3 - 5 years for sure.

    Really? Really Anand?

    Maybe, maybe in 5 years smart phones will have the power of an xbox's original.
  • Mike1111 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Are you kidding me? The iPhone 3GS and 3rd gen iPod touch are already as powerful in the graphics department as the original Xbox (in relation to their display size/resolution of course!). You don't see it so far because right now game developers can't afford to ignore the original iPhone hardware because of it's big market share. But an engine/game designed from the ground up exclusively for the 3GS hardware with a comparable budget to a AAA original Xbox game would definitely look just as good.

    But yes, in REALITY 3GS games will probably never look as good as original Xbox games, but that's not because of hardware capabilities but because of backwards compatibility issues and way smaller budgets. Plus you got a rapidly changing platform with new and more powerful hardware probably every two years, so there's no real incentive for developers to get the last bit out of the hardware over the years as they do for consoles in the long run. And consumers upgrade after 3 years at the latest to a newer model anyway, nobody keeps a smartphone around as long as console.

    So unless some AAA game developer studio like Epic invests 10 million dollars and 3 years developing a game exclusively for the iPhone 3GS you can't do a practical real life comparison, just a theoretical based on the used hardware.

    Regarding the next 3-5 years:
    Most likely Apple will upgrade the SoC in the iPhone every two years. A 2-year cycle makes perfect sense to me and matches Apple's previous strategy, one year internal hardware/SoC upgrade, the other year new design and secondary components (camera, display etc) upgrade.
    Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 SoC's in 45nm are expected in late 2010 (from TI etc.), Apple could use something comparable plus a SGX543 dual-core in their mid 2011 iPhone (probably in 40nm or maybe even 32nm). Mid 2013 a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and a SGX543 multi-core or SGX6xx sounds reasonably (22nm or smaller since Global Foundries will be pushing the envelope for ARM hardware). That's pretty powerful hardware (and probably only has to deal with a WVGA display, not HD like the Xbox 360) and 3.5 years in the future, 4.5 years if Apple takes its time, 5 years if Apple takes its time and changes its release schedule. So Anand's 3-5 years sound right on the money for me, at least regarding the hardware capabilities.
  • Jovec - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Input/Output > processing power.

  • spaceholder - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    What makes you so sure that the graphics power will be so easily scaled to x-box 360 levels? Ignoring the fact that the iphone couldn't push the resolutions an xbox could.

    35-nm is one of the last real free doublings in efficiency as it will take a lot of time and money to get things on a smaller process and the power savings wont be as marked. After things are on 35nm phone manufacturers will likely begin stagnating in terms of GPU abilities because there wont be a demand for anything beyond this level of gaming. People wont demand the latest and greatest graphics from phones, they'll just want fast time wasters and cool pseudo flash type crap that they buy now.

    You're also forgetting that this engine is stripped down. There is no way it supports the laundry list of things taken for granted by modern platforms like PC's and the latest gen of consoles. To say smart phones will have anything approaching an xbox 360's power in 3-5 years... come on. It might look *damn good* but wont be outputting 720/1080.

    Yes it isn't fair to hold phones with resolutions of xxx/xxx with the xxxx/xxxx boxes - but think of it this way. A $50 video card can play the same game a $600 one can. At severely reduces resolutions. Would you say $50 cards have the same power as the $600 card? Of course not. That would be retarded.
  • Mike1111 - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    22nm for SoCs is pretty reasonable in the next 5 years. Just look at the Global Foundries articles and roadmaps here on Anandtech. And since CPU and GPU are on the same die they will both profit from 22nm. And the specs for the SGX543 multi-core GPU give us a pretty good view of what's possible in the next 2 years within a very small power envelope, and you can be sure that in 5 years the successor to the current generation will have a better performance.

    Regarding the engine: Yes it's stripped down (right now), but that wasn't the point. In 3-5 years no one will use this specific version of the engine, but some improved successor since it would have to run on a different hardware platform (multi-core etc.). Plus you would have to strip down the Unreal Engine 3 for the original Xbox too.

    And you can't compare resolutions like that between a smartphone and a console. Smartphones have one specific resolution to work with and nothing else. If it looks good in your hands then that's it. There's no reason to discuss how it would look like on a 65" Full HD screen or with a built-in 1080p display, since it's not even an option and clearly not the intended use-case.
  • spaceholder - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    the transition from 35 to 22 will not net nearly the power savings as the 55-35. Just because the next generation will have better performance doesnt mean it will increase it by orders of magnitude like smart phones have done in the last 5 years.

    Yes it is fair to compare resolutions since its an apples to oranges comparison anyways. Car metaphor: Just because cheap economy cars top speeds have increased 40% in the last 20 years while race cars in motor-sport X have remained the same does not mean an economy car will EVER have the power of a racing machine.

    Of course phones wont have 1080p displays and wouldn't benefit from them if they could. That's kinda my point. Apples to oranges. And if you DID hook that theoretical-5-year-from-now apple up to a 1080p display, the orange lit x-box 360 would kick its mother fucking ass. Just before it red ringed.
  • slang - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Zune? Android? I don't think so!
    Seems people already forgot about the upcoming Apple tablet which is supposed to lauch in Q1 2010.
  • phatboye - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Epic claimed that they wouldn't port the U3 engine to the Nintendo Wii simply because the Wii was not powerful enough but somehow they were able to port the engine to the iPhone which clearly shows that if they wanted to do it, the U3 engine could be ported to the Wii. Reply
  • TerraBubble - Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - link

    They probably COULD port the engine to the Wii, but the graphics would nothing like as good as on the Xbox 360/PS3/PCs. From what I've played on the Wii, it and the iPhone 3GS have about the same graphics proccessing power, except the Wii uses TVs, not 3/4" smartphone screens. Therefore, porting it to Wii would be a really pointless invesment for them considering how grainy the textures would look displayed on a TV by a Wii, it would have to be atleast as good as Xbox 360 graphics.

    Plus the Wii isn't very popular for shooters compared to the 360 & PS3, so it wouldn't be worth it if they didn't get many people buying the game. (Most companies don't really care most about the customers like they say in the ads, they just care about TEH MONIES)
  • pullmyfoot - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    At what point does the smartphone become more powerful than an Xbox 360? Sometime in the next 3 - 5 years for sure.

    thats actually kinda scary if you think about it.
  • dgz - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Hm, while id Software is well ahead of Epic in pretty much anything (except userbase) again, this is somewhat impressive, considering it's running only on 3GS. Doom: Resurrection could've been so much better if it wasn't intended to be running on all iPhone models. Reply
  • Gannon - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I mean they call it "UE3" and it's running on mobile platforms but I imagine significant functionality is gutted to save on power. I can tell just by looking at the screenshots that the graphics capabilities look pretty bland. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    It's the full UE3. Obviously textures, geometry and shaders aren't going to be as complex as they are in Gears of War for example - but they could be if the hardware was fast enough.

    That's the whole point. In ~4 years this thing could be as fast as an Xbox 360, which means that you could have something that looked like Gears of War 2 on your phone.

    Take care,
  • Veerappan - Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - link

    I'm imagining the possibility a few years down the road.. Take one of these improved mobile devices, add a TV-Out cable (such as the one that iPhone already supports, but possibly an HD output), then add a bluetooth keyboard/mouse.

    You now have the ability to play any game your phone supports on a hotel TV with a standard KB/Mouse combination, and the phone supplies the internet connection (if the hotel doesn't have wireless).

    This could be fun.
  • Xeeghay - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I hope battery technology keeps pace, or we'll be playing games on these high powered devices for all of 10 minutes Reply
  • IdBuRnS - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    You have quite the eagle eye.

  • damianrobertjones - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    It annoys me so much, but if WIndows Mobile would have stopped D**cking around years back and INSISTED on default hardware requirements, they'd have already stolen the mobile games industry BUT instead they slacked off and manufacturers kept on releasing many, many different models.

    I use the Toshiba TG01 which is damn fast but... where are the games :(
  • Spacecomber - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    It will be interesting to see how far 3D graphic intense gaming can be pushed inside of the envelope of something like the iPhone. Besides the demand on the processing power of the unit, you bump up against the issue of how quickly this might run down the battery.

    Makes me think of those model ships that are constructed inside of a bottle -- very detailed work constrained by a small space.
  • Kibbles - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I hope it's Zune. There really isn't anything else I can think of. Maybe Android, but that's more of an OS than a plateform.
  • - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    I'm really hoping the other platform would be Maemo. I've been playing with N900 for a month now and the HW&SW stack is just amazing. Because of this, Maemo would probably be the easiest platform for porting too.

    I think that is also the reason why Mozilla is bringing Firefox Mobile to N900 first.
  • felipecn - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    The problem with Android is that almost everything should be programmed with Java. It's true that Google now allows to use some C/C++, but no one used it yet. And it's only to speed up apps, the graphical parts should use Java/Dalvik.

    While that, iPhone OS share the roots of Mac OS X. It's much easier to port something designed for a PC to the phone.
    It's the same advantage Maemo has. It's a desktop Linux, but with a mobile interface.
    Actually, it's even easier than iPhone OS. Just recompile and run (with screen state, memory and processing restrains).
  • Charbax - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    It's just not true that Android is Java only. The Android Native SDK has been released 6 months ago and all the advanced apps are being prepared for release on the Android platform soon. Android devices runing ARM Cortex A8 can come with OpenGL ES 2.0 just as well. Unreal Engine comes for Android at CES most probably. It will look awesome on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android with its superior 4.8" 800x480 screen that also outputs 1280x720 to a HDTV using the HDMI output. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Stop reminding me how horrible Android is :( Reply
  • tali3san - Wednesday, December 23, 2009 - link

    Yep... I've been trying to improve the graphics on an Android card game... basically higher resolution graphics for the Droid's screen (no point in having all those pixels if you don't use them right).

    I maxed out the heap space pretty quickly holding just prebuilt card images and some Illustrator built text and overlays exported at the right size for the screen.

    I can't see many good games coming out for Android UNLESS Google allow someone to build an entire 3D graphics engine including the resource management in C++ and run that through Java (not using the Java heap space for resources).

  • djc208 - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I'm betting it's Android. The iPhone is a platform/os combo too. The market for Android is probably already larger than for Zune, especially since most people are probably thinking primarily of the ZuneHD only.

    If the Zune is easy to port to they may go there too, but I'm thinking there's a much larger potential market in Android than Zune. Especially because Android has not been limited to phones either. There are netbooks, and MIDs that have adopted it as well.

    The only downside to Android is that the hardware isn't fixed like with the iPhone. Different Android phones can have different hardware specs, which like in PC games will change how well the system performs with a given app.
  • voodooboy - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    I'm actually fairly confident that it is infact the Zune. Just like the iPhone/iPod, the Zune OS/hardware/software is a closed, tightly controlled eco-system...similar to the XBOX hardware/software/Live service. And this is infact very much UNLIKE the Android market, with 4 different versions of the OS floating around (1.5, 1.6, 2.0, 2.1), a variety of processors (ARM 11's, Cortex A8's, Snapdragons, Intel Atoms!), different form-factors/screen resolutions etc. It'll be a nightmare supporting such a fragmented platform. Also, most of the Android devices (non-Cortex/Snapdragon) do not, infact, support OpenGL 2.0ES.

    Apart from this, Microsoft and Epic have pretty close ties. Add in the fact that nVidia is looking seriously towards Tesla and Tegra to boost its revenue, they'd really want the UT3.0 engine running on the Tegra to be their poster-child.
  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Yeah, and game companies that use the Unreal engine already have well established ties to MS, so it should be relatively easy to get products into the market. Also, consider that PGR is already available for ZuneHD, so it seems like porting we be another source of revenue for current and old game titles. Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    [quote]NAND Flash capacities to support multiple 9GB games will be there in another few years, as will GPU horsepower.[/quote]

    I doubt that it will be 9GB when ported to a mobile platform :P
    No point in having higher res textures, high poly models etc in a game when it's going to be rendered at a fairly low resolution. That 9GB game would become more like 2GB, which isn't that far off being feasible at current capacities.
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  • MonkeyPaw - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    "No point in having higher res textures, high poly models etc in a game when it's going to be rendered at a fairly low resolution."

    Agreed. Why will we ever need a phone to have as much power as a PS3 or 360? Most phones have very low resolutions, and most games today can be played at such resolutions on some pretty old hardware. Today's high-end phones are probably as powerful as the PS2 or Xbox, and the games for those consoles don't look too bad.
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Not only that, but very few games even exceed single-layer DVD capacity (4.5GB). Many even pack the disc with garbage data (which is easily removed) to intimidate pirates.

    I certainly hope that Microsoft chooses to capitalize on the NVIDIA Tegra chip inside the Zune and release some 360 ports!
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, December 22, 2009 - link

    Don't hold your breath, the first-gen Tegra is not all that different from the iPhone 3GS. The Tegra has the older ARM11, but has two of them, which should bring it on-par with the Cortex A8 used in the 3GS.

    The GPU, on the other hand, looks similar from the most basic specs, although I've no clue what the relative performance is.

    Tegra 2 should bring the performance up somewhere between the Wii and 360/PS3, probably much closer to the Wii than the latter.

    Tegra 2 will be unveiled at CES in January, according to nVidia.

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