First Unreal Engine 3 game on its way to iPhone

Nov 3, 2010
Tech

Epic Games, the makers of titles such as Unreal and Gears of War, is publishing an upcoming iPhone game called Infinity Blade that will run on the company’s acclaimed Unreal Engine 3. Basically, when Infinity Blade comes out — we don’t know exactly when, or have a price point yet — it’ll give players a […]

Epic Games, the makers of titles such as Unreal and Gears of War, is publishing an upcoming iPhone game called Infinity Blade that will run on the company’s acclaimed Unreal Engine 3.

Basically, when Infinity Blade comes out — we don’t know exactly when, or have a price point yet — it’ll give players a console-quality game on the iPhone. The action-RPG consists of third-person sword-fighting action, and Epic and developer Chair Entertainment are planning content updates for the future after its release.

Developers can now bring something like Unreal Engine 3 to the iPhone, and use it to create an experience akin to the kinds of games that were previously relegated to gaming machines or PCs because of the amount of power they require. It’s an indication of the future of portable gaming and why iPhone is such a player in that field.

Apple already making waves

The damage Apple (AAPL) and the iPhone have done to the portable gaming market is palpable. App games, usually shorter, easier to play, and simpler all around than traditional portable games, have been drawing away sales from big players in the video game market such as Sony’s (SNE) PSP and Nintendo’s (NTDOY.PK) DS Lite. And while buzz has been going around about how Sony’s rumored PSP2 will be more powerful than an Xbox 360 when it comes to RAM (Microsoft’s (MSFT) console carries 512MB of memory), the rumored specs for Sonys supposed PSP phone show it to be that powerful as well.

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Phone gaming is already big business, but it looks like the market is on its way to being the successor to the portable market. That, or a new hybrid market that combines phone gaming, which is mostly filled with casual, non-video game players, and hardcore gamers more used to dedicated portable machines.

Mobile gaming finding new audiences

Apple, the iPhone, and other platforms are already bringing video games to a group of people who have never really played them before, but it bodes well for gamers everywhere that developers are finding ways to make the experience more authentic. We’re about to see bite-size games (and probably not-so bite-sized ones) in an entirely new category. Console-power games on phones are going to create some cool interface and control innovations. It could be a new evolution in video games, and the great ideas that surface on powerful phones are likely going to permeate the rest of the industry.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Halo or Gears of War would play on an iPhone. It’ll be even cooler to get those games with an entire experience modeled on the platform, requiring touch and tilt controls the likes of which will be innovative, different, and totally interesting to play.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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