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Unreal Engine 4 – Coming 2014?

As video game engines go, Epic’s Unreal Engine has so far been hailed as one of the very best, and has been used as the framework for an entire library of games, from masterpiece to master-flop.

Epic, the creator of the Unreal Engine and the recent Gears of War 3, has vaguely announced that the fourth version of the Unreal Engine will potentially be around in the year 2014.

Tim Sweeney, Epic Games founder, told gaming news outlet IGN that around sixty percent of his time is spent on careful research on new generations of consoles and games to aid the development of the Unreal Engine 4.

“This is technology that won’t see the light of day until probably around 2014,” he said, “but focusing on that horizon enables me to do some really cool things that just aren’t practical today, but soon will be.

“Some of our most productive work in the industry was on the first Unreal engine back in 1996, when I wrote a software renderer with a bunch of new features that hadn’t been seen before.

“I feel like that’s what I’m doing now on Unreal Engine 4 in exploring areas of the technology nobody else is really yet contemplating because they’re still a few years away from practicality. But I see a huge amount of potential there and so it’s very, very fun work.”

This 2014 pegged release date has game industry speculators and know-it-alls alike wondering if this means the next wave of games consoles will also be arriving in that year, given that the software, as showed in the tech demo below, looks like a lot more than current consoles may be able to handle.

Earlier this year, Crytek explained that graphics simulated using the DirectX 11 standard were a good indicator of the graphics power of the next Xbox and Playstation. Currently, DX11 graphics can only be found running smoothly on the PC.

Here’s the video showing the power of the Unreal Engine, and what its next incarnation might be capable of.

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