Epic shows Unreal Engine 3 running on iPod touch

— 9:20 AM on December 23, 2009

If Epic Games has its way, we may soon see Unreal Engine 3-based games on handheld devices like the iPhone. Epic VP Mark Rein gave AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi a first-hand demonstration of an Unreal Engine 3 tech demo running on the third-generation iPod touch. The demo featured both a flythrough and a playable segment from a "modified Unreal Tournament level." Although the graphics don't look quite on par with those of the PC version, the demo doesn't look half bad:

Epic looks to have implemented a pretty straightforward control scheme, too: players control movement with a virtual d-pad on the left, change camera orientation by tracking on the right, and fire by tapping the screen. Epic is still experiencing with different control schemes, though, and it might end up using the device's tilt sensor.

Right now, AnandTech says the engine requires OpenGL ES 2.0. That rules out anything but the latest iPod touch and iPhone 3GS on the Apple front, but Mark Rein talked of showing the same demo on "another mobile platform" at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. In any case, Epic isn't announcing any games just yet—Rein merely said he wanted to make the technology "available to licensees at some point in the near future."

Epic isn't the only major studio to be seduced by the iPhone and its ilk. id Software has already made quite a bit of headway in that market, releasing iPhone versions of Doom Resurrection, Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, and Wolfenstein RPG on the iTunes Store.

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