Tim Sweeney questioned on Unreal Engine 3
Beyond3D has a great interview with Epic's Tim Sweeney on Unreal Engine 3 technology. The interview is loaded interesting morsels on PCI Express, virtual displacement mapping, "fallback" shaders, and 64-bitness:
Off-the-shelf 32-bit Windows can only tractably access 2GB of user RAM per process. UT2003, which shipped in 2002, installed more than 2GB of data for the game, though at that time it was never all loaded into memory at once. It doesn't exactly take a leap of faith to see scenarios in 2005-2006 where a single game level or visible scene will require >2GB RAM at full detail.
Just over a month ago, Sweeney also hinted
that 1GB of graphics memory would be required to see the new Unreal engine at "full detail." Don't worry, you have plenty of time to upgrade. Games based on the next Unreal Engine aren't expected until early 2006.