Epic brings 3D to Unreal Engine... wait, what?

The Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco is underway, so folks should be opening the spigot on gaming-related news this week. Nvidia was among the first companies to get into the act with an announcement this morning. They're working with Epic to bring 3D support to Unreal Engine 3, that omnipresent software engine on which every other game is now based. Actually, the support is for Nvidia's 3D Vision scheme, which we reviewed a while back. So we're talking funny glasses and flashbacks to being preached at by Avatar, not just 3D graphics alone. I'll let the press release take it from here:

GAME DEVELOPER’S CONFERENCE—BOOTH # 1702, SOUTH HALL—SAN FRANCISCO, California—March 11, 2010—NVIDIA and Epic Games, Inc. today announced the addition of NVIDIA® 3D Vision™ technology support to Unreal Engine 3. Today’s announcement means that licensees of the world’s most successful game engine will be able to take full advantage of integrated 3D Vision™ technology support and offer an unprecedented level of immersion in their upcoming games. Epic’s popular Unreal Development Kit (UDK), a free version of Unreal Engine 3, will also benefit from the addition of 3D Vision support, bringing a theater-quality 3D development platform to the more than 200,000 current users worldwide.

“Having the number one 3D engine on the planet embrace 3D Vision is fantastic news for UE3 licensees, UDK users and gamers,” says Tony Tamasi, vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. “It’s now easier than ever to add state-of-the-art stereoscopic 3D effects to your Unreal Engine 3-based creations.”

“The combination of Unreal Engine 3 and 3D Vision makes already amazing games even more jaw dropping,” said Mark Rein, vice president at Epic Games. “If you haven’t seen Unreal Engine 3 in 3D, you won’t believe how realistic it is! We’re excited to offer this technology for free to our licensees and can’t wait to see what people create with it.”

Although a metric ton of current games is based on Unreal Engine 3, they won't be automatically updated with 3D Vision support due to this change. The developers would have to incorporate it. The more likely impact of this agreement will be on future Unreal Engine-based titles. Nerds everywhere, prepare your dorky glasses!

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