[Feature] The Dawn of The Next Gaming Generation
E3 2012 presented some more of the same games that we’ve been expecting. But it is also the year where we finally got to see the future of gaming. Both Nintendo’s next generation console and Epic’s powerful new engine Unreal Engine have finally made the next generation games tangible. But both still have a lot to prove before they can be deemed successful. Whether its the Wii U’s controller interaction or seeing Unreal Engine 4′s in actual practice our gaming future has become a very real thing.
Let’s start with the Wii U. It’s an impressive machine, being able to finally support many of this generations games along with a few original games of their own. I’ll agree this leaves Nintendo off to a slow start, but this still leaves it open to original third-party games in the future. Developers will take an interest in the platform more now that it runs on a much better CPU. It’s even expected to have more power than both the high-powered Xbox 360 and the PS3.
Indeed the concept behind the controller seems rather confusing. Attempt playing a game while looking at a tablet. You don’t want to be multitasking with your equipment in Arkham City as fight is occurring on screen. Rayman Legends seems to have the most user-friendly potential for the controller out of all of the Wii U games demonstrated at E3. Using the touch pad to move your on screen character while also moving obstacles allows for the use of the controller. Despite some lack in practicality it still shows us the Wii U’s potential and how exactly it can be used.
And with Nintendo releasing the Wii U ahead of the competition, Sony and Microsoft won’t be far behind in making their systems a reality as well ushering our new gaming generation.
Unreal Engine 4
While the Wii U shows us the future potential of gaming hardware Unreal Engine 4 is the representative of next generation software and development. As I described in my article last week, the new Unreal Engine is expected to boost the power and performance of our games, immensely. The most recent “Elemental” has proven to us the games graphics potential. The lighting is top notch and the (somewhat) excessive use of sparks has demonstrated how incredibly smooth those types of effects are going to be.
It’s also expected to provide developers with more streamlined ways of creating games. In a video recently posted at GameInformer.com Epic Games demonstrated how even an artist, with no programming experience, can create his own games without having to ever bother the programmers to help demonstrate what he would like to see the on screen image accomplish. For indie developers this means they can still create powerful games even with a small development team.
The Unreal Engine still needs to show more of its practical usefulness before we can call it a god-send, but everything shown so far has definitely cemented the fact that the next generation of gaming engines is finally here.
It may not be until Sony and Microsoft have entered the next generation that we can say the next generation of gaming is truly here, but we’re off to a good start to making the future a reality. The Wii U being the first of three next generation consoles already makes that very apparent. And for the first few years the Unreal Engine 4 will probably powering many of those future games. It’s only the beginning and our gaming future already looks bright over the horizon.
Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference