Dec 22 AT 3:28 PM Taylor Wimberly 20 Comments

Unreal Engine coming to Android at CES?

Unreal Tournament was my first experience with online gaming and I became hopelessly addicted to the game for several years (ask Clark). This morning I read that Epic Games was bringing the Unreal Engine 3 to iPod / iPhone, so it instantly caught my interest.

To my surprise, check out what Anand reveals in the opening of his article.

I got together with Mark Rein last week and he showed me an Unreal Engine 3 tech demo running on a 3rd generation iPod Touch. The engine also works on the iPhone 3GS, and Mark tells me that we’ll see it on another mobile platform at CES (hmm…).Anand Lal ShimpiAnandTech

I’m sure other sites are going to speculate which mobile platform he is talking about, but I’m here to tell it has to be Android. The latest Unreal Engine requires OpenGL ES 2.0 which is currently supported in Android 2.0. The Motorola Droid also features the PowerVR SGX 530 GPU which is similar to what is found in the iPhone 3G S.

Epic Games plan to license the new Unreal Engine to other developers which could set off a wave of mobile games.

Think about this for a second: Android + Unreal Engine 3 + OpenGL Es 2.0 + multitouch + low latency of T-Mobile’s HSPA+

Head over to AnandTech for a couple of screens of the tech demo and check out the video sample below.

p.s. Hey Mark Rein, how can I get a demo at CES?

Source: AnandTech

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Gilbert Orbea

    Yum. want

    • Dave H.

      Agreed, that would be awesome!

  • Artem Russakovskii

    “hear to tell you” ;-] – a bit of spelling correction?

  • Taylor Wimberly

    It looks like a lot of people think this is coming to the Zune HD because it features the Nvidia Tegra platform. I’m still going to cross my fingers for Android though.

    • http://Website Gilbert Orbea

      Agh.. now that you mention it, that could be true! Though they could be mention mobile platform as “phone” platform. They probably brought it to the iPod Touch because it’s way too similar to the iPhone. Hopefully us, not Zune.

  • Andrew

    I read this last nite too, was convinced it had to be android. What else could it be?? But then I started to think about the delivery of apps onto android… and I just don’t see how it would be ‘convient’ to download anything greater then 5mb onto the android directly.

    They need an itunes app like application, at least to copy the data files to the sd card….

  • http://Website Mike Leahy

    I hate to burst bubbles, but I highly doubt it’s coming out for Android by CES. 1. There are not OpenGL ES 2.0 API entries in Android 2.X as far as I’ve seen in the reference docs or the current SDKs. While phones like the Droid support GL ES 2.0 it’s not accessible from Android SDK currently. 2. As I’ve previously mentioned there is no coherent organization it seems to deal with device/GPU specific extensions nor separate GL 1.X from GL 2.X. I suppose Google can release a future version of Android with GL 2.X API that simply fails on older devices in a similar fashion to current unimplemented GL 1.3/1.4 functionality on a per device basis where various things are not supported. So unless Epic has some secret future Android release it’s not likely. Also, Java, while I’ve been touting Java’s capabilities for real time game dev for quite some time it’s a ghost town in regard to commercial game dev. For Epic to do a port to Java and Android that would be a 360 for sure. I’m all for it, but the likelihood is minimal. If Epic had any interest in Java they could have ported things long ago. The 3rd major problem for most Android developers is the license cost; you got $1M or whatever it costs to license the U3 engine; me neither.. :( So it’ll only benefit the majors. I’m totally all for this though as it would be a major 360 for the commercial game dev world to support Java as an end target. It would be monumental news in fact. ::grumble grumble grumble; bah humbug!!!:: ;P

    • Alex Danvy

      Google Android NDK 1.6 might be updated to 2.0 with support for OpenGL ES 2.0.

      • http://Website Mike Leahy

        If the NDK is updated technically it’s a hop, skip, & jump to get API support in the SDK. I do believe commercial game companies and in particular middleware engine developers will not ignore Android I just think its a year off at earliest before a true high quality commercial game engine is available on Android such as Unreal 3. Heck it’d be really cool if something comes out sooner, but a CES deadline would require things being done via NDK or a native solution if it were to be done at all. I just don’t see Epic making the effort not only to develop, but to maintain a Java source level port which would achieve device independence. Now I haven’t had the opportunity yet to work with the NDK or much native side functionality, so I don’t know the difficulties of distributing NDK apps across the ecosystem, but I’ll admit it may be possible especially in a demo state on one device by CES. I just don’t see a fully working and released high quality commercial middleware solution for 6-12 months.

        • http://Website Ian

          Don’t forget, Epic recently released the Unreal 3.0 engine for free as long as you keep the games freeware. They have some licensing methoods for Indie developers on their site

      • http://Website sha

        There’s OpenGL 2.0 bindings in the 2.0 NDK (check the eclair snapshot in AOSP)

        • http://Website sha

          and If their engine is a pure C/C++ one, the Android port is a matter of hours, not days or weeks

          • http://Website Mike Leahy

            Ahh.. I didn’t hear about the UDK, but on checking up on it is a binary only release, so not applicable for porting. I’d be surprised if U3 engine had source available at those costs. Yearly per seat fee and 25% royalty is somewhat high for a binary only release, but it does get the tech out there for alternative usage as promoted on the UDK page.

            If there are GL2 bindings in NDK for Eclair; I’d expect to see them in the SDK unless someone is being lazy.

            Also a port wouldn’t be a matter of hours for something like UDK even if it was in source. There are so many components to U3 that have no alternative on Android devices; for instance NVidia PhysX engine usage, but there are probably many other constraints including that U3 is a combination of 3rd party libraries like SpeedTree and other 3rd party libraries too. I’d like to see them get the outdoor terrain part of the engine working well for instance on the IPhone 3GS, but something tells me U3 for iPhone may be an indoor only engine ala Q3 with a reduced outdoor / terrain rendering capability, etc. It’s slightly misleading giving the impression that the full U3 is coming to iPhone (or Android); though one can be hopeful. By 3rd or 4th generation Android devices we’re going to really have some fun!

            So, well have to wait and see what is actually supported on the mobile version of U3.

            I’m really interested in Java source level engines using the GL bindings in the SDK as compared to the NDK. That is what I think will definitely be a ways off to seeing brand new commercial game engines or ports of existing engines at the Java source level. I’ll have Auriga3D / Q3 stuff out soon, but it’s just a demo of how to do 3D programming at Java source level though games easily can be made with it though it’s not a one stop full game engine suite of tools like U3. I guess the cool thing with my effort is that it runs on the desktop and Android from one shared source code base and can use the LWJGL, JOGL, or Android GL ES bindings.

  • http://Website Tyler

    Could be Blackberry. The Storm line just gained Open GL ES support and there are only two devices so far (the Storm and Storm 2) which makes for a stable development platform. Android, on the other hand…

  • http://Website 9ooyan

    freakin’ awesome. ’bout m.f. time, what what!

  • phact0rri

    I find it easier to imagine its going on the PSP, with the Minis functionality. But I’m sure it’ll port to android once its a likelyhood.

  • http://Website Strikerage

    Ahhhhh. Sorry, that was me pissing on your Android phone as I’m playing Need For Speed in all its full 3D glory on my Palm Pre. You can have your clunky Droid phone, but the Palm faithful will prevail! Go Palm!

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