Mark Rein Says the Wii U Won’t Run Unreal Engine 4, then Retracts That Statement and Does All with a Smile

by on April 1, 2013

Mark-Rein-Says-the-Wii-U-Won't-Run-Unreal-Engine-4-then-Retracts-That-Statement-and-Does-All-with-a-SmileAt a GDC panel last week, Epic Games co-founder Mark Rein was asked whether or not Unreal Engine 4 would run on Wii U and Rein’s reply upset many.

With a chuckle, Rein answered with a simple, “no”.

Kotaku transcribed the reply he gave after his little giggle:

“I mean, sorry, [that’s] not really a correct answer. We have Unreal Engine 3 for the Wii U. Right? And Unreal Engine 3 is powering all kinds of amazing games, still lots of games are being made with Unreal Engine 3. We announced today about a new Unreal Engine 3 license.

Unreal Engine 3 doesn’t disappear because of Unreal Engine 4. But our goal for Unreal Engine 4 console-wise is next-gen consoles. That’s really what our energies are focused on. If you want to make a Wii U game, we have Unreal Engine 3, and it’s powering some of the best games on the Wii U already.”

Speaking with IGN after the Q&A, Rein made things a bit clearer for those that thought he was singling out Nintendo hardware:

“Unreal Engine 4 – we’re not PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii U. It’s next-gen technology. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Then, Rein flip-flopped on his stance by saying that, if a developer truly wanted to make it happen, the Wii U could support UE4. Speaking with Engadget, he said:

“You heard the stupid gaffe yesterday about the Wii U. If someone wants to take Unreal Engine 4 and ship a game on Wii U, they can! If they wanna ship an Unreal Engine 4 game on Xbox 360, they could make it happen.”

It has been said that Unreal Engine 4 is really scalable, to the point where certain mobile devices will be able to output a form of the engine. This may not be UE4 at its most powerful, but something can be done to get games powered by Epic’s next-gen tech on current-gen hardware, it appears.