The Wii is taking a beating this week at GDC by American developers. Between hushed conversations and public displays, it isn't pretty. Epic's vice president, Mark Rein, has never hid his feelings for the Wii. While discussing Unreal Engine 3 games in development for the Xbox 360, he was asked if they'd develop anything for the Wii's Virtual Console?
"Ummmmm, well, this is kinda a high definition engine. Designed for a certain level of graphics card and certain amount of CPU. You know, I'm sure one of our licensees will squeeze it down into the Wii. The way Ubisoft squeezed Unreal Engine 2 into the PSP," he explained in a little bit more detail exactly why the Wii and Unreal Engine 3 won't become best buddies, "Unreal Engine 3 is designed for a high level shader architecture and the Wii doesn't have that. I mean, you know, it's just not what we've been aiming for, so it's not something we're looking to do or support."
Rein wouldn't go into any details at the number of companies, or cost, to license the Unreal 3 Engine. He says the license is cheap, "We only saw a splinter of the money from Splinter Cell." Epic hopes to sell Unreal 3 mods on Xbox Marketplace. They also said they'd be coming out with a textbook for schools on the Unreal Engine 3.