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Epic: 'There are too many platforms... some will lose'

Sweeney predicts "consolidation" between consoles and mobile

There are too many competing computer platforms currently on the market, says Epic Games technical director, Tim Sweeney.

Speaking at the DICE summit in Las Vegas last night, the Unreal programming genius pointed to the abundance of choice consumers already have - tablets, PC, smartphones, Mac, consoles and handhelds - and predicted "winners and losers" depending on which platforms make the right choices.

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"This is too many platforms," he said. "We're seeing now iPad sales have surpassed the sales of PCs. This is a real revelation, this is a product that wasn't invented until a few years ago and it's basically supplanting personal computers.

"Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide across everything - computers, game platforms, smartphones... We should expect a lot of consolidation here and winners and losers according to who picks the right directions and executes successfully."

Sweeney pointed to a number of emerging technologies as the next significant steps in computing, including Kinect-like motion control, cloud and augmented reality.

"There are a lot of technical challenges," he said. "We've barely scratched the surface of the consumer implications, what we can do with an iPad or iPhone today is limited by our experience of our computers and history."

He continued: "I see a bright future for technology and its implications on games. The ability of game developers to exploit another thousand-fold increase in computing power on future generations of platforms.

"Some of it will be consoles, some of it PC and some of it tablets. The form factor we can't predict, but the opportunity is there. Our industry's brightest days are yet to come."

[ SOURCE: GamesIndustry.Biz ]

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