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“Too many platforms,” says Epic boss

Friday, 10th February 2012 02:13 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney expects casualties as we build towards a new platform war.

Speaking at DICE Summit 2012, as reported by GamesIndustry, Sweeney said consumers now have to divide their attention between PC, Mac, tablets, smartphones, consoles and handhelds.

“This is too many platforms,” he said.

“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.”

Sweeney warned attendees to expect “consolidation”, which is a polite way of saying some contenders will drop out of the race entirely, and said who succeeds and who fails will be determined by “who picks the right directions and executes successfully”.

The executive seems to be tipping tablets heavily.

“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 its basically supplanting personal computers,” he said.

“There are a lot of technical challenges. 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. When a whole new generation of kids is raised with these devices pervasively around us it’s going to lead to entirely new worlds.

“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.”

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25 Comments

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  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    I ultimately see tablets replacing PCs, and I don’t think it’s a far off future either. Maybe 3 years or so?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sanwiches

    I don’t think that will ever happen. There’re things you just can’t (and will never) do on Tablets, among other reasons.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    @2, like what? I look at something like the Asus Transformer line and I think, yeah, why the fuck can’t a tablet become a PC replacement if the hardware matures enough?

    Maybe the majority of tablets are not as capable right now, but look at what Razer did with their prototype tablet, pretty decent PC level gaming performance in a tablet firm factor, andthe tech is still more or less in its infancy.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Yoshi

    Nope Tablets will never replace PC, nothing will ever replace a PC. Simple as that.

    It’s like saying that woman over there can replace your mother, they can try sure, but they never will.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Da Man

    #4 Astounding analogy…. smh

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Maximum Payne

    It will never replaced PC because there no better control with KnB on BIGGER monitor.Just because some of you don’t use any other program except internet browser and music player doesn’t mean other not.
    But sure for mainstream market and facebook people tablet is way to go.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Goffee

    PCs exist outside for reasons other than gaming and media, so will always continue to exist. It is largely a matter of developers choosing to still make games for it.

    If digital can stem the flow of rabid piracy then perhaps PC gaming will live on, but lets face it, if you’re guaranteed a fixed format, no driver-issues and a solid pirate-free (ish) store, why not go tablet. Gaming controllers are coming for them and it only takes Apple or Google to have an official core games section (paying developers with their bundles of cash to concentrate on the iPad or Nexus) and bye bye PC gaming.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. GrimRita

    “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 its basically supplanting personal computers,” he said.

    Thats where I stopped reading. This coming from a ‘developer’ who dont support the PC as a platform and have yet another cheap shot at the PC Gamer.

    Take your games and shove them up your arse

    #8 2 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    Actually using a tablet outside of, well actually using a tablet is a fucking horrible experience.

    Try and do anything outside of its tightly controlled parameters and its having none of it. Theres no maleability in its make-up, no modding, not enough space to store anything of quantity.

    Why not buy a netbook when they are subjectively better in most cases?

    Im still in awe at Apples power to market anything, dispite being so ham-strung and limited. Its crazy.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Telepathic.Geometry

    Heh, heh, blinkered PC fanboy rage makes me laugh.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Da Man

    #9 That’s what I thought until I tried using one as well, it’s amazing for reading / browsing documents or books and internet, and pretty much invaluable at conferences. In comparison, notebooks are clumsy, they take more space and even Mac Books can’t provide the same multi touch level of controls.

    People don’t really use it to play Elder Scrolls, and personally I have the same wallpaper/theme/whatnot for years on every device I use.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. absolutezero

    Wait wait wait so reasoned explanations for not agreeing with the subject of this topic is blinkered faith and somehow :

    “I ultimately see tablets replacing PCs”

    is not?

    Let me trot out an oldie from EG here, Fuck off TG.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    @11 I agree about the E-reader part but then theres battery life to contend with in most of the major tablets, something thats not a problem with a Kindle a device designed for its purpose.

    I was more meaning Netbooks, which are only slightly larger than a tablet and have a full version of Windows running on them, instantly bolstering the amount you can carry out. There are even netbooks poppping up that have touch screens built in, for whatever reason you would want that.

    Also browsing the net with touch screen controls and no ad-blocker is a nightmare.

    Tablets are great for updating Twitter though, but writing anything over that length with an on-screen keyboard? Video Editing? Animating? Anything thats even slightly strenuous?

    I can’t wait for the PCs running the LHC to be replaced by tablets.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Telepathic.Geometry

    Well “Fuck off TG” is not only not a logical argument, it’s downright rude.

    My point about PC fanboy rage comes from comments like from #4 and #6.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. freedoms_stain

    I think a lot of you are being incredibly short sighted wrt Tablets, focusing very narrowly on what they ARE without expending much thought on where they might go.

    A PC is just a box full of components with peripherals attached for input and output, if you can fit enough horsepower into a tablet form factor why then could you not have a tablet device which can be stand alone, or sit in a dock hooked p to a larger screen, keyboard, mouse, speakers etc etc, or (and I’ve already mentioned it) slot into a laptop keyboard and trackpad a la the Asus Transformer line?

    I even pointed to the Razer prototype tablet which ran Windows and could run Skyrim as a glimpse of such a future.

    In my future you have a tablet, a desktop, a laptop and a games console all in one device.

    edit: also re: battery life, high end tablets at the moment will run you 10+ hours of video on a single charge. That’s not to shabby.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Maximum Payne

    @15 Tablet is not comparable to PC.Its only comparable to lap top/netbooks.
    Tablet will never be strong enough because its mobile device just like Lap Tops and even if they have equal power which will past long time for that it will still cost 2-3 times then a PC.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. absolutezero

    Of course its rude but im guessing you would be used to that by now.

    freedom, I like the idea of this portable device that can wirelessly hook up to all your components, like a monitor or TV, speakers, a keyboard etc. Then again why not just get a PC have all those things plus a tablet?

    This is where I think a hell of alot of the sales of tablets come from, a large percentage of the number of people buying tablets will already own either a laptop or a PC.

    I can see the benefit in a combination of both but one will never replace the other. Tablets really do seem like a bit of a fad, like a smart-phone without the true portability or phone features.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Da Man

    #13 Windows doesn’t support touch gestures nearly as well, netbooks aren’t as comfy and allegedly aren’t as good at being portable devices, don’t really need desktop OS on them. I don’t think tablets will replace desktops.

    You can pair a physical keyboard with them, iPad doesn’t even require any additional software.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Telepathic.Geometry

    That’s even ruder. But okay, I see how it is.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DrDamn

    Couple of points. Someone saying “Tablets will replace PCs” doesn’t necessarily mean will do everything a PC can do and no one will need a PC again. It just means it becomes the dominant machine, what people will buy first and foremost to do a wide variety of tasks.

    Obviously there are a lot of things a PC will do better or is needed to do currently, but for the vast majority of what most people want to do a tablet is perfectly adequate and indeed preferable. Don’t just consider what you want to do, think about what most people want to do.

    @9
    “no maleability in its make-up, no modding”

    Which for most people is actually a good thing believe it or not.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. absolutezero

    Ok if I think about the simple things that people want to do then Internet TV is a far more inticing prospect than a tablet.

    I guess I just do not understand the draw that tablets have, to me its a technological dead end.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. IL DUCE

    Yeah, no one is going to give up a keyboard & mouse or a controller to use their friggin finger on a highly inaccurate touch screen…not happening, not to mention shooters are essentially useless on them…the tablets may be a fad, or maybe they’re here to stay…but by no means will they replace consoles and gaming PCs…they may outsell PCs for casual use but that’s about it…not to mention people buy everything that Apple makes so I’m sure iPhones and iPod Touches were outselling PCs as well…

    #22 2 years ago
  23. IL DUCE

    Not to mention who wants to play something as simple as Angry Birds on 10″ screen that my 3 year old goddaughter can play…core gamers would always rather play a game with much more depth and quality on a 20+ inch monitor or on a 50+ inch TV…

    #23 2 years ago
  24. DrDamn

    @22
    “they may outsell PCs for casual use but that’s about it…”

    Errr … But that’s it? That is fucking massive! :)

    #24 2 years ago
  25. SuperGuyverUSA

    I personally think that tablets wont replace anything. Gaming, PCs, Smartphones, they all are their own things and the same thing goes for tablets. That’s how I look at things, anyway.

    #25 2 years ago