Xbox 360 tech hasn’t hit its limit yet, argues Epic Games

Friday, 8th March 2013 11:21 GMT By Dave Cook

Gears of War: Judgment co-developer Epic Games has argued that the Xbox 360 can still be pushed further, even though rumours of a next-gen Xbox are growing by the day. The developer and People Can Fly claim to have squeezed even more out of Microsoft’s rig for their upcoming shooter.

Speaking with OXM, Epic’s lead level designer Jim Brown said, “I’m trying to remember if it was the transition between Gears 1 and Gears 2 or the transition between Gears 2 and Gears 3, there was like a million different changes to Unreal Engine 3 to get to that point.

“When we first released Gears of War, the first one, people were like ‘woah, they’re pushing the Xbox to its limits, they’re doing crazy things’ – and every single time we’ve been able to step it up and find some corner of the 360 that no one was aware of and more areas for us to push.”

Both teams felt they had pushed things even further with Gears of War: Judgment, with more enemies, more action and more visual trickery than before.

People Can Fly art director Waylon Brinck added, “We’re pushing way more enemies, way more particles, the environments are a lot more dense than on previous games. Our rendering engine, we’ve even added a few new features that allow us to do richer lighting, more dynamic lighting, darker darks, brighter brights.

“It’s the most colourful Gears game ever, which feels weird to say. But I think it also has the richest darkest mood out of any Gears game since the first one. So yeah, it was all hands on deck optimising this thing, we squeezed a lot more out of it.”

When the site asked Brinck if this extra clout meant there was no immediate need for a new Xbox, he replied, “Yeah, there’ll always be something more we can figure out, do better.”

What do you think? Is the Xbox in danger of looking under-powered soon? Let us know below.



  1. woe

    It would have even looked more prettier on the Next Xbox.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Deacon

    To be fair, it is sort of remarkable what they’re able to squeeze out of the ageing hardware. Graphics don’t make a game though Mr Brown.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. manamana

    I’m shure he’s right. Will not change the fact that I’m already tired of Gears. New IP please.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. twisted89

    I dont think cranking up the effects and reducing the resolution counts as pushing it further.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. minxamo

    I love seeing what developers can squeeze out of fixed hardware, but we hit the point of diminishing returns long ago, and there aren’t going to be any radical changes until next gen hardware hits.
    We’ve seen amazing graphical feats on the xbox 360, like GoW:Judgement, Crysis 3, Halo 4 etc. but the rest of the industry is moving on, and MS needs to keep in pace.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Gadzooks!


    Judgement is 720p, just like the other Gears games.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. shangothomas

    I don’t think 360 will look underpowered by the likes of ps3 I mean all new ps3 games don’t wow me same polygon counts same graphics effects it’s just that Sony has good iP’s and developers and I think their is no edge to a console I’m sure if ps3 and 360 where left for another 10 years they’ll look like ps4 by then the hardware isn’t the problem the problem is the coding I haven’t seen a ps3 and 360 all look the same to me I hope naughty dog isn’t thinking it’s impressing anybody all I can say is I’m tired of developers saying they can push something further this isn’t about that its about us enjoying our games freely and in that sense we need new consoles not sob’s saying oooh we pushed two more polygons on screen fuck that

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Gnosis

    I believe in punctuation.

    Oh and that graphics don’t make a game.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. shangothomas

    It’s about getting the message if you do then thank you

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    “It’s the most colourful Gears game ever”

    Huge technical achievement.
    Anyway, Xbox and PS3 were dated since 2010. Just look at the PC multiplatform games and console and difference is day and night.

    Crysis 3 on Xbox 360 showed how great Xbox hardware is in 2013. Minimum settings with few medium in 15 fps.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. dizzygear

    They might be able to push the 360 further but why would they want to? Even cheap entry level laptops run circles around the 360 and PS3. Either move to PC or wait for the nextbox.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Da Man

    It’s allright, #7 your posts are just fine. In contrast, the infamous ‘Erzanutcase’ thinks he can actually write in Engrish.. For some weird reason he also thinks he ‘s talking to people on the internet.. Apparently that’s the closest to having a chat they ever got to.

    That’s bloody insane. Much more than Epic figuring how to squeeze visuals out of the 2006 hardware.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. manamana

    @11 because of the huge installed user base. And milking a franchise, of course.

    #13 2 years ago



    This is by no means running on a “cheap entry level laptop”

    In fact, going by the description in the video, this is the $1299 laptop:

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    “In fact”

    you are fucking retard.

    3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3230M
    Windows 8, 64-bit, English
    Silver Anodized Aluminum and 15.6″ FHD 1080p Truelife WLED Display and Skype-Certified HD Webcam
    6GB1 DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
    500GB 7200 HDD with 32GB mSATA
    8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM
    Standard :: 1 Year
    5.79 lbs

    and description in the video:

    I5-2430m (2.4Ghz – Turbo boost to 3.00Ghz)
    4Gb Ram (2X2GB) 1333MHz DDR3 Dual Channel
    1GB GT 525m (Stock clock)

    Do you need me to explain what is 1gb gt 525m dedicated graphics or should I explain the difference between GT 525 GG and NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 630M with 1GB GDDR5 VRAM and other stuff?

    1) these are two different models/different laptops.
    2) the one you linked will make every game look that is on current gen from 30 fps to 60 in 1080p with the best visual quality that is day and night. It has it’s own 630 Nvidia chip, sexy Sandy Bridge Processor and great Ram.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. dizzygear

    @14 You are a lousy shopper. A laptop with average specs like that go for for about 600~700. His was prolly even cheaper due to the shittastic 1366×768 resolution screen.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Gadzooks!

    Who gives a crap what the PC can do? This is an Xbox game. PC is irrelevant.

    #17 2 years ago


    It doesn’t matter.

    It’s definitely not a “cheap entry level laptop”.

    Even going by your $600-700 estimate, it’s still at least three times more than the price of a 360, and still clearly incapable of playing Skyrim at anywhere near the level of a 360.

    Find me a $199 laptop that can run Skyrim at a higher quality than a 360.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dragon246

    I agree with Ghz on this. Consoles as I said earlier offer best band for the buck. A 700$ laptop only matching a 199$ 360 or 250$ ps3 says a lot. Consoles offer best value for the money. No PC will ever beat that, this gen, previous gen or next gen.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. ps3fanboy

    the x360 are taking it’s last breath… when x720 arrive the x360 is rushed out the door to the junkyard, they did the same with the xbox1.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. dizzygear

    @18 right. you get your bullshit claim that you need a 1299$ machine for skyrim debunked and suddenly it does not matter.
    You can even run skyrim on a AMD e450 APU and it will still look better than any the console versions.

    @19 Except that the prices for the actual games are much cheaper on the PC and i can run them all on the same box.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dragon246

    Believe me, it depends. Unless you are counting piracy, which is most rampant on PC.
    PSN has a lot a great deals. I am able to buy new games for not more than 30$ like FC3. Plus, no service in the industry matches the awesome PS Plus, which frankly provides more than I could play. If PC had a Plus like sub, I would seriously consider buying PC over ps4/720.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. dizzygear

    @22 Yeah its called STEAM. i paid 5 bucks for both Bioshocks, 98 cents for Halflife 1, 2.50 for STALKER and countless of bundles with discounts up to 75%.
    Of course you also get cloudsaving for supported titles, unified friendlists, workshop for user made mods, achievements, cross region gifting, big picture mode, voice chat, the ever so handy overlay and many more cool stuff all for free.

    #23 2 years ago


    I never said that ” you need a 1299$ machine for skyrim”, so stop talking complete rubbish.

    The description in the Youtube vid, clearly says that the guy is running a “Dell XPS 15 502x”

    A quick Google search for a “Dell XPS 15 502x” brought up the exact page that I linked to on Dell’s own website.



    Even if the specs have been slightly updated since the owner of the Youtube vid bought his laptop, the price isn’t going to be anywhere near as low as the $600-700 that you plucked out of the sky.

    It’s still the same model Dell XPS 15, and it still costs $1299 right now.


    So, stop trying to dodge the bullet, and back up your (incredibly stupid) claim:

    “Even cheap entry level laptops run circles around the 360 and PS3.”

    Find me a $199 laptop that can even run Skyrim at all, let alone, better than a 360, or shut up.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. spoffle

    What’s with this obsession with people calling anything that can play games “rigs”?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Christopher Jack

    @15, I wouldn’t look any further than a Clevo based laptop if I wanted to run high end games on the go.

    Also I wouldn’t look for anything below the GT640m- even in a budget laptop, helped a mate buy one a couple months back, $500 for Core i7 ultrabook with GT640m. Granted that because it was a budget laptop, the i7 would probably be about as powerful as an i7, doesn’t really matter though.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. dizzygear

    @24 As #15 pointed you did not even bother to check the configuration. And the fact remains you are absolutely clueless when it comes to PC specs.
    The CPU alone in that vid and the page you linked are not even from the same generation. Not exactly a minor update.

    So take a hike kid.

    #27 2 years ago

    So you you can’t back up your stupid claim, then?

    What does my knowledge of PC specs have to do with anything?

    OK, lets just assume I’m a complete tech noob. I really don’t care.

    The FACT remains that the guy had a core i5 laptop with 4GB of RAM and a GeForce 525M in 2011, and it COULDN’T run Skyrim very well at all on average settings.

    And that is clearly NOT a “cheap entry level laptop”.

    YOU said that it costs “$600-700″, yourself, so even if we ignore my quick Google to get a price, and go with your unrealistically low guess, you’re still talking out of your rear end.

    So, AGAIN, back up your stupid, ignorant, nonsense claim that “Even cheap entry level laptops run circles around the 360 and PS3.” or SHUT UP.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Cobra951

    I don’t know of any cheap (read: integrated video) PC that can match current consoles on the big games. There’s also the matter of the lack of an abstraction layer on the best-performing console software. (The low-level software speaks to the hardware directly.) That gives it an advantage that takes PCs several times the hardware power to overcome through the DirectX middleman. And that too is a fact.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. fearmonkey

    @Dragon246 – “If PC had a Plus like sub, I would seriously consider buying PC over ps4/720.”

    I just wanted to mention to you that if your a gamefly member, you have access to their PC client that has free games you can download and play. Bioshock is one of the games, I cannot remember all the others. It’s the closest thing to PS plus on the PC I have seen yet.

    The deals that Steam has when they are on their big sales are incredible. I picked up Fallout3 with all DLC for $4.99, Oblivion with all DLC for $4.99 and Fallout:new Vegas with all DLC for $7.49 during the last summer sale.

    I also want to note that my 2007 PC with a dual core Intel e6600, 4GB ram, GTX480 can play about everything at 1080p with all the settings on high. It doesnt take a super PC to play pc games anymore. You could probably build a similar machine to what I have for under $500 new. I have a new PC thats much better for 1440p gaming, and I got a deal on it for about $1100

    #30 2 years ago
  31. kaffikjelen

    “I also want to note that my 2007 PC with a dual core Intel e6600, 4GB ram, GTX480″
    I’d like to note in passing that your time machine, with which you aquired a GTX 480 in 2007, probably could be put to better use.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. fearmonkey

    @31 – the Gtx480 was a more modern addition from 2010., which you can buy for a whopping $200 or so now, the rest of the machine was from 2007.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Christopher Jack

    You can actually get a $400 laptop capable of running Skyrim on medium. The Radeon 7670m is quite respectable for a GPU found on so many budget configurations.

    A $200 console isn’t exactly comparable to a $400 budget laptop either. For starters the laptop doesn’t require anything else to play with right from the start, you already have the screen built in & most online games don’t require any subscriptions+ can be found much, MUCH cheaper.

    Also the functionality isn’t even comparable, the console has been over simplified to the point that you can’t do much with. They make terrible media players (not so much the PS3 but using the X360 to watch shit is just a headache).

    #33 2 years ago

    ^ Even if it were possible to run Skyrim on a $400 laptop (and I doubt that it is), it’s blatantly not going to “run circles around” the console versions by any means.

    This was the nonsense claim that was made.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Christopher Jack

    I do run on Skyrim on medium on my $450 laptop that’d cost less now.

    Although I tend to score better frame rates than listed. I can run it on high @30fps but I tend to have VLC running in the background on a second screen- another thing I couldn’t do on a console.

    So many myths about PC gaming, you don’t need to spend $2k+ to run games that look better than a console. Not that they’re directly comparable either.

    Granted it’ll cost you about $1200 to get a laptop that will run just about anything on ultra.

    #35 2 years ago


    Does the quality of the visuals on your $450 laptop “run circles” around the console versions or not?

    #36 2 years ago
  37. Christopher Jack

    Doesn’t run circles but even on medium looks better.

    #37 2 years ago

    “Doesn’t run circles…”


    That’s what I thought.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. TheDED1

    Have you seen the new Tech Demo for Unreal Engine 4? The 360 may not be done yet, but the new Xbox is going to blow it away. The PS4 looks pretty great with their Quantic Dream Demo, but there’s something about Epic’s efforts that I really like. I’ve always liked PC’s graphics, but I’ve never liked the control scheme.

    #39 2 years ago

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