Epic says it'll likely aim for a version of its Unreal Engine 3 for iPad games, "excited" by the opportunities Apple's newly-unveiled touch screen tablet presents.
"I really like the device and I think it is going to be great for gaming," VP Mark Rein told Gamasutra, after he attended Apple's unveiling event. "I thought the game demos at the event were amazing, considering the developers on stage only had a few weeks of access to it."
Epic recently revealed
it already had a tech demo for UE3 running on Apple's iPhone. At the time it said it had no plans to enter the iPhone gaming market itself, but was exploring possibilities for its engine outside of the traditional space. Can it be assumed that the company will aim for iPad?
"I think that's a pretty safe assumption -- especially considering the iPad appears to already run iPhone games well," says Rein. "We'll have to get an iPad in our hands and evaluate it from a hardware standpoint before we can say for sure what we can do on it, but I'm very excited about the opportunity the iPad presents."
In terms of the addressable market for developers on the device, Rein sees it as a promising space: "At this point I don't see why anyone making an iPhone game wouldn't want to make a up-sized version for iPad as well," he says.
And he sees possibilities beyond just up-sizing: "In fact I suspect we'll see iPad-only games that take advantage of the differentiated form factor of the device and the different ways you might use it compared to the iPhone or iPod Touch," he adds.
Rein tells us he was also "blown away" by the device's potential outside of gaming. "They've done a fantastic job super-sizing (my terminology, not theirs) the iPhone applications for the iPad," he says. "Features and performance-wise, all of the Apple apps were great. The screen is beautiful and I love the keyboard dock and the fact you can use the Apple Wireless Keyboard as well. They did a great job on the iWork apps as well."
"The amazing thing to consider is that this is the first version of this device," Rein adds. "We've seen Apple constantly improve the software and experience on the Mac and the iPhone so I can only imagine how much more they're going to be doing with this platform in the future."