Do you remember the Epic Citadel demo? Based on the Unreal Engine 3, it floored the tech community back in 2010, when it was used to showcase the first-generation iPad's graphical prowess. At this year's Game Developer Conference, Epic Games demonstrated the new Unreal Engine 4 running on a Nexus 5 smartphone (a stock unit without modifications, we assume). We know that Qualcomm's chip is quite capable, but we found it quite surprising that last year's Snapdragon 800 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU are able to deliver such rich visuals. In the end, it seems that today's mobile game developers aren't pushing Qualcomm's silicon nearly hard enough to showcase its true potential.
It's not fair to accuse game makers, however. It's not that they are lazy, or that the technology isn't there - it's just that building games at such scale and detail requires a huge investment that can hardly be recovered in a market where $8 titles are considered somewhat expensive. In addition, such games can turn out massive in terms of data size - larger than what most users can comfortably download over a Wi-Fi or 4G connection.
Although most smartphone owners are casual players who play simple games to pass the time, who knows - maybe mobile games that look as impressive as this tech-demo could turn them onto complex (and expensive) games. But as everything that's great, this “maturing” of the market will take time.
Apart from looking better than ever, Unreal Engine 4 aims to ease developers with development tools that let them model levels and build games in real-time. For example, assets can be simply dragged and dropped in the level, while textures can be selected and applied instantly to the targeted object.
via G For Games