Microsoft and Epic Games partnered to make Project Natal part of Unreal Engine 3, allowing any developer creating games via Epic Games' technology to also leverage Project Natal. I sat down with Epic Games VP Mark Rein shortly after PlayStation Move was revealed at the Game Developers Conference and asked whether Move would be incorporated into his company's technology, too.
"That's a good question," he told me, smiling. "Well, I saw one on someone's desk so I assume we're doing something with it. [laughs] I don't know the answer to that."
The reason he didn't have a concrete answer, Rein explained, was because Move is more of a traditional input device than, say, Project Natal, which doesn't even have a controller attached.
"We give you a basic controller code [in Unreal Engine 3] and then people go and take off," said Rein. "Even if we weren't doing it [adding Move support into UE3], I know there are several licensees doing games for Move. I'm not sure whether it's because we helped them figure out how to use, or it's just a controller so they figured out how to make it work."
There were no Move games announced at Sony's press conference that utilized Unreal Engine 3, but many more Move-related announcements are expected at events like E3 in the months ahead.
As mentioned, however, adding support for Project Natal was a bit more of an undertaking.
"There's a lot more code behind Natal because it's more than a controller," he said, "it's about controlling your avatar, it's about syncing your objects to your guy, it's about knowing where the bones in the body are, so clearly there's more to do there. But Microsoft's done a lot of that work already for Unreal Engine 3, so they're already in pretty good shape there."
The bottom line: there's motion coming to your Unreal Engine 3-developed games in the future.