We wouldn't have said no to more footage of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 doing its thing on the iPod touch, but as a proof of concept it's pretty heady stuff. According to Epic, the port - which keeps titles like Gears of War 2 running - shouldn't be taken as a sign that the company is planning to step into the iPhone gaming market, but company VP Mark Rein did confirm that UE3 will be demo'd on a different mobile platform at CES 2010 next month.
"Epic isn't announcing any sort of iPhone engine licenses nor are they entering the iPhone game market. Porting UE3 to the iPhone is simply one of many projects being worked on inside a newer, more svelte and innovative Epic Games ... Mark said they planned to make this available to licensees at some point in the near future."
The port requires either the iPhone 3GS or the latest-gen iPod touch, which indicates it's taking advantage of those devices' 65nm ARM Cortex A8 SoC. That supports OpenGL ES 2.0; in the demo - which is a modified single level of UnrealTournament - onscreen directional controls are used for navigation, and AnandTech say frame-rates were smooth though there's still some polishing to be done.
There's talk of using the concept to bring desktop-quality games to a mobile audience, aided by the increasing power of SoCs and capacity of NAND flash memory. No word on what the "other platform" that Epic plan to demo next month might be.