Gears of War PlayStation 3 Footage Comes Out of Nowhere, Brings Up a Ton of Questions (Update: Epic Responds)

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Update: Kotaku managed to get a response from Epic. Effectively the PS3 build was for testing being done for the Unreal Engine 3, using both Gears of War and Unreal Tournament (hence the Unreal logo on the PS3 dashboard for the game). It was not part of any wider plans to bring the game to PS3.

Original: Somebody’s uncle that works at Microsoft must be really mad today because formerly unknown footage of the Microsoft tentpole shooter Gears of War running on a PlayStation 3 appeared on the internet today. Just saying that out loud sounds and feels like the kind of thing made for impossible video game urban legends, right up there with “Sony and Nintendo are making a console together” and “Sonic The Hedgehog and Mario are going to star in the same game.” It just sounds like a made-up sentence of complete nonsense, and yet here we are with an almost eight-hour-long video showcasing a build of the game running on PS3 hardware, made by Epic according to sources speaking to Kotaku. Weirder things in gaming have happened, but this unearthed relic revealed by a YouTuber named Proto(@PixelButts on Twitter) speaks for itself.

The liner notes for the video itself feature some interesting details, with PixelButts saying, “This build is dated May 19, 2011, and is the only build of this ever located. As far as I know, I’m also the only person with a working build of this particular data as well. I don’t know why it exists, I don’t know why it was made. All I can do is speculate.” The uploader notes that the game is running on a PS3 devkit that features more RAM than the retail model, meaning this build probably wouldn’t play on a standard unit. The game also still features the Xbox prompts and button layouts, as well as trying to read storage as if it were an Xbox 360. So strange.

As can be observed in the video, the thing definitely runs though it won’t be winning any awards for technical prowess at the framerate it’s chugging along. The mere existence of this build brings up so many questions and hypotheticals. Was Gears of War being prototyped for the PS3? Was Epic making a pitch? Was this slapped together by some people in their spare time, just for funsies? We don’t have any answers to those and PixelButts isn’t flapping his cheeks to anybody with more answers than he already divulges (he admits that he himself doesn’t know much about it). For now, and while we wait for this video to inevitably get pulled off the internet, all we can do is speculate and admire this strange thing before us. Like a unicorn with two horns and a Reggie Miller Indianapolis Pacers jersey.

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