Epic Games has expanded its partnership with NVIDIA. The independent game developer has a long-standing relationship with the technology giant in the PC space, but at SIGGRAPH in Anaheim this week, the game maker showcased its new Unreal Engine 4 game running on NVIDIA Mobile Keplar.

“The big news here is NVIDIA’s support for the OpenGL 4.3 feature set, which brings to mobile devices the same high-end graphics hardware capabilities exposed via DirectX 11 on PC games and on next-generation consoles,” said Tim Sweeney, founder, CEO and technical director of Epic Games. “NVIDIA’s mobile graphics technology is built on the same Kepler graphics architecture found in its latest generation of PC GPUs. It’s the same Kepler architecture on top of which we’ve created high-end Unreal Engine 4 PC demos, which have taken advantage of over 2.5 Teraflops of computing performance.”

At E3 this year, Epic Games used Keplar graphics cards to showcase the new Infiltrator tech demo video. Now that type of gaming power will be coming to smartphones and tablets in the near future.

“More than ever before, we see the opportunity for developers to create high-end games and ship them across multiple platforms on a wide variety of devices, including tablet, smartphone, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One,” said Sweeney. “NVIDIA’s OpenGL 4.3 achievements open up the mobile front of this strategy.”

In June, NVIDIA announced that it will be licensing the GPU core based on the NVIDIA Kepler architecture, which is considered the world’s most advanced, most efficient GPU. Through its efforts designing Tegra into mobile devices, NVIDIA has been able to cut the size and power requirements of the chip. Kepler can operate in a half-watt power envelope, which is what makes it scalable from smartphones to supercomputers. NVIDIA is already working to incorporate Kepler into “Logan,” the codename for Tegra 5.

Epic Games is also working with NVIDIA on the new Tegra 4 SHIELD portable gaming device, which launches July 31. The game system will play Android and Windows games on a 5-inch, 1280×720 HD retinal multitouch display. Gamers can also connect the device, which comes with a built-in console-style controller, to an HD TV and play mobile or PC games on the big screen.

Alan Willard, senior technical artist at Epic Games, said the SHIELD device opens up the ability to bring any project that Epic is working with onto it. At E3, NVIDIA showed a high-res version of Epic Citadel running SHIELD and the company also streamed the Infiltrator demo directly onto the Tegra 4 device.

“It’s really pretty impressive how far mobile gaming has come,” said Willard. “If you look at the speed at which any technology evolves, you see incredible jumps at times and I think that’s what we’re seeing with the mobile space. We have performances now beginning to rival and equal desktops, which means that we can take the things that we would normally do only for a PC or console game and now begin doing it directly on mobile.”

A number of SHIELD titles are running on Unreal Engine 3 technology, including Vivid Games’ Real Boxing and Meteor Entertainment’s HAWKEN.

“While Unreal Engine 3 already powers hundreds of high-quality games, from PC and console to mobile, Unreal Engine 4 has been re-imagined for the future of game development,” said Sweeney. “We’re supporting developers on an entirely new level across major platforms with our most powerful and scalable toolset to date.”

SHIELD is the first device to ship with Tegra 4 technology. NVIDIA is expected to announce new smartphones and tablets running on this technology in the near future. NVIDIA previously announced a multi-year plan to release new Tegra technology each year, further pushing the mobile capabilities for gaming on the go.

[EPIC ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of Epic Games stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]