Epic Games' Mark Rein Is Stoked About The NGP.

While the Internet continues to ignore the fact that there actually is a market for traditional handheld games (no matter how big or small!), Epic Games' Mark Rein has spoken out in support of Sony's new handheld.

"It's a ridiculously compelling experience," he told Eurogamer in a backstage interview at the Game Developer's Conference last week.

"When you get your hands round that device and you see some of the things that are going to ship on it, you'll go 'Want. Want, want, want.'"

Rein cited the twin analogue sticks as the NGP's primary selling point, explaining that it's the first handheld device to provide a true console experience.

"I love console game experiences. I love, love, love playing Gears of War, Call of Duty, Borderlands – I just love those kinds of games. And you really need the DualShock type controls to do it effectively," he explained.

"The NGP delivers it in spades. You really do want to play those kinds of games on it for sustained periods of time. Sat down on your couch, or in a hotel room, or somewhere you don't have a big TV. It's a fantastic experience."

Rein disagreed with analysts speculating that the system won't capture a mainstream audience.

"Tell me, if they put Call of Duty on there – which they say they are - and World of Warcraft, don't you think it would sell like frickin' crazy? Of course it would.

"That's the thing that people are discounting. People happily pay $300 for each games console that comes out. I'd happily plonk down $300 for an Xbox 360, or $300 for a PS3, or $500 for a frickin' iPad. If you're a gamer, a lot of the time you're willing to put that kind of investment into the experience.

"Who would have thought iPad could survive?" he continued. "Everybody poo-pooed the idea of iPad and they've sold over 15 million of them. It's an indispensable part of your life now.

"The ability to have another device that can now play these kinds of [console] games really well – I'm using my thumbs here - is huge. Yeah, I'm going to buy one. All I can ever do is speculate on what I think. That's the trap people get caught in, saying 'Well, I'd like one, but nobody else is going to buy one.' No – you need to stop that sentence at 'I'd like one.'"

Naturally Rein has a vested interest in the NGP. If the device succeeds, his company will be likely to license the Unreal Engine to more developers. Still, he does seem genuinely excited about the device, and it's refreshing to hear someone from the industry talk about the NGP without saying "Angry Birds" and how it's "the future of video games".