Update: After a back-and-forth between various sources, Epic Games has told Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo that the PlayStation 3 build of Gears of War 3 embedded above is real. However, it was never planned for release. "This footage is a byproduct of Epic's internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process, which utilised both Gears and Unreal Tournament, and was never part of any actual product work for PS3."

So there you have it: this really is Gears of War 3 running on a PS3 devkit. Unfortunately, it was never intended to see the light of day.

Update: It didn't take long, but Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has commented on this so-called PlayStation 3 build of the series' third game, claiming that he's "99 per cent sure this is fake". He added: "Y'all need to ask [Epic Games boss] Tim Sweeney. It may have been a test for the engine or something, but I doubt it."

The debate rumbles on, however. John Linneman of Digital Foundry has since countered Cliffy's comments, claiming that he knows "firsthand now [...] this is definitely real". Our guess is that Gears of War 3 was probably never planned for release on PS3, but Epic Games had some fun experimenting anyway.

Original Story: Well, then. Gears of War is well known as one of Microsoft’s tentpole franchises, but the Redmond firm didn’t outright own the franchise until 2014, when it acquired the intellectual property from Epic Games. Up until that point, there had always been rumours that the series may one day appear on Sony’s systems, and apparently the Unreal Engine maker started work on a port for the PlayStation 3.

Embedded above is a full playthrough of Gears of War 3, supposedly running on a PS3 development kit. It’s buggy and unfinished – you’ll even still see Xbox 360 button prompts and references to Xbox Live – but it dates back to May 19th, 2011, which is roughly six months prior to the threequel’s original release on Microsoft’s system.

“This is an Epic-made build of Gears of War 3 for PS3,” explains leaker Proto in the YouTube video’s description. “As far as I know I'm 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.” He goes on to explain some of the bugs and issues present in this build.

“Fully horizontal and vertical aiming movement is quite poor, so you must include slight offsets to your aiming, which in turn makes actually shooting things really difficult,” he said. Despite that, this appears to be a genuine PS3 build of Gears of War 3, which is just unreal in so many ways. What next? A Nintendo Wii version of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune?

[source youtube.com, via resetera.com]