A build of Gears of War 3 that was developed by Epic as a way to test Unreal Engine 3 on the PlayStation 3 has been released online, letting anyone with a debug PS3 play the Xbox exclusive on Sony’s home console.
Twitter user and digital archivist PixelButts celebrated the 10th anniversary of Epic creating a Gears of War 3 PS3 build by uploading the game to the Internet Archive. The build was created on May 19, 2011. Kotaku first reported on its existence last year.
Before you run off to download and burn it to a disc, know you’ll need some special hardware to get this working. Specifically, you’ll need a PS3 dev kit, which has extra ram, to run the game. And even with that extra power, this build isn’t optimized to run on Sony’s hardware, with a lot of graphical bugs and framerate drops. Still, seeing Marcus Fenix run from cover to cover on a PS3 is a wild sight to behold. (PixelButts notes that popular PS3 emulator RPCS3 can only reach the game’s title screen, though that could improve in the future.)
As we reported back in May 2020, PixelButts publicly showcased this odd build of the game by playing through it entirely using a debug PS3. At the time many wondered why it was created, and some theorized it was a never-released port. However, Epic denied these claims, telling Kotaku that this build was simply “…a byproduct of Epic’s internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process, which utilized both Gears and Unreal Tournament, and was never part of any actual product work for PlayStation 3.”
Regardless of why it was made, you can now download a strange piece of history, and if you have the right hardware, play Gears of War 3 on a PS3. I imagine doing so will open up some strange portal to an alternate dimension. Dogs and cats living together! The Master Chief appearing in Little Big Planet! Kratos hanging out in Forza Horizon! Mayhem!