While not an official release, Gears of War 3 is currently available for download on PlayStation 3 devkits thanks to an Epic Games prototype and a hacker.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Gears of War 3, a self-proclaimed hacker named PixelButts announced via Twitter that they were making a PS3 build of the Xbox-exclusive available for download for anybody holding on to a PlayStation 3 devkit.
For those who are just totally confused by this, Epic Games reportedly made an internal build of the title for PS3 to show “a byproduct of Epic’s internal Unreal Engine 3 testing process which utilised both Gears and Unreal Tournament” but was “never part of any actual product work for PlayStation 3,” Epic Games confirmed.
Pixelbutts went on to say he would “not be your tech support” and “not be taking questions” in terms of helping users get the seemingly well-made prototype running on your own hardware. “This is an archive of the original data built by Epic Games on May 19th, 2011 for Gears of War 3 for PS3 systems,” he wrote. “Originally created during an engine test, and leaked 10 years ago and remained unusable data while circulating between collectors and exchanging hands.
“I was the first person to get this data working nine years later, and decided now that it’s time to release it on the 10th anniversary of this build being made (19th May 2021). To date, this is the only Epic-made data for a PS3 version of the game, as all others have been made with leaked source code.”
Even though it was never intended to be publicly available on the PlayStation 3, it is very cool to see it happening after the fact, especially considering the original developers, Epic Games, are now fighting so hard to get cross-play functionality and similar quality of life features available to all players regardless of system owned. That could also be why they haven’t taken the build down yet, which still might happen.