Epic Games gave consumers their first look at Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) during today’s Summer Game Fest livestream hosted by Geoff Keighley. The announcement came alongside a real-time tech demo showing gameplay running on PlayStation 5. You can watch the nine-minute demo in the video below.
The demo, titled “Lumen in the Land of Nanite,” shows off what we can expect from next-generation game consoles. The demo features stunning scenery that showcases UE5’s dynamic lighting technology, Lumen. “One of our goals in this next generation is to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life, and put it within practical reach of development teams of all sizes through highly productive tools and content libraries,” said Epic Games on the Unreal Engine Blog.
Unreal Engine 5 PS5 Demo
According to the blog, Lumen “renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in huge, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters.” Basically, the UE5 lighting system should offer more efficient light rendering in games, which should allow designers to “create more dynamic scenes.”
The “Nanite” part of the demo refers to UE5’s unique Nanite geometry technology. This tech allows developers to create scenes using high-quality objects composed of “hundreds of millions of polygons.” Combined with Lumen’s dynamic lighting, UE5 is capable of rendering impressively detailed, nearly photorealistic environments.
Although it’s still in development, Epic aims to have Unreal Engine 5 ready for preview by early 2021, with a full release later that year. UE5 will support next-gen as well as current-gen consoles, along with PC, Mac, and mobile devices.
Epic Games also has a plan in place for developers and designers currently using Unreal Engine 4. “We’re designing for forward compatibility, so you can get started with next-gen development now in UE4 and move your projects to UE5 when ready,” Epic explains on the UE Blog. Hopefully this should make the transition to next-gen a much more feasible process, especially for independent game developers.
Visit the official Unreal Engine website and check back here for more updates on Unreal Engine 5.