Epic Games, the creator of Unreal Engine, one of the most successful game engines to date, has unveiled Unreal Engine 5, its next-gen creation tool, featuring real-time footage from a PlayStation 5 dev kit.
The PlayStation 5 tech demo, titled Lumen In The Land Of Nanite, was specifically created by Epic Games to show off the capabilities of the Unreal Engine 5. The demo highlights two of the upcoming engine’s newest, and most powerful, technologies: Lumen and Nanite. Lumen is a global illumination system that will enable, photorealistic lighting in games, while Nanite is a virtual geometry system that allows artists to import and render 3D models and environments composed of billions of polygons. Learn more about the technologies at the Unreal Engine website.
Watch the Unreal Engine 5 tech demo below.
“I think a lot of people [will ask], ‘Oh is [the demo] real?’ But you know that demo was grabbed from the back of a PlayStation 5 development kit,” Epic Games chief technology officer Kim Libreri told IGN. “An HDMI cable went into a disc recorder and played out real-time – no editing, no tricks, that’s what comes off the box.”
While the demo seen above is fully playable, it will unfortunately not be released as an actual game. Libreri told IGN that if GDC happened – the conference was set to take place in March but got cancelled due to COVID-19 – fans would have gotten a chance to “play through the thing”.
Also of note, this is also the first time players are getting a glimpse of any game (demo or otherwise) running on the PlayStation 5, which Sony yesterday (May 13) confirmed was on track for a holiday 2020 release.
The Unreal Engine 5 will support the PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, although it will only be available late in 2021. Until then, the consoles will use the Unreal Engine 4.25. The PS4, Xbox One, PC, iOS and Android will also get the Unreal Engine 5 treatment next year, according to the website’s timeline.
Alongside the release of the tech demo, Epic Games has also announced that it is waiving its royalties for games the first USD$1million made in revenue for games using the engine. More information can be found here.
Epic Games also confirmed that Fortnite, its free-to-play online multiplayer battle royale, will be available on the PS5 and Xbox Series X at launch. It will reportedly support cross-play and cross-progression.