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Epic shows off Unreal Engine 5 running on a PlayStation 5

by Mark Tyson on 14 May 2020, 10:11

Tags: Epic Games, Sony (NYSE:SNE)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaelg3

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Epic has published a video that shows off the capabilities of its new Unreal Engine 5 running in real-time on a Sony PlayStation 5. The games engine and publishing company says it designed UE5 "to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life." Two key technologies have enabled what appears to be a leap forward in this full version number upgrade to Unreal Engine - Epic's 'Nanite' and 'Lumen'.

I've embedded the Unreal Engine 5 reveal video directly above for your convenience. It is nine minutes long but is definitely worth watching through. The visuals and audio are captivating and Epic Technical Director of Graphics Brian Karis and Special Projects Art Director Jerome Platteaux talk you through the video, explaining the achievements of the UE5 team during pertinent moments / scenes.

Remember, the 'Lumen in the Land of Nanite' video is showcasing real-time rendering of a next-gen videogame like environment. As well as Epic's new 'Nanite' and 'Lumen' tech, UE5 uses next-gen features already available in UE 4.25, including; Niagara VFX improvements, Chaos physics and destruction, animation system enhancements, and several audio advancements.

Nanite

This is Epic's tech for virtualized micropolygon geometry. According to the developers Nanite lifts restrictions upon designers as it allows them to directly bring in "anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data—and it just works". During the video commentary you will hear Brian Kamris mention the triangle counts in various scenes. "Nanite geometry is streamed and scaled in real time so there are no more polygon count budgets, polygon memory budgets, or draw count budgets; there is no need to bake details to normal maps or manually author LODs; and there is no loss in quality," asserts Epic.

To demonstrate the tech prowess of UE5 on a PS5, the video shows a scene with a Z-Brush created statue with 33 million triangles and 8K textures. Shortly after that the game character enters a room with nearly 500 of these same statues situated in the environment, all at max quality.

Lumen

Lumen is a "fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes". In the video you will see light sources in complex scenes manipulated, the effects on the environment, and even things like cockroaches running for cover out of the beam of a torch.

HEXUS recently wrote about Unreal Engine 4.25 ray-tracing features on PC, and that engine becoming ready for next gen consoles like the aforementioned PlayStation 5, as well as Microsoft's Xbox Series X. UE5 isn't going to knock UE 4.25 off its perch before it has even got comfortable. The next major point version of the Unreal Engine will only start to become available in preview from early 2021, with a full release later in the year. However, Epic is wisely designing with forward compatibility, so you can get started with next-gen development now in UE4 and move your projects to UE5 when ready.

Some people might have been disappointed with Microsoft's 20/20 real-time gaming demo showcase, showing upcoming titles running on the Xbox Series X, but the UE5 demo instils new hope for the next-gen consoles.



HEXUS Forums :: 9 Comments

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Well! For those of us who remember playing pong, Manic Miner and thought the Amiga's Shadow of the Beast graphics were amazing on arrival. That was simply stunning.
I really enjoy playing Tomb Raider type adventure games (I am crap at FPS) on the pc and sometimes find myself stopping at the top of some peak and looking around in amazement at the scenery of the game. All that effort the programmers put in, most people just run on by and never notice.
Looking forward to when UE5 games hit the shops.
Impressive!
TonyBee
Well! For those of us who remember playing pong, Manic Miner and thought the Amiga's Shadow of the Beast graphics were amazing on arrival. That was simply stunning.
I really enjoy playing Tomb Raider type adventure games (I am crap at FPS) on the pc and sometimes find myself stopping at the top of some peak and looking around in amazement at the scenery of the game. All that effort the programmers put in, most people just run on by and never notice.
Looking forward to when UE5 games hit the shops.
Wow that was next gen looked real except for the character lol, I remember first seeing Shadow of the beast and my jaw dropping then and this has made that happen again! Amazing!
TonyBee
Well! For those of us who remember playing pong, Manic Miner and thought the Amiga's Shadow of the Beast graphics were amazing on arrival. That was simply stunning.
I really enjoy playing Tomb Raider type adventure games (I am crap at FPS) on the pc and sometimes find myself stopping at the top of some peak and looking around in amazement at the scenery of the game. All that effort the programmers put in, most people just run on by and never notice.
Looking forward to when UE5 games hit the shops.

Yeah - some of the Amiga games were truly jaw dropping back in their day.

I think it was Defender of the Crown, Deluxe Paint and proper multi-window multi-tasking that were the real “system sellers” for me. A real vision of what the future of computing could be and a quantum leap ahead of PCs of the day - and the early Macs were primitive beasts too.

I worked part time at a Waitrose store all the hours I could, whilst taking my A levels, to save up for an Amiga after seeing the A1000 in person. Ended up with an A500 just after they launched in the UK. Glory days!

The Unreal Engine is also like a marker for an era, always seeming to have remained at the sharp end of what is possible in terms of graphics and creating amazing environments to play in (big UT fan for over 20 years - such awesome maps & fluid gameplay).

That demo looks like a fantastic re-imagining of what the next chapter of Tomb Raider should bring to the table. The lighting and geometric detail in the scenery is absolutely amazing.

Interesting they chose to demo this on the PS5, widely anticipated to be the weakest next gen console in terms of CPU/GPU grunt. Could be Epic's way of saying “this is how amazing the lowest common denominator can look” - great news for that other console due to launch this winter - and even better news for those with a really beefy gaming PC.
I cant remember most of the Amiga titles, but Gunship 2000 i logged in a good deal of hours on.

will be interesting to see how this would run on different PC parts.
PS: I did try UT for a short while, but while i did not dislike it i quickly moved on to other stuff.

But yeah this graphics are indeed Unreal.