Holiday 2020 looks set to be a big one for gaming fans with the next generation of consoles from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and Microsoft scheduled to arrive. As one of the most popular game development platforms Unreal Engine is gearing up for the new hardware with its latest edition 4.25, whilst continuing to enhance its mixed reality (MR) support.
The big news is that Unreal Engine 4.25 is the first edition to initially support PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, with further optimizations coming throughout the year. With PlayStation 5 previously confirmed to support PlayStation VR this should now make it possible for VR developers using UE4 to bring their project to the upcoming console.
Epic Games notes that 4.25 next-gen features include: “platform-specific functionality, such as new audio advancements, initial support for online subsystems, and early support for TRC and XR certification requirements.”
As for MR, Unreal Engine 4.26 improves support for Microsoft HoloLens 2. There are performance improvements, support for MR capture from a third-person camera view, initial support for Azure Spatial Anchors and the ability to enable HoloLens remoting from packaged Unreal Engine applications via a command line. Magic Leap has also seen smaller improvements such as support for its latest SDK while the Leap Motion plugin was removed from the engine as it is no longer supported.
The update also sees platform SDK upgrades including:
- ARCore 1.7
- ARKit 3.0
- Oculus 1.44
- OpenXR 1.0
- SteamVR 1.5.17
- Magic Leap 0.23
There are plenty of other new features and improvements to interest current and budding videogame developers. Real-time ray tracing is now officially production-ready, the platform now has built-in support for LiDAR data; making it easier for users importing, visualizing, editing, and interacting with point clouds.
A brand-new media output pipeline has been added for those wishing to create high-quality movies and stills for marketing materials or cinematics. On the audio side, Unreal Audio Engine now supports sound field rendering and convolution reverb processing to make content even more immersive.
Take a look at the full set of Unreal Engine 4.25 release notes and don’t forget that the software is free to begin experimenting with if you’re interested in videogame design. For further updates on the videogame engine, keep reading VRFocus.