After last weeks announcement that Unreal Engine 4.25 would support the next generation consoles coming at the end of 2020, Epic Games has followed that up by revealing the first details for Unreal Engine 5. Not only has that included footage running on PlayStation 5 but also confirmation that virtual reality (VR) will continue to be supported.
Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is still a fair way off with developers able to access a preview in early 2021 followed by the full release late in 2021, but what’s been shown so far is already tantalising.
Epic Games wants to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real-life using UE5 and next-gen tech, using two new core technologies; Nanite and Lumen.
Nanite allows for film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons to be imported directly into Unreal Engine for stunning quality. While Lumen offers a fully dynamic global Illumination solution which can react to scene and light changes. Take a look at the video below to see these in action in a demo running on PlayStation 5 called Lumen in the Land of Nanite.
This all means lots of gorgeous lookings videogames across all supported formats, from next- and current-generation consoles to PC, Mac, iOS, Android and of course VR. It’ll likely be at least 2022 before title start filtering through, by then there may even be a new PlayStation VR?
“Certainly, all the technology we’re demonstrating will be able to run on the high end PC-based VR systems, which means a new generation of graphical fidelity, particularly in geometry,” Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney told CNET. “I don’t have anything specific to announce for VR here, but I think it’s going to create a really interesting march towards photorealism … and as you see devices improve their resolution and other system parameters it’s going to be very interesting.”
The company has also unveiled a new royalties solution for developers where royalties are waived on the first $1 million USD in gross revenue per title. Unreal Engine will still be free to download and start using as always.
As Epic Games continues to improve Unreal Engine VRFocus will keep you updated.