While I’m picking my jaw up off the ground, stop what you’re doing and watch the demo for Unreal Engine 5. Epic Games even included some bonus PS5 footage to build the next-gen anticipation even more. It’s breathtaking.
During the video, titled “Lumen in the Land of Nanite,” Epic Games reveals multiple new key features of Unreal Engine 5 via some spectacular real-time gameplay footage that looks right out of a movie. Two of it’s key features are Nanite and Lumen.
- Nanite – “virtualized micropolygon geometry” that allows film-quality assets to be used in ways never before seen in video games. It’s “streamed and scaled in real time” so there are no polygon budgets or losses in quality. Multiple high-polygon-count textures appear in scenes at the same time, creating a vivid environment
- Lumen – “fully dynamic global illumination solution” that is immediately reactive. The system can render diffuse interreflections with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections. Scenes light up and light sources interact with the environment in eye-catching new ways
Other existing engines were included in the demo. Convolution reverb with sound field rendering (spatial audio), the Niagara VFX system, and Chaos physics effects were paired with Nanite and Lumen to produce astonishingly immersive effects.
Unreal Engine 5 will be available for preview in early 2021, with a full release late in 2021. It will support next-gen consoles, current-gen consoles, PC, MAC, iOS, and Android. A key feature of UE5 will be forward compatibility. Developers will be able to get started developing games for next-gen consoles in UE4 and migrate the projects to UE5.
Please send your sympathies to my bank account. One look at UE5 on a PS5 has solidified my need for a next-gen console.
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