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What to expect: Unreal Engine 5 on the PS5 looks even better than real life

Despite a dull world, the roars of the gaming industry are only getting louder. Epic Games unveiled their next game engine, the Unreal Engine 5, with a stunning demo running on the PlayStation 5.

One thing’s for sure, we may or may not enjoy our Christmas this year due to the pandemic, but gamers definitely will. Two extremely hot gaming commodities will be making their holiday season debut – The Xbox Series X and the next generation PS5 this year. But why are we talking about this now? Because Epic Games just showed us what PS5 is really capable of when using an Unreal Engine 5. It’s beyond futuristic and we’re talking about phenomenal graphics and how interactive the game is. Combine the two and you have something revolutionary on your hands.

The key focuses of the Unreal Engine 5 are geometric precision and dynamic global lighting, and the use of nanite triangles instead of pixels, creating film-grade visual quality. According to Kim Libreri, Epic’s chief technology officer, “The next-gen consoles are going to give consumers a quantum leap, and UE5 is another leap on top of that.”

To begin with, the Nanite system focuses on increasing geometric precision of every frame and angle. In simpler words, with Unreal Engine 5, new games with the new game engine will aim at replicating film-grade attention to detail in art fixtures. Epic touts “no loss in quality” as one of the key benefits of Unreal Engine 5, which is aimed at helping powerful next generation consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 5 or the Microsoft Xbox Series X realise their true potential.

From a game developers’s point of view, what’s great about the Unreal Engine 5 is that graphic and memory data can be inserted directly into the game engine, which completely cuts off polygon count budgets, polygon memory budgets, or draw count budgets – it’s all one master-crafted package. Apart from Nanites, ‘Lumen’ is being demo-ed as a fully dynamic in-game lighting processor, which will now process shadows, and have high precision in breaking down portions of umbra and penumbra in a ray of light that strikes a subject.

To put it simply, light won’t only bounce off one surface, but also two, maybe three, depending on the intensity. Imagine yourself playing and you’ve reached a dark ancient chamber which forces you to use a torch. The Lumen tech is what makes the torch’s light look more hyper-realistic.

Epic Games demo-ed the entire experience on a PS5, confirming that the gameplay was fully interactive. They also confirmed that the ancient ruins arena wasn’t a part of an upcoming game and merely for demonstration purpose only. Nevertheless, it gave us a good idea of what to expect from an Unreal Engine 5.

All images: Courtesy Epic Games

Mikhail Gomes
Features Editor, Lifestyle Asia India & Contributor - Augustman
A watch aficionado, Mikhail also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.