Later this year, Sony and Microsoft are going to launch their next-generation (or, by then, current-generation) video game consoles. And today Epic Games showcased its new engine that will help bring games to life on those consoles and more.
On Wednesday, Epic officially lifted the curtain off its newest game engine, Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). The company showcased the technology in a real-time demo utilizing Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 console, and Epic says this is an initial look at what developers will be able to tap into in the future for developing new games (per The Verge).
The graphics speak for themselves. And Epic has always pushed the bleeding edge of what’s possible,” CEO Tim Sweeney tells The Verge. “Our goal isn’t just to bring more features to developers. The hardest problem in game development right now is building high quality games takes enormous time and cost. So we want to make developers’ lives easier and more productive.
Epic is describing UE5 as a “quantum leap” for consumers, with the engine capable of showcasing dynamic lighting and incredible overall visual quality. Most importantly, Epic believes this isn’t just what can be accomplished in a tech demonstration, even running on a developer hardware kit for a consumer-focused video game console. Kim Liberi, Epic’s Chief Technology Officer, expects developers to tap the power showcased in the demo in a full studio title.
However, as is par for the course with this sort of thing, it may take some time before the full power is tapped and developers create showcases like this demo.
At first, UE5 is all about laying the groundwork for experiences across platforms. Epic confirmed in its announcement today that the game engine will launch in 2021, with a full release in mid- to late-2021. When it arrives, developers will be able to use the engine to build games for not only the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X, but also current-generation consoles, Android devices, Windows-based PCs, iOS devices, and Macs.
Fortnite, the ridiculously popular battle royale game from Epic Games, will eventually be a showcase for that. That game will be a launch title for Sony’s and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles, and it will also remain on the devices it already runs on (Windows PCs, Macs, Android, and iOS). However, it won’t be until late 2021 that Fornite transitions to using UE5.
You can build a high-end console game and it can look fantastic and you can also make it work on smartphones, and you can build an audience far bigger than just the hardcore gaming audience by shipping it on more platforms,” he adds, referencing Fortnite. “The technology can enable that and make it more productive
You can check out the real-time tech demo showcasing the Unreal Engine 5 game engine just below. And you should definitely check out the full report from The Verge regarding UE5, the PlayStation 5, and more.
Are you already planning on picking up a PlayStation 5 later this year? Or are you leaning toward Microsoft’s Xbox Series X? Let us know in the comments below!