Epic Games has given us a great surprise with the presentation of the Unreal Engine 5, a new generation graphics engine that is focused on multiplatform developments, that is, it will be used to create games on Xbox Series X, PC and PS5, Although the demo that you can see in the attached video works on the new generation console from Sony.
It was a surprising and very curious announcement because recently we saw that Epic Games had updated Unreal Engine 4 to version 4.25 to precisely support next-generation consoles. This has a very simple explanation, and it is that obviously it is not the same to launch a graphics engine developed from scratch for PS5, Xbox Series X and PC than patching an “old” graphics engine, which hit the market in 2013 and was, in fact, designed to work perfectly on a GTX 680.
It has rained a lot since then, and as you can see the Unreal Engine 5 announcement not only makes sense, but also it is necessary, since it marks an important starting point compared to the current generation and allows us to start the transition to a truly new graphics engine, better optimized and prepared to work with the latest technologies in the sector.
It is important to note that Unreal Engine 5 is almost finished (will arrive at the end of 2021), but this does not mean that we are going to see games based on this graphic engine overnight. There will be a transition time that will be insurmountable, and since this is a new generation focused engine we will probably have to wait until the end of 2022 to see the first games based on it.
Unreal Engine 5: photorealism through geometry and lighting
Among the main improvements that Epic has confirmed in the new Unreal Engine 5 we can highlight two major keys that affect geometry and lighting.
We started with Nanite, a technology that is defined as a kind of virtualized micro-polygons that allows an enormous level of detail to be achieved without the geometric load being triggered. This allows us to overcome the limitations imposed by traditional polygonal loads, and according to Epic it makes possible the use of billions of polygons without compromising performance, and without affecting the graphic quality in the least. As we can see in the video the result is excellent.
We now jump to Lumen, a technology that, as its name suggests, refers to the globally applied lighting. The degree of realism it offers is fantastic, of that there is no doubt, but we will have to see what impact it has in terms of performance.
Those two have been the main protagonists of this first demonstration of Unreal Engine 5, but in the second half of the video we can see others that are also quite interesting, such as Niagara, which achieves advanced simulations thanks to the intercommunication between particles, and others that affect animations. Yes, finally we will have games with best animationsDo you remember that at the time it was one of the improvements that we highlighted when talking about the innovations that would make the new generation of consoles possible?
Epic has confirmed that the projects developed on the Unreal Engine 4.25 graphics engine can be ported directly to Unreal Engine 5, but not vice versa, something that clearly confirms that the latter is completely focused on the new generation, and that the games developed under it will not work on current consoles. I am not entertaining you anymore, I let you enjoy the video.
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