A few hours ago we had the opportunity to see the first technical demo of the Unreal Engine 5 running on a PS5, and I have to admit that the sensations it has transmitted to me have been very good.
In just over two minutes the demo has confirmed very important and much-needed improvements that not only affect realism at the graphic level (global lighting and micro-polygons to achieve a higher level of detail), but also have a considerable impact on the recreation of reactions of the elements of the environment And in the animations.
What can I say, awesome. I really wanted to see a jump of this level, although unfortunately it seems that we will have to wait at least a couple of years, since the Unreal Engine 5 It won’t be fully ready until the end of 2021. I had also been, like many of you, wanting to see a deeper explanation about the technical details of this demo, and luckily we have some interesting details that we are going to share with you.
PS5 moved the Unreal Engine 5 demo with dynamic resolution: 1440p almost all the time
The fact that Nick Penwarden, Vice President of Engineering at Epic Games, has confirmed that the demo worked with dynamic resolution on PS5 “almost always” keeping a count of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels It is a very important and very interesting fact. First of all this means that at times the resolution fell below this figure, And in second place takes us away from the idea of 4K as an absolute standard in the new generation of consoles.
It is a subject that I have also commented on some occasion. You may have more powerful hardware, but if you have to move more complex games and with better graphic effects at the end you may not have room to increase the resolution. Remember that, at the time, PS4 was able to move the Unreal Engine 4 Elemental demo in 1080p and with a very poor graphic quality.
Nick also made another interesting comment in his interview with Digital Foundry, and that is that an RTX 2070 Super would be able to easily move this demo. This graphics card has a power of 8.2 TFLOPs, a figure lower than the more than 10 TFLOPs of PS5, something that confirms what we have already told you on other occasions, and that is that the TFLOPs do not define by themselves the performance of a graphics card in games.
The demo did not use ray tracing at any time, but Epic has confirmed that they are working to implement this technology in the Unreal Engine 5. The frame rate per second at which the demo was moving on PS5 has not been specified, but in the video I have appreciated some clear pull, so I can assure you that it has not run at 60 fully stable FPS.
One triangle per pixel: extreme detail and simpler developments
Nanite technology is promising, so much so that I think it has been the great star of the Unreal Engine 5 presentation. We have already explained that this technology uses very small polygons to achieve a very high level of detail without this having a great impact on performance.
Nick Penwarden has commented that hundreds of billions of polygons have been used in the demo, and that Nanite’s goal is render one triangle per pixel, a very ambitious objective that would allow achieving a truly impressive level of detail and that would also end the graphic quality reductions due to the traditional limitations that a high load of geometry presents in games.
Another important point has been lighting. Lumen is a very promising technology that can generate highly realistic light effects that extend over long distances, thanks to a temporary accumulation technique that allows to significantly reduce the consumption of resources.
The possibilities of the Unreal Engine 5 for developers are enormous, but it also provides them with important facilities, and according to Epic Games, these they will be able to directly import high quality resources and scale them in real time without image degradation, that is, without loss of quality.