On Wednesday, Epic Games showed off a demo for the new Unreal Engine 5 via Geoff Keighley’s highly hyped Summer Game Fest showcase, which wound up a bit more tepid than he had us anticipating. The demo was designed to run on a developer PlayStation 5 and showed incredible results, particularly highlighting a new light system dubbed “Lumen” that allows for “a fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes.”
Another focal point was the Nanite system, which generates “virtualized micropolygon geometry.” Nanite is what allows UE5 to render photorealistic graphics more accurately than ever before, allowing for “film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons.”
UE5 is set to release for developers in a preview stage early next year, then receive a full release in late 2021. While the company cites a hefty transition period before we really see any new big titles running on UE5, developers currently using UE4 will find it easy to move from engine to engine. “Epic is designing for forward compatibility, so developers can get started with next-gen development now in UE4 and move projects to UE5 when ready.”
Summer Game Fest will continue tomorrow with a 10-minute gameplay session for Sucker Punch Production’s Ghost of Tsushima, which is scheduled for launch on July 17.