Epic Games has unveiled its latest Unreal Engine 5, a new version of the popular graphics engine made ready for next-gen consoles. The unveiling came about through a technical demo running on the Playstation 5 hardware.
The technical demo showed off Unreal Engine 5’s two latest features: Nanite and Lumen. Nanite virtualized geometry will allow games to render cinematic quality textures composed of millions or billions of polygons in real time. It allows the game to render environments in pixel-sized quality, to which even its shadows would achieve the same accuracy. Gone are the “budgets” for polygon count, memory and draw counts; and even baking details are out the door.
Lumen, on the other hand, is Unreal Engine 5’s global dynamic illumination, which includes “multi-bounce global illumination.” Scenes with dynamic lighting can now be done in real time, without waiting for lightmap bakes to finish.
Unreal Engine 4.25 already fully supports next-gen consoles, and Epic is working with the console makers and game developers to fully utilize the prowess of the current engine version. Meanwhile, Unreal Engine 5 is slated for a preview in early 2021 with a full release later that year for next-gen consoles, PC, Android and iOS. The engine will be forward compatible to have developers easily transition from UE4 to UE5 when it becomes available.
In addition to the UE5 unveiling, Epic Games is also waiving royalties on the developer’s first USD 1 Million in gross revenue, with the Unreal Engine downloadable and usable for free. Further, Epic Online Services, used in Fortnite for matchmaking, lobbies, and leaderboards, will also be made availablle to developers as a multiplatform SDK for free.
Head on to the Unreal Engine’s official website for more info.