It wasn’t that long ago that we got our first look at what the PlayStation 5 is capable of when Epic Games showcased Unreal Engine 5’s new Nanite technology. The graphics, lighting, and, well, everything was just breathtaking. Now, Epic Games’ Chief of Technology Kim Liberi has come out and admitted that next-gen console hardware will help developers bring their dreams to life. Those dreams? Movie-like graphics in video games.
In the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, Liberi laid this concept out as it relates ot him:
“It has been a lifelong dream of mine that real-time computer graphics, and in particular games, can be as believable and realistic as a movie. Next-gen graphics and processing power will not only make games more immersive but will also enable entirely new gameplay concepts that can take advantage of fully dynamic environments and lighting, much-improved physics, smarter AI, and richer multiplayer experiences.”
Make note of how he’s talking about “next-gen graphics,” and not speaking in relation to either system specifically. Epic may have partnered with Sony to reveal Unreal Engine 5, but it’s becoming more and more clear that the Xbox Series X will be just as capable, and that’s good news. But, how does it work and what makes movie-quality graphics possible?
Well, according to Epic, UE5 will give artists and developers the capability of importing film-quality source art, combined of hundreds of millions or even billions of polygons, directly into the game engine. From there, that’s where the Nanite technology kicks in. That technology scales the assets in real-time with “no loss in quality’ while drastically reucing the time spent to adjust them for in-game performance.
According to Epic, Unreal Engine 5 will be available in preview form in early 2021 with the full release happening later that year, probably in the fourth-quarter. It will run on Xbox Series X, PC, PS5, iOS, and Android. Epic also says it will run on current-gen consoles, but you probably shouldn’t expect the same detail due to hardware limitations.