Earlier today, Epic showcased Unreal Engine 5 with a tech demo running on PlayStation 5 during a presentation for the Summer Game Fest. The demo, called “Lumen in the Land of Nanite,” ran about nine minutes long and while the majority of the discussion about it between host Geoff Keighley, and Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney, Kim Libreri, and Nick Penwarden went straight for technical speak, Sweeney did take a moment to discuss the generational leap between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, and made some pretty notable declarations about the power of Sony’s elusive console.
“This really is a generational leap or more in technology and capabilities,” Sweeney said. “The hardware that Sony is launching is absolutely phenomenal, not only an unprecedented amount of graphics power, but also a completely new storage architecture that blows past architectures out of the water. It’s far ahead of even the state of the art, highest PCs you can buy. So, with Unreal Engine 5, we set out to build a new generation of technology that empowers creators to create photorealistic scenes that are indistinguishable from reality.”
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Sweeney went on to praise the PS5’s architecture with concrete examples, like how it will essentially end the need for loading screens, and even eliminating texture pop-in, which has plagued video games since the medium started developing 3D environments.
“The ability of the hardware and the engine to stream a massive amount of content as you’re going through a huge environment, I think that’s going to have a much bigger impact on gaming than people are expecting right now,” Sweeney said. “Until this next generation of hardware, previous generation console games had to be built to load data off of a spinning mechanical device that has its roots in the 1950s. Now, Sony’s storage system is absolutely world class, and not only the best in class in console but also the best on any platform. Better than high end PCs. I think this is going to enable the types of immersion that we only could have dreamed of in the past. The world of loading screens is over, and the days of pop-in and geometry popping up as you’re going through these game environments. The resulting effect is the ability to build games that are fully immersive from start to finish of hundreds of hours of gameplay, if that’s your game.”
With Sony keeping PlayStation 5 details close to the chest over the past few months, the company could use creators evangelizing for it right now where it just seems unwilling to at the moment. While the company did have a tech presentation for the system back in March, it was more geared toward developers than it was the general public. While this tech demo is not an actual game people will play (which everyone on the Summer Game Fest panel had to reiterate this multiple times), it is the first instance of us seeing something running on the PS5 in real-time.
Whatever Sony’s plans are in terms of information rollout, the PS5 is set to launch this holiday season. We have seen its new controller, though.