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We Finally Have Our First Look At Unreal Engine 5

Epic Games has just announced its next-gen game engine, Unreal 5. Not only that, but the company has given fans a look at the engine in action via a gorgeous demo presentation. Thanks to this, we can finally get an idea of what the future of gaming might actually look like.


When reached by The Verge for comment, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said, "The graphics speak for themselves. And Epic has always pushed the bleeding edge of what's possible. Our goal isn't just to bring more features to developers. The hardest problem in game development right now is building high quality games takes enormous time and cost. So we want to make developers' lives easier and more productive."

Epic's chief technology officer, Kim Libreri, added, "the next-gen consoles are going to give consumers a quantum leap, and UE5 is another leap on top of that."

To this end, Epic is making sure that developers can go ahead and start making games for the new engine. This has been accomplished through a system of "forward compatibility." In other words, developers can create games in Unreal 4 that can be ported over to Unreal 5 for finishes when U5 makes its official debut. It will be fascinating to see how seamless this process is, especially for developers who are already working on next-gen games.


The demo is certainly impressive, showing off a wide range of lighting techniques and environmental interactions. According to IGN, the demo, entitled Lumen in the Land of Nanite, is designed specifically to show off the two latest additions to the Unreal 5 toolkit. These are Lumens, a new illumination tool, and Nanite, which will allow developers to offer realistic film-quality graphical experiences within Unreal 5.

Furthermore, Kim Libreri told IGN that the demo has not been spruced up in any way. This is exactly how a game running Unreal 5 could and should look on a PlayStation 5 console. Libreri explained, "I think a lot of people [will ask], 'Oh is [the demo] real?' But you know that demo was grabbed from the back of a PlayStation 5 development kit. An HDMI cable went into a disc recorder and played out real-time — no editing, no tricks, that's what comes off the box."

With recent uproar over the frame rate of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, some people already felt a little soured toward the next generation of console gaming. It's encouraging to see that gaming is indeed poised to make such a massive leap forward. We'll keep an eye out for more looks at Unreal 5 as it develops. For now, the demo is a sight to behold.