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This PS5 advancement is far ahead of PC

Yesterday, gamers got their first look at the PlayStation 5 in action. This was thanks to a tech demonstration of Epic Games' new Unreal 5 game engine. The demo was called Lumen in the Land of Nanite and it looked absolutely gorgeous, featuring realistic graphics and lighting. This led to some folks wondering if the PlayStation 5 was capable of running games like this on the regular, and it sounds like that is in fact the case.

In a chat with IGN's Matt Kim, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was extremely frank when it came to answering questions about the kind of power being brought to the table by the PlayStation 5.

When asked about running the Unreal 5 demo on the PlayStation 5, Sweeney said, "I think, first of all, Sony has a massive, massive increase in graphics performance compared to previous generations. But you know, I guess we get that every generation? But Sony's made another breakthrough that in many ways is more fundamental, which is a multi-order magnitude increase in storage bandwidth and reduction in storage latency."

Storage latency is the length of time that a particular application may take to process and complete a storage operation. In other words, a higher storage bandwidth and lower latency time means that the new console is processing information at a much faster rate than previous generation consoles. This is how the game is able to perform at a much higher standard than we ever though possible and why the Unreal 5 demo from yesterday looked so unbelievably smooth in action.

The PlayStation 5 can actually juggle a number of different processes at once, allowing for film-quality graphics and more realistic environmental interactions. It also allows for all of these things to proceed without any noticeable lag time between processes. As Sweeney explains, "[The PS5] puts a vast amount of flash memory very, very close to the processor. So much that it really fundamentally changes the trade-offs that games can make and stream in. And that's absolutely critical to this kind of demo."

This pretty much lines up with what we've heard in the past regarding the PlayStation 5's production. One of the reasons why the system will likely be very costly for consumers is because of the quality of materials being used in constructing the console. According to reports from earlier this year, the PlayStation 5 is utilizing the type of flash memory normally seen in products from the smart phone industry. 

Sweeney maintains that this level of tech is absolutely necessary to be able to run something on the scale of Unreal 5. Sweeney explains, "This is not just a whole lot of polygons and memory. It's also a lot of polygons being loaded every frame as you walk around through the environment and this sort of detail you don't see in the world would absolutely not be possible at any scale without these breakthroughs that Sony's made."

According to Sweeney, Sony's storage capabilities actually outpace even the most powerful SSD that can currently be purchased for the PC. As Sweeney says, "it's really exciting to be seeing the console market push forward the high-end PC market in this way."

This is an incredible claim to make, considering PC games have long been the go-to for high-end graphics. However, it doesn't mean that Epic isn't excited for next-gen gaming as a whole. According to IGN, Sweeney was reluctant to weigh in on "any potential performance differences" between the PS5 or Xbox Series X. Even though Epic Games chose to run the demo for Lumen in the Land of Nanite on the PlayStation 5, this isn't a hint at the company having a preference for one over the other. 

As expected, it appears as though each next-gen console has different edges over the other. In fact, the Xbox Series X also has an edge in the storage department that appears to beat out its competition. The Series X will utilize compression technology to make it easier to store multiple games on one hard drive. The console also aims to utilize Dynamic Latency Input to reduce input lag while playing games, essentially anticipating the user's button inputs to make for a more seamless experience.

Meanwhile, both systems are placing a heavy emphasis on immersion. The PlayStation 5's DualSense controller will use haptic feedback to make gamers feel like they're right in on the action. The Xbox Series X will have a heavy focus on spatial sound design to achieve a similar immersive feeling.