Epic Games continues to dive deeper into the jaw-dropping Unreal Engine 5 demo from last month to highlight the rendering capabilities of PlayStation 5.
In a new hour-long presentation from the Unreal Fest Online 2020 virtual event, vice president of engineering Nick Penwarden and engineering director Marcus Wassmer demonstrated how Unreal Engine 5 will be “critical” to the development of photorealistic next-generation games in the coming years.
Taking the cave section from Lumen in the Land of Nanite as an example, Epic Games pointed out that the Unreal Engine 5 demo only used cinematic-quality assets from the Quixel library that were made up of millions or billions of polygons and that too with 8K textures. A single rock from the demo was made up of 1.5 million polygons. PlayStation 5 was hence rendering cinematic 8K assets at a stable 60 frames per second, which as Epic Games reiterated, was made possible by the newly evolved Unreal Engine 5.
The hardware required for running such an insane amount of realism only goes half way. The process of creating such a heavily detailed scene is the other challenge. Unreal Engine 5 features a new system called “virtualized micropolygon geometry” where developers can directly import cinematic-quality assets into games in real time. In the case of PlayStation 5, developers can now use Unreal Engine 5 to easily support and work with more than a million different objects in a single scene, where each object can have millions of polygons.
Earlier in the month, chief technology officer Kim Libreri stated that “it has been a lifelong dream” of his to witness games that are “as believable and realistic” as big-budgeted Hollywood blockbusters. Libreri exclaimed full confidence that the next-generation graphics and processing feats of PlayStation 5, powered by Unreal Engine 5, will make that lifelong dream of his come true.
PlayStation 5 has been pegged for launch during the holiday season at the end of the year. Sony Interactive Entertainment has categorically stated that despite COVID-19, there will be no delays. However, a release date and price point are yet to be announced. For the latter though, bad news seems to be on the horizon.
PlayStation 5 will reportedly be more costly in comparison to the previous—current—generation. It now also appears that next-generation games will be costly as well. The retail price of $60 is being pushed to $70 according to reports, and which will not be specific to Sony only. 2K Games has became the first publisher to officially announce that NBA 2K21 will cost $70 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X while costing the same $60 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.