Epic Games has a new demonstration for its next-generation Unreal Engine 5 game engine, and it's stunning. Building on the original showcase of the engine on the PS5 a year ago, this latest demo showcases a number of exciting texture improvements, lighting changes, and arguably most excitingly, a new upscaling technology which brings down hardware demands significantly. Epic pledges that it would allow for a near-zero effect on visual quality, whilst reducing the demands of 4K gaming down to just 1080p.
Global illumination ray tracing is a major component of the new engine, allowing developers to more easily integrate this true-to-life lighting technique into their games, and making it much easier to change the look and feel of a scene just by adding elements to it — since they react naturally to the light, and have their own effect on it. The new Sky Atmosphere system will ease the use of day/night cycles, with lighting, humidity levels, and cloud and fog cover all dynamically changing without any major alterations by the developer.
Megascans bring photo-realistic textures to any Unreal Engine 5 games that want to make use of it, and higher detailed player and character models, make for more believable interactions throughout the game.
All that and more make Unreal Engine 5 an exciting new frontier for game development and for the final games we'll all be playing over the next few years.