Epic Games has revealed Unreal Engine 5 via today's Summer Game Fest announcement, showing off an impressive tech demo of a game using the engine, running on a PS5 devkit. The company says that the new engine will support many platforms including Xbox Series X and Xbox One.
Epic claims that one of its next-generation goals "is to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life," and highlighted two of Unreal Engine 5's new core technologies in the aforementioned demo - Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry and a fully dynamic global illumination solution called Lumen.
There's a big, long explanation of these technologies over at the Epic Games website if you want to check it out for yourself, and the company says that Unreal Engine 5 will be available for developers and publishers in preview in early 2021, and in full release late in 2021.
If you're wondering what all of this has to do with Microsoft, there are lots of games currently utilising Unreal Engine on Xbox One, including Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, Bleeding Edge and many more. Epic is designing for forward-compatibility, allowing next-gen development projects to begin in UE4 and move to UE5 when ready.
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