Notice: To display this embed please allow the use of Functional Cookies in Cookie Preferences.
Speaking in the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Epic’s Kim Liberi claimed the new consoles would fulfil his longtime goal partly thanks to Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite tech, which is claimed will allow developers to put “movie-quality” assets in their games.
“It has been a lifelong dream of mine that real-time computer graphics, and in particular games, can be as believable and realistic as a movie,” he said.
“Next-gen graphics and processing power will not only make games more immersive, but will also enable entirely new gameplay concepts that can take advantage of fully dynamic environments and lighting, much-improved physics, smarter AI, and richer multiplayer experiences.”
Epic partnered with Sony for the unveiling of UE5, which was shown running “live on PlayStation 5” via the ‘Lumen in the Land of Nanite’ demo in May.
According to Epic, UE5 will allow artists to import film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons directly into the engine.
The Nanite technology will then scale the assets in real-time, significantly reducing time spent adjusting them for game performance and with “no loss in quality.”
In the OPM interview, Liberi pointed to Epic’s recent collaboration with LucasFilm’s The Mandalorian, which used Unreal Engine to create real-time visual effects for its sets, as an example of how technologies in the two mediums were converging.
“For many years, the movie industry has been experimenting with Unreal Engine for previsualisation and cinematic shot design, and then last year Jon Favreau and LucasFilm made the leap to use Unreal to generate final pixels for in-camera visual effects on The Mandalorian,” he said.
“Yet, there is still the challenge that the movie industry creates almost infinitely complex assets, and for real-time content, we need simplified polygon meshes and normal maps. With Nanite, a new breakthrough technology in Unreal Engine 5, we have removed the barriers.
“You can now create environments with full-quality cinematic assets and the engine does all the heavy lifting, resulting in some truly photorealistic results.”
The CTO went on to claim that, thanks to features such as its asset-scaling tech Nanite, Unreal Engine 5 will be able to deliver both higher quality results and more efficient workflows, which could broaden the technology’s appeal beyond just AAA game developers.
“Independent developers tend to wear a lot of hats,” he said. “They are designers, artists, programmers and storytellers, and removing the time they have to spend on the technical details of game development allows them to spend more time on what makes their game fun and unique.”
He added: “Unreal Engine 5 provides creators the freedom to create.”
Unreal Engine 5 will be available in preview in early 2021, with a full release planned to follow in late 2021. The middleware will run on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, Mac, iOS, Android and “current-generation consoles,” according to Epic.