“It feels like two generations of improvement in quality, because of this new technology we’ve been able to bring to life,” says Epic Games’ chief technology officer Kim Libreri.
Yesterday, Epic Games formally unveiled Unreal Engine 5, their engine’s leap into next-gen gaming in preparation of the PS5 and Xbox Series X’s launch later this year. They did so with a playable tech demo being shown off, and though it’s hard to judge what the quality of full-fledged, full-length games will be against what’s shown off in a highly scripted and much smaller vertical slice, there’s no doubt that what was shown was very impressive, and showed a lot of promise.
And Epic themselves are certainly not shying away from promising the world with their new engine. In an interview with GamesBeat, Epic’s chief technology officer Kim Libreri stated that the PS5 and the Xbox Series X with their hardware advancements are already going to provide a “quantum leap” for gaming experiences from both the consumers’ and developers’ perspectives, and what Unreal Engine 5 is offering on top of that will be another leap forward.
“The next generation of consoles is going to give developers and consumers a quantum leap in their gaming experience. Unreal Engine 5 is another leap on top of that,” Libreri said. “It feels like two generations of improvement in quality, because of this new technology we’ve been able to bring to life. The future is very bright for gamers, and anybody using our engine for any application. I’m pretty sure our friend Jon Favreau [executive producer for The Mandalorian, which uses Unreal Engine], when he sees this demo, is going to be asking if he can have it on his movie sets.”
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney also weighed in, saying the UE5 is going to lift the restrictions that have been placed on development up until now and allow to developers to “build anything they want,” with the only considerations being budget and scale.
“It’s pretty fundamental,” Sweeney said of the new engine’s promises. ” What you can do with unlimited geometry and vast bandwidth for streaming data, it really uncaps games. You can build anything you want at this point. It’s just a matter of budget and scale and development team. There’s no artificial limit.”
Epic Games are currently planning on rolling out Unreal Engine 5 by mid-2021. The engine will also scale down to support current-gen platforms and mobile devices. Fortnite – which will launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X later this year – will be migrated to UE5 next year. You can read our detailed analysis of the engine’s tech demo reveal through here.