Unreal Engine 5 Revealed with awe-inspiring Lumen PS5 Gameplay

The next generation of games is going to have an impressive set of tools to work with: the Unreal Engine 5 has been revealed by Epic Games inone of our first looks at PS5 gameplay. This latest iteration of a game development engine features Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry, the Lumen dynamic global illumination solution, and more!

Unreal Engine 5’s graphical power was highlighted with the Lumen in the Land of Nanite, a fantastical adventure showing a woman scaling cliffs and exploring an ancient temple. Rather appropriately, our heroine uses some kind of magical light to fly over the land and explore the crumbling architecture.

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The Lumen demo was one of the first true looks at a game running on the PS5. The reveal was made as part of Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest 2020, a series of new gaming announcements that will be arriving throughout the summer as one of the many replacements for E3 2020.

Lumen PS5 gameplay Unreal Engine 5

“Well, this really is a generational leap (or more) in technological capabilities,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explained. “The hardware that Sony is launching is absolutely phenomenal. Not only an unprecedented amount of graphics power but also a completely new storage architecture that blows past architectures out of the water and is far ahead of even the state-of-the-art and the highest-end PCs you can buy.”

If you’re curious about the Lumen in the Land of Nanite Unreal Engine 5 demo, you might be surprised to hear that this genuinely was a playable game demo; there weren’t any vertical slice shenanigans going on here.

“It’s a fully-playable demo,” said Epic’s VP of Engineering Nick Penwarden. “We plugged in a recorder into the back of a PlayStation 5  dev kit and recorded the signal that came out over HDMI. So it’s a totally live demo and it’s replayable, and it’s a little bit different every time you play it.”

While the game we saw today is indeed a real playable demo, it’s not actually a full game — it’s a tech demo. We may have gotten the chance to play it at a conference like GDC if they weren’t being canceled left and right. It’s unclear if we’ll be able to get our hands on the Lumen in the Land of Nanite demo at any point in the future.

According to a press release, the Unreal Engine 5 will be available in preview starting in early 2021 followed by a full release later in the year. Epic has also announced that they’re waiving royalties on the first $1 million in game revenue, making it easier than ever for upstart indie developers to make a respectable profit. The next iteration of the Unreal Engine will, of course, support both current-gen and next-gen consoles as well as PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.