Epic Games has officially unveiled Unreal Engine 5, via a demo running on the PlayStation 5 that offers the first look at gameplay on the next-generation system.
The video demo showcases a number of new and improved features coming to Unreal Engine 5, including improvements to sound, water physics, animation, and two specific technologies: Nanite, and Lumen.
Nanite is a new virtualized geometry technology that allows for film-quality source art to be imported directly into Unreal Engine 5 without bumping up against polygon count or memory budgets or a loss in quality.
Lumen is a dynamic lighting technology that lets game worlds react to scene and light changes, with shifts such as a light turning on, the sun changing angles, or a hole opening in the ceiling causing both direct and indirect light to change accordingly.
Unreal Engine 5 is set to go into preview in early 2021, with a full release in late 2021, and will support both next- and current-generation consoles as well as PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
Projects built in Unreal Engine 4 will be compatible with and can be moved to Unreal Engine 5 once it launches.
Additionally, Epic Games has announced that it will release Fortnite as a launch title on next-gen consoles, and will also migrate the game to Unreal Engine 5 sometime in mid-2021.
Alongside its reveal of Unreal Engine 5, beginning today, Epic will now waive all royalties on Unreal Engine games up to the first $1 million in gross revenue, with the new terms of the license agreement retroactive to January 1, 2020.
And finally, Epic has fully launched Epic Online Services, a free SDK integration that allows developers to include friends, matchmaking, lobbies, achievements, leaderboards, and Epic account systems in their games across PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.