PlayStation 5: watch stunning 9 minute real-time demo Lumen in the Land of Nanite, built in the next-gen Unreal Engine 5

By Matt Martin, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 15:59 GMT

Epic Games has revealed a first look at the PlayStation 5 running a real-time demo of its newly announced Unreal 5 game engine.

Brace yourselves, this is a stunner.

Lumen in the Land of Nanite is a demo showing off the all-new version of Unreal Engine, available to developers in preview in early 2021. Enough talk, watch it below.

Unreal Engine 5 runs on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android and Mac and is built around two new core technologies Epic is calling Nanite and Lumen, as it strives for photorealism.

“One of our goals in this next generation is to achieve photorealism on par with movie CG and real life, and put it within practical reach of development teams of all sizes through highly productive tools and content libraries,” said Epic.

“Nanite virtualized micropolygon geometry frees artists to create as much geometric detail as the eye can see,” explains Epic. “Nanite virtualized geometry means that film-quality source art comprising hundreds of millions or billions of polygons can be imported directly into Unreal Engine—anything from ZBrush sculpts to photogrammetry scans to CAD data—and it just works.

“Nanite geometry is streamed and scaled in real time so there are no more polygon count budgets, polygon memory budgets, or draw count budgets; there is no need to bake details to normal maps or manually author LODs; and there is no loss in quality.”

Lumen technology is Unreal Engine 5’s new lighting tech which immediately responds to in-game changes.

“Lumen is a fully dynamic global illumination solution that immediately reacts to scene and light changes,” added Epic. “The system renders diffuse interreflection with infinite bounces and indirect specular reflections in huge, detailed environments, at scales ranging from kilometers to millimeters.

“Artists and designers can create more dynamic scenes using Lumen, for example, changing the sun angle for time of day, turning on a flashlight, or blowing a hole in the ceiling, and indirect lighting will adapt accordingly. Lumen erases the need to wait for lightmap bakes to finish and to author light map UVs — a huge time savings when an artist can move a light inside the Unreal Editor and lighting looks the same as when the game is run on console.”

In addition to revealing a new engine, Epic has also announced that the matchmaking and social services featured in Fortnite have now been made available for all game developers to use across their projects. It has also waived royalty fees on all games using Unreal Engine up to the first $1 million in game revenue.

Sony announced earlier today that the launch of the PlayStation 5 is still on track for holiday 2020. You can catch up on everything we know about the PS5 here, and compare the PS5 versus Microsoft’s Xbox Series X tech specs.

Elsewhere, Epic is making Fortnite’s matchmaking and account services available to Unreal Engine devs for free.

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