Unreal Engine 5 was unveiled last week with a stunning tech demo running in real-time on a PlayStation 5. The demo, aptly titled Lumen in the Land of Nanite, showcased two technologies called Lumen and Nanite that will be at the forefront of next-generation game development.
For those of you who may haven’t seen it, here’s that demo clip:
The former allows for incredibly realistic and natural lighting, while the latter gets rid of polygon limits and provides developers with the freedom to place as much detail in an environment as they please without having to worry too much about technical constraints.
Naturally, most of the talk surrounding Unreal Engine 5 involved the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, leaving the question of current generation compatibility unanswered.
Compatible With Switch
Thankfully, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has officially confirmed that Unreal Engine 5 will work on any platforms that support its predecessor, Unreal Engine 4, including the Nintendo Switch.
The advanced Lumen and Nanite features may not be available on older hardware, but Unreal Engine 5 is designed with scalability in mind. “To maintain backward compatibility, we have this pipeline where you import or build all content.
And at the highest level of cinematic quality executed directly on next-gen consoles,” Sweeney stated in an interview. Newer, more powerful machines like the PS5 and Xbox Series X will be able to take advantage of the new technology, but less powerful hardware like the Nintendo Switch won’t have access to all the new bells and whistles.
Doesn’t Mean Get Game With That Awesome Graphic
Just because Unreal Engine 5 is supported on a device like the Nintendo Switch doesn’t mean that the console will start to get games with visuals on a similar level to the Lumen in the Land of Nanite tech demo.
The Switch will still see benefits from supporting the engine, but scalability is the biggest reason why Unreal Engine 5 supports so many platforms. Fortnite is a prime example of how the engine will work across multiple platforms.
Fortnite is transitioning to Unreal Engine 5 in 2021, and it will likely take advantage of all of the engine’s new features on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X while also offering toned down versions of the game for weaker machines like current generation consoles and mobile devices. Existing devices can continue to receive support for years to come while new devices get the best possible experience.
So, what do you all think about this awesome announcement guys?