Unreal Engine 5 is the Bright Spark of what is possible for ALL gamers.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I think the biggest disappointment with last weeks "Inside Xbox" from Microsoft was that truly next generation graphics were NEVER on display. The true disappointment was/isn't about who's games looks better, it was teh lack of inspiring visuals that say, "This is next generation, this couldn't not be done before."

On teh other hand I don't think the Unreal Engine 5 graphics should be just seen as a PS5 showcase, its a showcase about what is possible for our future. There si truth about what si running on what, but teh bigger story is the next generation of games won't just be slight improvement of current generation graphics.

The video below is so much closer to what we should imagine on all systems, and also closer to what we should expect from what is possible. To sell systems there has to be a technological reason to buy, otherwise just stay with the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, right? Today is some fo that reason bubbling up.

Yes, we won't see Unreal engine 5 games until 2022? But that is fine because this is just a demo of one engine by one engine company, there are mature engine out now that have had constant improvements that can produce results just as pretty, but maybe not as efficiently as they upcoming engine available now.

And, I hope that is what people keep in mind as the next generation approaches - w have not even seen much of what they "could do". No matter what system you have games are going to look amazing not only because they new systems will have more power, but because they new game engine will leverage system power better. The Unreal Engine 5 should not be seen as a PS5 showcase as much as a next generation showcase! Moreover the new game engines all seem to promote scalability, so if a developer want to leverage teh huge install cases of PS4 or Xbox One that can make some truly spectacle games for the old hardware too. The last Xbox One and PS4 games could look light years beyond the 2013 games or even the 2020 games.

Last week, at Micrososft's “Inside Xbox”, was a downer for the whole industry. It WAS NOT just the lack of game play that was a downer. That downer was those games looked like Xbox One X and PS4 Pro games on 2019 engines - been there, seen that. That will not be the whole story of the next consoles, it will be some of the story, but the reason you will want they new systems is just starting to peek out. The best is yet to come, the games that will inspire us are coming. Those game swill be on all the systems, and teh above video should make gamers feel good.

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ZombiePie

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#2  Edited By ZombiePie

I don't know what to make of this trailer and am a bit weirded out by some of the excitement surrounding this demo. For one thing, it's an engine demo and that's something that reeks of a bygone era of the console wars. Yes, the engine was designed with the PS5 in mind, but that's no guarantee it will result in Unreal Engine 5 games running better on the platform. On top of that, we have reached the point where technical graphics are not the emphasis of large portions of the dame development community. What does an indie developer currently using Unity get out of this demo? I'm not sure it's anything to be perfectly honest.

Speaking of which, I do not think this demo does a lot to change the industry-wide trend of most console developers erring towards Unit over Unreal. Epic lost a lot of ground the last generation and I do not know if this does anything to tilt things in their favor. Also, the recurring issue with Unreal isn't that it is not capable of outputting technically impressive visuals. The issue has always been that the lion's share of games designed using Unreal have a distinct look which two console generations led to a lot of people feeling like AAA games started to look too homogeneous.

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finaldasa

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#3 finaldasa  Moderator

Go back and watch the last Unreal Engine trailers, games didn't come close.

This is a marketing video to sell the engine. This isn't indicative of where video games will go.

This is a very small, interactive tech demo. Games are complex, vast pieces of software with entirely different focuses and goals that don't involve 100 highly detailed statues in a gloomy tomb.

It will certainly boost what games are capable of. But don't put the cart before the horse. This was Epic doing what every game dev and publisher does during E3: Showing off a trailer to sell something.

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Sweep

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#4 Sweep  Moderator

Gotta be the jaded/cynical buzzkill here, these kind of tech demos are to build hype and nothing else. The games you play will not look like that and the reality is you wouldn't want them to; When I hear them bragging about "16 million triangles in one room" all I can think is "that's some pretty shitty asset optimization" and "enjoy downloading that 5TB game over your 40MBps broadband."

Beyond all that, rendering has never been high on my list of priorities. There's a lot of problems with videogame development and "not enough triangles" has never been one of them.

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russha

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Epic lost a lot of ground the last generation and I do not know if this does anything to tilt things in their favor.

Based on what? Many big budget games have been based on UE4. Even Valorant is based of UE4.22. I remember the Frostbite expose with developers wishing they had tooling similar to UE.

It will certainly boost what games are capable of. But don't put the cart before the horse. This was Epic doing what every game dev and publisher does during E3: Showing off a trailer to sell something.

This was slated to be at GDC. So yes, it was totally to market the engine to developers to use.

I'm quite excited to see what comes of this. UE's recent additions to their middleware stack have been super cool (Niagara and Chaos) and if these two new pieces (Lumen(?) and Nanite(?)) are of the same quality, I think we could see some games using these effectively. I could especially see this in 3rd person character action games, where quality is preferred over raw performance. But I don't think every game would use it.

Going back to old demos is always interesting and it really depends on the one you're looking at. If its showing only a single feature (such as some facial performance stuff), then yea, that's not going to be representative of what's possible in games.

Other demos like Elemental really try to showcase the particles (PhysX) and PBR materials. PBR materials are now basically the defacto standard and Chaos was a replacement for PhysX because NVidia stopped updating it.

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BladeOfCreation

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People losing their shit over this just goes to show that there is nothing new uder the sun.

Josh Sawyer (from Obsidian) seemed to have a more reasonable take on Twitter. These tech demos always result in people imagining the craziest things. The real test is when it comes to actual development.

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ZombiePie

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And I really look forward to these super realistic graphics causing game download sizes to balloon even more and a single game taking twenty hours to download.

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Efesell

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#8 Efesell  Online

Unreal 5 one step closer to finally getting us to those old Madden renders.

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jacksmedulla

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I just think the excitement around this trailer is coming from a younger generation. Those of us who have lived through multiple console cycles and engine announcements know that a tech demo is in no way indicative of what actual games will look like.

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liquiddragon

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#10  Edited By liquiddragon

5th, 6th, and 7th gen console tech demos overreached quite a bit but that was a long time ago and the industry isn’t the same. I don’t think you get can get away w stuff like that as much these days. if you look at a lot of the 8th gen tech demos, they ended up being pretty accurate and I would argue were surpassed. I honestly don’t think what we’re seeing here is some impossibility. It seems plenty doable to me. 🤷🏻‍♂️ The budget is more the limiting factor imo.

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FacelessVixen

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I mean, I'm all for games looking that good in the near future. But then, reality sets in when more things are considered...

I've been fooled before. Just saying.

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Humanity

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As I wrote elsewhere - apart from what everyone else has already said - the funniest part of that demo to me was that it's supposed to showcase the amazing power of PS5's fast harddrive pipeline that Sony and Cerny are hyping up to be THE biggest change in future gaming, eliminating load times almost entirely from the gameplay experience...

and yet.. even in this tiny tech demo for an engine, they STILL included a "slowly squeeze through this crack" loading buffer zone. Like what? Certainly they didn't actually need a load there and wasn't Cerny's (almost) entire speech about eliminating exactly these sort of things? One might say an.. unreal.. decision on their part.

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BabyChooChoo

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The tech demo did nothing at all for me. That was just as boring as listening to Epic talk about it.

I think they should have just let other devs come on Keighley's show and talk about why they're excited about working with UE5 because seeing the industry reaction to it was way more exciting than anything said during that entire half hour. I saw a lot of smaller developers who seemed like they were genuinely floored, dreaming up new possibilities for their games. That's the shit I like.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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I'm not getting too excited about a tech demo.

The kind of vibe of it goes along with the ideas I have though that hopefully the increase in HD tech and power in general allow larger open environments that aren't hampered by load times or as many limitations.

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wollywoo

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That was some really impressive tech. I'm really curious to see what devs do with this. Random thoughts...

- the hero's face seems a bit cartoony considering the detail level of the environment.

- the water simulation looked pretty janky. No wonder they cut away so quickly.

- sound design amazing. But I wasn't sure how much of that is due to the real-time engine and how much is due to pre-recorded / pre-rendered audio engineering.

Overall, I'm impressed. But I still have the same doubts going into this generation as I had before seeing this. Where is the gameplay benefit? Frankly, current-gen games already look great to me, and pushing the graphics continually forward by small touches doesn't interest me as much as exploring new gameplay innovations. I don't know of a many gameplay defining features possible with PS5 tech and not possible on PS4. But I'm curious to see what ideas devs will have. One possibility is to base games around massive physics simulations - as seen in Outer Wilds. Would also love to see truly realistic fluid simulation in gameplay - great for water-based racers.

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Shindig

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It sounds like the benefits are about creating and pulling in assets without having to scale something down.

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ThePanzini

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A major plus from having SSD's will be far richer denser environments. Developers are already creating assets in far greater quality than they can use like Dice with photogrammy, the fact that Nanite is doing so without any extra leg work is very impressive.

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lobster_johnson

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So this is what PS6 games will look like. Cool.

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tp0p

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I heard that sony was planning on using the ssd to stream in models that had 1 million polygons last month and I couldn't really believe it and what it would look like. And we finally got a glimpse of it. I wonder, since sonys studios usually use their own engines, they might have their own games looking like this, already, if the game engine are meant to take advantage of the new ssd(just pure speculation). Also, since many microsoft studios use unreal, this might actually help microsoft because they don't have to build their own engines around streaming off the hard drive(I dont think they have started even thinking about it).

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hermes

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As others have pointed out, engine tech demos are software companies putting a lot of makeup in a very controlled environment to look at their best and are, in no way, indications of real games with real gameplay being played by real people.

Sure, it looks nice, but I would bet no game will look like that expect in very scripted sequences for the next 5 years. Consider that this was the Unreal demo, 15 years ago:

Loading Video...

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notnert427

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#21  Edited By notnert427

We've reached a point of seriously diminishing returns graphically. Honestly, this doesn't look that different than Rise of the Tomb Raider did on a launch Xbox One in 2015. Games can look pretty damn incredible already. This gen we had Forza Horizon 4, God of War, a pair of extremely pretty Battlefield and Battlefront games, HITMAN, Horizon Zero Dawn, Gears 5, a few Assassin's Creed games, etc. that needed little to no improvement visually, especially if you were playing them in 4K HDR on a quality TV set.

Thus, significantly outdoing games like that is a tall order and perhaps even an unreasonable expectation. I guess walls can be slightly more detailed if you're into making your character stare at them from inches away, at the expense of tacking on ever-ballooning GBs of 4K assets. Awesome. Oh, right, "ray tracing" is the new favored buzz word, except everything about that screams that it's more of a technical accomplishment than it is something that will manifest meaningfully within games. Also, did anyone else notice that the water in this tech demo looked crappy and far worse than multiple games already out on current-gen systems?

The reality is that games next-gen are going to be beholden to the same thing that happened this gen. If the work is put in and they properly optimize the HDR (which continues to be far more impressive than 4K), the games will look fucking amazing. If the games are half-assed, they won't. I'm sure people will try to convince themselves that they can count the new polygons, just like how they could definitely tell the difference between 900p and 1080p at the start of this gen. Obviously the new consoles will be potentially much more capable due to improved specs, but anyone expecting every next-gen game to look noticeably better than games did on the One X/PS4 Pro is going to be sorely disappointed.

The best thing that we can hope for is for developers to consistently target 4K HDR 60 FPS. If that becomes the standard at some point next-gen and developers optimize games there, that's complete success, IMO. It's a benchmark a few games hit this gen, but having that become somewhat of a baseline for next-gen consoles that should be plenty capable of that will allow for potentially incredible-looking games. They just won't look that much better than what's already out, because we're technologically long past the days of PS1 to PS2 graphical leaps.

In short, both new consoles will have beautiful, impressive games, unless people choose to get lost in meaningless technical circle-jerks or unrealistically demand to be blown away in ways that aren't really possible anymore considering how amazing games currently look.

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BaneFireLord

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#22  Edited By BaneFireLord

It sure looked pretty, but it also kinda bummed me out. I know it's just a tech demo, but the fact that the showcase was using the most bog-standard gameplay ideas I can imagine to sell the possibilities of the engine just increases my suspicion that we're going to spend the next generation in the AAA space doing the same basic things we've been doing since about 2007 but with more polygons.

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geirr

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#23  Edited By geirr

Imagine being able to run through caves and climb some walls. Unreal (engine) 5~

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yyninja

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We are still very far away from any game looking like that. Unreal is notorious for publishing tech demos that look way too good than what most developers can accomplish.

The good news is that there are several takeaways that I think are being overlooked:

1. The tech demo was running on PS5 hardware specs and not some souped up computer SLI configuration with four RTX Titans. I don't think the next Uncharted or Final Fantasy will match the visuals of that demo, but it shows the potential of the PS5.

2. Nanite sounds like a gamechanger to artists who can directly import photorealistic graphics instead of spending time optimizing them for each platform.

3. Not announced in the Tech Demo, but it was part of the news release. Epic is now offering Unreal Engine to developers for free with no royalty fees for the first $1 gross million earned. This is a tremendous boon to indie developers and will put some pressure on Unity to follow suit.

4. Also not announced in the Tech Demo. Epic is offering Epic Online Services for free for any developer, even if they are not using Unreal Engine. This means that we can expect many more cross-platform games in the future! And perhaps... better online matchmaking from Nintendo products.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I forgot that they sky was falling and that we're supposed to bitch because a game engine demo is not actually a game.
I forgot that they sky was falling and that we're supposed to bitch because a game engine demo is not actually a game.

Well, my take is lets not be such mopes about next generation looking like current generation. What? Did mommy buy you "action man" for your 10th birthday, so you're a bit sour you had to get her a card last Sunday?


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Efesell

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#26 Efesell  Online
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cikame

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I'm just going to echo the "controlled rendered environment" posts, once you start filling the memory with everything else required to make a fully featured game it stops looking like this.
The only things i really noticed were the small rocks dotted around the place and their global illumination solution that looks nice, but it's not something i NEED... at all really, i'm more interested in the technology they're making to reduce workload for developers, that's what really matters.

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FacelessVixen

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@hermes: First time seeing this. I wouldn't kick Unreal 3 out of bed. ...if it were actually used for games to that extent.

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topgunmv

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#29  Edited By topgunmv

@hermes said:

As others have pointed out, engine tech demos are software companies putting a lot of makeup in a very controlled environment to look at their best and are, in no way, indications of real games with real gameplay being played by real people.

Sure, it looks nice, but I would bet no game will look like that expect in very scripted sequences for the next 5 years. Consider that this was the Unreal demo, 15 years ago:

Loading Video...

You mean 9 years ago, and that's about what Arkham Knight ended up looking like. I agree games aren't going to hit demo targets for a while, but i don't think it's true that games never end up looking like the engine demos.

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mikewhy

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The big focus is on the workflow changes / capabilities for developers using the engine. So if all you're seeing is diminishing returns / "the graphics", it's less about that, and more about what the developers had to go through to get the end product to us.

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development

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It's exciting that it was apparently running on a PS5. If that's true, it had no noticeable framerate hitches for all that was going on in the flying scene, and that's pretty big. Of course, like others have said, the ease to which developers will be able to create performance-friendly scenes of a similar quality is going to be the thing here. Clearly this demo was perfectly constructed just to achieve the desired effects, and not an actual game of any kind.

So, even if it wasn't real gameplay, or realistic to see achieved, it was still cool seeing a PS5 could power all that was going on in that demo.

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ThePanzini

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For once we actually get an achievable demo running on next gen hardware using two new methods which will take far far less man hours to implement, but for some the water looks bad I don't like the stylized face completely missing the point of the demo. If your expecting the 4K60 with the new gen your going to be disappointed you can't sell frame-rate and resolution in a YouTube trailer.

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hippie_genocide

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It looks great and everything, but if next gen can't do better than 30 fps I'm not going to even bother with it.

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hermes

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@facelessvixen: I wouldn't either. It is an impressive technology, and given the way Epic monetizes it, a great learning tool. I just think its not a good source of information for an unreleased peace of hardware.

@topgunmv: Yeah, the video is 9 years old, but the engine version is 15 years old at this point. And while we eventually got there, it took 5 years. I think games well into the next generation have potential to look close to that during gameplay (and, again, in pretty controlled spaces), but that ain't going to happen until 2026, at least.

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mikewhy

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hippie_genocide

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@mikewhy: I don't see why that's so cringey. Why wouldn't I take the money I would've spent on a new console and reinvest it into upgrading my PC where I can play almost all the same games at (much) higher fps?

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OurSin_360

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It was cool, games will probably look pretty close to that given time and developer ingenuity. And good news is alot of the next gen stuff will be in the next (or current) version of Unreal 4 before it's release.

Just because you can import a trillion polly model doesn't mean you actually need to, so developers will probably be able to do some cool stuff next gen. I wouldn't expect anything like that to run at 60fps on these consoles though, maybe some high pc's in a couple years.

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NTM

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#38  Edited By NTM

It didn't make my jaw drop, but it looks visually great, and yes, I expect that, and then later on even better for next-gen. Something also important is, and maybe I'm misunderstanding what they were saying, but it also sounded like with the new engine, it will allow for developers to create greater looking games within a shorter timespan, so more great looking games more often perhaps. Maybe that's the 'lie' if you will, I don't know. I also want to say, I'm not sure why some people expect 60fps for most games next-gen. A lot of developers are always going to want to push the visual aspect as much as they can, and that often means 30fps. I mean, were people expecting Assassin's Creed: Valhalla to be 4k/60fps on Xbox Series X? It seems they're pushing it in other ways, like faster loading times, and whatever else they have in mind. The same will be for other games.

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NTM

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#39  Edited By NTM

@humanity: Whether it is to be believed or not, it was said that that part was only in the demo to show off the detail when up close to something, and wasn't actually there to mask loading.

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Humanity

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@ntm: Oh I believe it because why would a tech demo need a loading zone, I just mean it seems like the worst possible way to show textures up close when a big part of your marketing push for this hardware is that it will eliminate exactly these sort of sections. She could have jumped and fallen and the camera could have zoomed in on the ground or literally a million other ways they could zoom in on a texture without using a classically recognizable loading gate. It just seems silly.

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fisk0

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#41 fisk0  Moderator

For the most part this demo just seemed like the expected iteration of where these engines have been going for the last 15-20 years. What I did find interesting was specifically what they talked about automatic contextual actions of the characters, like her reaching out for that door.

I think it's too early to say, but maybe - hopefully - this finally means we're going to see 3D games that can actually handle cramped, small environments well? Since about 2000 games have just gotten larger and larger in scope, with more vast worlds and large scale and fast traversal - but they're still incredibly bad at handling like human scale rooms and corridors, which is why indoor environments are always scaled up _a lot_ in games. Maybe this will finally let us have characters naturally navigate a normal size corridor or apartment, effortlessly passing between obstacles and other characters without getting stuck or suddenly climbing chairs or tables.

Imagine actually seeing the kinds of places working class humans work and live in, and not these absurdly spacious mansions and sewers we've seen since the dawn of the 3D age? Like, imagine an actual cyberpunk game that not just does the cool neon art stuff but actually conveys the bad living conditions of everybody but the corporate CEOs that is like the actual point of that genre?

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mikewhy

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#42  Edited By mikewhy

@fisk0: Ubisoft has a GDC talk about this (somewhat): https://youtube.com/watch?v=KLjTU0yKS00&t=24m02s

And another similar one, more about motion blending: https://youtu.be/KSTn3ePDt50?t=1166

I guess my point here is that animation blending is solvable outside of the engine (but would be very amazing if something like Unreal Engine came with this out of the box, like its new lighting solution does).

But the stuff with polygons, and not needing to worry about LODs, or normal maps, or any of this (while amazing) bizarre stuff that devs have had to do for years in their asset pipelines. It also lowers the barrier of entry to new artists and developers. This is a bigger shift that can't really be solved by middleware.

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ZombiePie

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#43  Edited By ZombiePie

It sure does sound like Sony paid Epic a boat load of cash to say "PS5" a bunch during their demo! It's almost like these demos largely play into market campaigns to catch the attention of would-be first-adopters. It's almost like this demo is not at all a sign of the long-term technological differences between the next generation consoles...

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mikewhy

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It sure does sound like Sony paid Epic a boat load of cash to say "PS5" a bunch during their demo! It's almost like these demos largely play into market campaigns to catch the attention of would-be first-adopters. It's almost like this demo is not at all a sign of the long-term technological differences between the next generation consoles...

Maybe it's cause I first watched the Digital Foundry video before anything else, but I was never under the impression that this was pitched as something "only possible on PS5" or some such nonsense.

The description of the video linked in the OP only says "running live on PlayStation 5". Verbatim description on the video on Unreal's channel. IGN's video does say "A PS5 tech demo highlights the new capabilities of Epic's game engine" which is a grey area but "technically correct" (this demo, at this point in time, only runs on PS5).

Tim's tweet even mentions other platforms. "The Unreal Engine 5 demo on PlayStation 5 was the culmination of years of discussions between Sony and Epic" could still very well be a factual statement, and they probably had talks with Microsoft, AMD, and Nvidia.

Like yeah, Sony def paid to get the PS5 name drops, but any drama relating to differences between consoles / platforms is frankly made up. Sorry you read so much into marketing.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I think the main thing to keep in mind is that this engine, like many future engines, is they want to streamline the development process. They WANT developers to have their artists to drop in their art native, and then let the engine scale it for use in the game. No need to tweak lower and lower resolution instances of any model...it about streamlining.

And that interesting idea that might never occur, but might be of some use, is that the 3D modelers that developer users do not necessary have to understands the constraints of gaming imagery. The freelancers can just send in their 3D models/art, and then the developer need only drop it into the engine to be reworked. That would seemingly open up modeling objects for games to more artists - more freelancers. A benefit is that really detailed models for the movie industry need not be recreated by game specific artist; yet, I think it could be opening up jobs to more freelancers and new artsis.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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#46  Edited By sparky_buzzsaw

It all boils down to “show me the games.” We’ve seen tech demos that promised the moon before. This is another one of those. i’m not taking any of this seriously until I actually have a game that can run all this stuff. See also: every tech demo ever.

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hughj

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I think the main thing to keep in mind is that this engine, like many future engines, is they want to streamline the development process. They WANT developers to have their artists to drop in their art native, and then let the engine scale it for use in the game. No need to tweak lower and lower resolution instances of any model...it about streamlining

This also pairs well with Epic's recent acquisition of Quixel and their 'Megascan' asset service. Quixel have teams that basically globe-trot doing photogrammetric scans and license out access to their material software and library, and now that service is free if you're utilizing it for UE4-based content. A lot of what we saw in that UE5 demo would have been from those Megascans.

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xbob42

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I'm amazed so many people thought this demo looked amazing. I thought it looked very nice, but if you told me it was the PC version of a current-gen game I'd be like "Oh, that makes sense." It's hardly the powerhouse showcase you expect from a giant next-gen tech demo, but that's probably a little more honest, which I think in the end is a good thing. I think we'll absolutely surpass the fidelity of this tech demo (at least on PC) without any compromises, a few years into next generation.

The part I was most disappointed in was actually the flying. Maybe it was just the camera angle or something but I wanted, like, jet engine speeds. I mean, it was very fast, but it still didn't feel significantly faster than current-gen? Maybe that's asking too much and it would've been an unwatchable blur, but I'm so tired of games feeling so slow! Flying in Anthem was fun, for example, but was so ridiculously slow that it was actually hilarious, especially if you stayed close enough to the ground for people walking to see up close how slow you were moving. I have the NEED for SPEED!

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hughj

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#49  Edited By hughj
@xbob42 said:

It's hardly the powerhouse showcase you expect from a giant next-gen tech demo

"Next-gen" isn't a generational leap anymore (as we used to know it) and this is the new norm. Hardware that's 2x better here and 5x better there doesn't facilitate exciting demos. The stuff in the past that people associate as "next-gen" were 40x better here and 80x better there. Orders of magnitude improvement are what enable you to go from a bathtub with 1 duck, to one full of ducks. It's the same reason why a 10 year old PC is still reasonably capable today, whereas a PC from 1990 would be in a landfill by 2000; that's the difference between a 2x increase and a 100x.

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#50  Edited By xbob42

I guess it makes sense why the SSD would be the focus, then. While us PC folk have been using them for like a decade, if not longer, there's been no real push to really utilize them from a developer perspective, where in a best case scenario you were getting like 150MB/s out of an Xbox One X no matter what kind of drive you put in it. In that scenario, you really are seeing a damn near 100x increase from the norm that will benefit gamers on PC or console alike.