We might finally have reached the point in history in which computer rendering technology blurs the line to deliver graphics that resemble ‘reality’, as Epic Games’ Chief Technology Officer, Kim Liberi mentioned in a statement with UK’s PlayStation Official Magazine.
“For many years, the movie industry has been experimenting with Unreal Engine for previsualization and cinematic shot design, and then last year Jon Favreau and LucasFilm made the leap to use Unreal to generate final pixels for in-camera visual effects on The Mandalorian. Yet, there is still the challenge that the movie industry creates almost infinitely complex assets, and for real-time content, we need simplified polygon meshes and normal maps. With Nanite, a new breakthrough technology in Unreal Engine 5, we have removed the barriers. You can now create environments with full-quality cinematic assets and the engine does all the heavy lifting, resulting in some truly photorealistic results.” – Kim Liberi
While this sounds like an Unreal 5 commercial, the truth of the matter is that the Unreal 5 Tech Demo shown running on PlayStation 5 a few months ago, finally showed a big leap in graphical fidelity missing in Xbox Series X’s earlier 3rd party game’s reveal.
The leap in technology that both the Series X, and the PS5 will represent is a significant one over current gen consoles (especially the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One/S). PS4 Pro, and Xbox One X owners will see massive improvements too by jumping into next gen systems, as their consoles have been held back by the base consoles, and the terrible Jaguar CPU’s that power the current hardware.
While PC has always (except for a brief period during the N64’s early existence) ahead of consoles in terms of horse power, Console developers working for dedicated hardware have been able to create games that rival and in some cases surpass anything seen on that platform save for the lower screen resolutions, and frame-rates.
Recently the Last of Us: Part II is an example of amazing technological achievement in character rendering and animation not seen anywhere else, that is running on base 2013 PlayStation 4 hardware. So, it shall be very interesting to see what Naughty Dog, Play Ground Games, Sony Santa Monica Studio, Guerrilla Games, among other can do with the new horse power afforded by the new consoles.
Liberi’s comments come on the heels of Jan Kavan’s, co-founder of CBE Software, developers of the psychological horror game Someday You’ll Return, interview with Gaming Bolt,
“This will greatly help large games – especially open world – because streaming is always an issue to deal with. It’s not only about reading from SSD, but also providing the assets for the game. So yes, having hardware-level decompression and asset preprocessing might bring in a very interesting point for the overall smoothness.” – Jan Kavan
Xbox Series X’s Velocity Architecture should aid in the development of open world games which will bode well for the rumored (to be in development) Fable 4. We can hardly wait for the next generation of consoles to start!