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News "We're able to show the difference from what's possible today with what's possible tomorrow": Inside Epic's Unreal Engine 5

Lethal01

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It was right around this time in 2017 that Fortnite was starting to blow up: Karis was effectively "sheltered", he says, from what was happening throughout the rest of Epic, able to work on his idea without being dragged off to help babysit the phenomenon the company suddenly found itself cradling. "We got a little bit nervous, because it was quite a lot of experimenting," Libreri laughs. "But eventually, things started to click with Nanite, and we were like, 'Oh my god, this is really going to work. This is going to change everything for game developers.'"

Sony, you see, had listened. PS5 was going to make Nanite possible. "It was three or four years ago at least when we started to talk with Mark Cerny about possibilities for the next generation," Sweeney says. Their discussion wasn't just about graphics, but about the growing realisation that storage architecture in game hardware – having to load data from a hard drive, the huge amounts of latency between mass storage and a processor – was a limiting factor in Epic's and all developers' future plans for game-making. The team at Epic received very early hardware access to the next-gen console, and the Sony collaboration has been far longer-running than the Microsoft one, Sweeney says, something which naturally influenced Epic's decision to reveal Unreal Engine 5 using PS5 instead of Xbox Series X.

"And Sony really did a fantastic job of implementing a new platform around that realisation that storage could be revolutionised," he continues. "PlayStation 5 is built not only on a huge body of flash memory, but also a very high bandwidth and low latency framework for accessing it, and for getting it to wherever you need for any type of work."

He describes how PS5 renders a texture highly efficiently, fetching it from the high-speed SSD decompressed, into video memory in the exact place it's needed. This is thanks to PS5's IO (or input-output) system, which according to Epic's VP of engineering Nick Penwarden, is "the major innovation with the next-generation console hardware. They have faster CPUs, they have faster GPUs, and that was really important to be able to achieve the visuals that we showed – but the biggest change across console generations is absolutely going to be the IO bandwidth that we're able to achieve with the SSDs that are in next-generation consoles."

"It's a key unblocker for what Brian and team have built here," Sweeney confirms. "Rendering micropolygons resulting from a 20 billion-polygon scene is hard enough. But actually being able to get that data into memory is a critical challenge. And as a result of the years of discussions and efforts leading up to that, it was a perfect opportunity to partner [with Sony] to show that effort finally coming to fruition with pixels on the screen."

The fact that we have to keep uninstalling other games every time the 200GB-gobbling Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare releases a new update is a constant reminder that we've come face-to-face with the practical limits of this generation.

"We'll have state-of-the-art compression algorithms," Libreri assures us, explaining that Epic's started working on those already and plans to do a lot more over the coming year. "We'll also start enabling developers to have higher-level descriptions of geometry that aren't just the micropolygon level detail, where it's a displacement – like the way that movie assets are made."



I need
 
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skit_data

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What demo are you talking about? Pretty sure we've already seen games of the quality of all of their real time demo's feel free to remind me though.
I agree, i went back and looked at the tech demo for UE4 a while ago and I would say many games surpassed the tech demo among first party developers. Considering the UE5 demo was more interactive gave less of a prerendered feel i expect some games to be pretty damn close in terms of graphics.
 

Lethal01

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I agree, i went back and looked at the tech demo for UE4 a while ago and I would say many games surpassed the tech demo among first party developers. Considering the UE5 demo was more interactive gave less of a prerendered feel i expect some games to be pretty damn close in terms of graphics.

The only thing that brings doubt to me is the question of file size.
How big was that demo? Regardless, if we could just eliminate pop with current detail levels that would be great.
 
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Uncharted bunghole
What demo are you talking about? Pretty sure we've already seen games of the quality of all of their real time demo's feel free to remind me though.

This one?


I mean then there's this.


Dark Souls Ps5 GIF by PlayStation


The elemental doesn't look so special now right?
 
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Valued Gamer

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I agree, i went back and looked at the tech demo for UE4 a while ago and I would say many games surpassed the tech demo among first party developers. Considering the UE5 demo was more interactive gave less of a prerendered feel i expect some games to be pretty damn close in terms of graphics.
The only interactive thing was controlling the chick.
There was no NPC AI, no gun fights etc.
If that had to be added in the game, it would be chugging along at 10fps.
 
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Quasicat

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Im all for better graphics and better LODs but they really need to make a game that shows off those features and please not fortnite.
I agree, but I think that Fortnite will be first to show this technology. It’s been 5 years now, but isn’t Fortnite still really popular and therefore still making a ton of money? It makes sense to me that Epic would like to show it off on their own game, especially since Gears is no longer in-house for them. Perhaps they have something in the works which will show what UE 5 can do.
 

Tschumi

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That teaser video is the reason i think we still have more to see from PS5, just as much as we have more to see from XSX, no PS5 games have yet taken comprehensive advantage of all that speed and efficiency in a novel way.. but I'm sure studios like guerilla and naughty dog will, given time.. look at how far Uncharted came on PS3
 
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DonJuanSchlong

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Sony was really really smart about partnering with Epic and listening what they wanted/needed for the next gen.
I'd love to hear which kind of compromises they have to take to make UE5 work on PC and Xbox
How much would you like to bet PC will run it at higher IQ and framerate than ps5. The ps5 version will be the one with compromises in comparison.
 

Lethal01

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The only interactive thing was controlling the chick.
There was no NPC AI, no gun fights etc.
If that had to be added in the game, it would be chugging along at 10fps.

I think you Overestimate how demanding AI and code for combat is.... You realize that even games on ps2 can have good enemy AI right?
You aren't going to lose 10% of your framerate by adding a few enemies.
 
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Lister

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Considering the i/o is the enabler as stated by Epic, your bet seems to be a distant long shot

The demo was confirmed to be running just fine on a mid range pc according to epic themselves. I would assume that was without direct storage which is coming to pc this year and without RTX IO which is also coming to PC later this year.

PC as always will be running these games much better than fixed console hardware.
 

Heisenberg007

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How much would you like to bet PC will run it at higher IQ and framerate than ps5. The ps5 version will be the one with compromises in comparison.

If by 'PC' you mean 1% of PCs in the world that cost 4x-6x the price of the console and made with future I/O technologies, then ... probably. It'd be embarrassing if it doesn't and still cost 4x-6x.

But if you mean more than 51% of PCs in the world that only cost $399-$499 and is based on <2020 tech, then I'm open to betting.
 
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bitbydeath

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The demo was confirmed to be running just fine on a mid range pc according to epic themselves. I would assume that was without direct storage which is coming to pc this year and without RTX IO which is also coming to PC later this year.

PC as always will be running these games much better than fixed console hardware.
It wasn’t. It was later confirmed to just be the avi movie file playing.
 

Heisenberg007

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The demo was confirmed to be running just fine on a mid range pc according to epic themselves. I would assume that was without direct storage which is coming to pc this year and without RTX IO which is also coming to PC later this year.

PC as always will be running these games much better than fixed console hardware.

Never happened. It was fake news (the guy just played a .mp4 video file lol) and was later debunked by Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney as well. Feel free to share a credible source if you want to disagree.
 

nemiroff

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The demo was confirmed to be running just fine on a mid range pc according to epic themselves. I would assume that was without direct storage which is coming to pc this year and without RTX IO which is also coming to PC later this year.

PC as always will be running these games much better than fixed console hardware.

Yeah, Epic China went rogue and basically straight out confirmed It could run on a laptop - and thus ruined Swiney's day because it jepordized his exclusive Sony moneyhatting ad deal. I got much entertainment from that one..
 

nemiroff

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It wasn’t. It was later confirmed to just be the avi movie file playing.

That had nothing to do with it. You're just parroting Swineys smoke screen. The Epic engineers didn't bring the laptop to show off the demo running realtime, and never said it was running in real-time. They simply ad hoc responded to a question from the audience regarding what specs were needed to run the demo. The laptop was there as a prop for other things and was playing a video of the demo while they were taking questions and talking about it.
 
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bitbydeath

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That had nothing to do with it. You're just parroting Swineys smoke screen. The Epic engineers didn't bring the laptop to show off the demo running realtime, and never said it was running in real-time. They simply ad hoc responded to a question from the audience regarding what specs were needed to run the demo. The laptop was there as a prop for other things and was playing a video of the demo while they were taking questions and talking about it.
Either way it tricked Lister Lister so a correction was still required.
 

scydrex

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Yeah, Epic China went rogue and basically straight out confirmed It could run on a laptop - and thus ruined Swiney's day because it jepordized his exclusive Sony moneyhatting ad deal. I got much entertainment from that one..

Of course it will run on low end PC. Witcher 3 runs on the Switch no? The Switcher: The Wild Port.
 

Shmunter

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The demo was confirmed to be running just fine on a mid range pc according to epic themselves. I would assume that was without direct storage which is coming to pc this year and without RTX IO which is also coming to PC later this year.

PC as always will be running these games much better than fixed console hardware.
Yes, because the next gen I/o is irrelevant, despite epic focusing on the aspect. Epic lies & Sony wasted their time building it.

Let them dream.
 
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longdi

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Yes, because the next gen I/o is irrelevant, despite epic focusing on the aspect. Let them dream.

Yes as said by Epic:
but the biggest change across console generations is absolutely going to be the IO bandwidth that we're able to achieve with the SSDs that are in next-generation consoles.
The SSD in both consoles as standard, are huge leap over HDD.

Then there is this, about the tools and all.
The team at Epic received very early hardware access to the next-gen console, and the Sony collaboration has been far longer-running than the Microsoft one

There is also something about Sony's stakes in Epic.... 🤷‍♀️
Sony has made a $250 million investment in Epic Games, the two companies announced on Thursday. The deal means Sony gets a 1.4 percent interest in the game development studio and publisher
Shits just adds up.

But never fear, cause MS will ensure PC gets the same love.

Microsoft to Bring DirectStorage API to Windows in 2021: Speeding Up Gaming With NVMe SSDs

Basically nothing to see here, this year everyone will get SSD gaming love. Micro polygons and whatnot. :messenger_smiling_hearts:
 
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Heisenberg007

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Interesting read. It seems like Sony and Epic worked very closely when Sony was designing the PS5.

That, and when Sony designed PS5, Epic saw the design decisions Sony made (specifically with the SSD and I/O), Epic went back and rewrote parts of the UE5, so the engine could make better use of the PS5 tech.

It'll be a glorious generation for gamers!
 

Shmunter

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Yes as said by Epic:

The SSD in both consoles as standard, are huge leap over HDD.

Then there is this, about the tools and all.


There is also something about Sony's stakes in Epic.... 🤷‍♀️

Shits just adds up.

But never fear, cause MS will ensure PC gets the same love.

Basically nothing to see here, this year everyone will get SSD gaming love. Micro polygons and whatnot. :messenger_smiling_hearts:
It’s all about a direct placement of assets into ram from storage. No cpu involvement, no double handling. Both consoles should do. Speed and latency factors between the 2 consoles will be explored.
 
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Heisenberg007

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The SSD in both consoles as standard, are huge leap over HDD.

No one denies that both consoles have very fast SSDs, and that's why the generational leap will be more meaningful for all gamers. If only one console had the SSD, it would have been bad for the gaming industry.

But if SSD and I/O speed are the main criteria here, then you can't deny that PS5 has a 129% faster SSD and I/O than XSX. Which is why PS5 is mentioned more than XSX when talking about data throughput and UE5.
 
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"We'll have state-of-the-art compression algorithms," Libreri assures us, explaining that Epic's started working on those already and plans to do a lot more over the coming year. "We'll also start enabling developers to have higher-level descriptions of geometry that aren't just the micropolygon level detail, where it's a displacement – like the way that movie assets are made."

This is the stuff i’m most excited about. This here is exactly what the PS5’s bespoke Geometry Engine is gonna enable.

Instead of pulling a metric crap tonne of vertex data in from main memory, and setting up the polygons with the geometry processor in the GPU front end, instead you pull in higher-level descriptions of the geometry that are inherently compressed with many times less memory footprint, and using Primitive Shaders you generate all the visible geometry on the fly. No even need to cull polys, because you deterministically generate only the geometry visible in the view frustrom.

It’s freaking cool and combined with the uber fast SSD+IO it’s gonna enable some positively wild new rendering techniques.
 

longdi

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No one denies that both consoles have very fast SSDs, and that's why the generational leap will be more meaningful for all gamers. If only one console had the SSD, it would have been bad for the gaming industry.

But if SSD and I/O speed are the main criteria here, then you can't deny that PS5 has a 129% faster SSD and I/O than XSX. Which is why PS5 is mentioned more than XSX when talking about data throughput and UE5.

epic China engineers have leaked their UE5 io tech works perfectly fine on sata SSD.
129% faster seems small after we have jumped from HDD to SSD though.
I dont expect to see much if any in game performance advantage because of 129% numbers. 🤷‍♀️
 
Mar 7, 2017
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epic China engineers have leaked their UE5 io tech works perfectly fine on sata SSD.
129% faster seems small after we have jumped from HDD to SSD though.
I dont expect to see much if any in game performance advantage because of 129% numbers. 🤷‍♀️
Terms like “works” and “runs” are relative.

Cyberpunk 2077 “runs” on the Xbox 1 S. That doesn’t mean the experience is even remotely comparable to the game running maxed out on the highest spec. PC.

If Epic China’s definition of “run” is as loose as the above, it becomes a pretty meaningless statement.
 

longdi

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Terms like “works” and “runs” are relative.

Cyberpunk 2077 “runs” on the Xbox 1 S. That doesn’t mean the experience is even remotely comparable to the game running maxed out on the highest spec. PC.

If Epic China’s definition of “run” is as loose as the above, it becomes a pretty meaningless statement.

we shall see, Hellblade 2 is moving to UE5. Ninja theory has good coders too. No more tools excuses too! :messenger_bicep:
 

-Arcadia-

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How much would you like to bet PC will run it at higher IQ and framerate than ps5. The ps5 version will be the one with compromises in comparison.
So, you’ve given up on Series X, then?

I think the smart thing to do would be to wait and see before declaring absolutes. Typically, you don’t beat PC, but in this case, with a brand new development approach and an deeply integrated architecture, it may be possible to see PS5 get some kind of wins for a short time.
 

onesvenus

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How much would you like to bet PC will run it at higher IQ and framerate than ps5. The ps5 version will be the one with compromises in comparison.
Of course it will be better in a high spec PC. What I was saying was that, given that most PCs will have only a fraction of the I/O bandwidth of the PS5 and that they will want to make sure UE5 works fine across a wide range of devices, they'll need to do some compromises regarding what they could achieve if all devices had the same bandwidth as the PS5.

Considering the i/o is the enabler as stated by Epic, your bet seems to be a distant long shot
You are delusional if you think that they will make an engine that only works with devices which have a similar I/O than the PS5. Most of their market is not there.
 

-Arcadia-

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This is all really fascinating, and I’m looking forward to seeing if it can bear similar fruit to the demo, which was utterly, unquestionably, next-gen.

My only concern is the storage requirements. Which are somewhat mentioned and addressed here, but I recall them throwing out a size number that was absolutely massive, just for that short demo.

That’s part and parcel (Sadiq will not ruin this saying) with all new paradigms, though. There generally always is a way to figure it out, and it looks like they’re on their way. I’m super excited to play games that look this good.
 

Heisenberg007

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epic China engineers have leaked their UE5 io tech works perfectly fine on sata SSD.
129% faster seems small after we have jumped from HDD to SSD though.
I dont expect to see much if any in game performance advantage because of 129% numbers. 🤷‍♀️

In terms of loading screens, I agree there won't be a huge (read: meaningful) difference. But in the case of virtualized geometry that depends on I/O, a 129% difference could be huge. All depends on the amount of data developers send and the graphical fidelity it leads to.