Epic Games' Tim Sweeney praises the PlayStation 5's raw power and storage tech, calling Sony's next-gen hardware 'unprecedented' and 'absolutely phenomenal.'
Today Epic announced Unreal Engine 5, and showed the first-ever real-time gameplay running on a PlayStation 5 console in the form of an advanced tech demo. The Unreal Engine 5 looks to push the PS5 to its limits with 8K texture rendering alongside high-end and ultra-versatile Nanite tech, which allows for cinematic movie-quality assets to be injected right into a game using virtual geometry. To create these kinds of dev tools, Epic has nurtured an intimate relationship with the PlayStation 5 and knows its ins and outs.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney had some choice words about the PS5 that come from an actual understanding of the hardware itself instead of marketing hype-speak.
"Unreal Engine 5 is really a generational leap or more in technological capabilities. The hardware that Sony is absolutely phenomenal. Not only an unprecedented amount of graphics power but also a completely new storage architecture that blows most past architectures out of the water and is far ahead of even the state-of-the-art highest-end PCs you can buy," Sweeney said on a Summer Games Fest stream.
Sweeney even added a bit of dramatic flair by telling Eurogamer:
"Sony is pioneering here with the PlayStation 5 architecture. It's got a God-tier storage system which is pretty far ahead of PCs, bon a high-end PC with an SSD and especially with NVMe, you get awesome performance too."
That last part is extremely interesting. The PS5 uses an ultra-fast 5.5GB/sec PCIe 4.0 SSD with a special 12-channel memory controller and a hardware-based decompression block built right into the I/O. This will allow the system to store, receive, and process data at blinding-fast speeds--especially compressed assets, which can blast through the pipeline at 9GB/sec. The massive 448GB/sec memory bandwidth means the 16GB of GDDR6 RAM can shoot assets to the CPU for processing and GPU for rendering at supercharged speeds.
Coupled with tech like Nanite with its 8K textures, the PCIe 4.0 SSD will allow for real-time next-gen gaming with purely seamless effects and rendering.
Sweeney goes on to talk about how Unreal Engine 5 will change how games are made for the new generation and what Epic's goals with UE5 are. Unreal Engine 5 won't release until 2021, though.
"With Unreal Engine 5 we set out to build a new generation of technology that empowers creators to create photorealistic scenes that are indistinguishable from reality, and to do so with a very high degree of productivity.
"There are two problems in game development: the features needed to achieve complete realism, and the other big problem is the cost and time it takes for an artist to create a major new piece of content for a next-gen game.
"So Unreal Engine 5 solves both of those problems. We have the Nanite system for virtual geometry, enabling sub-pixel geometry which is imperceptibly different from the full, high-quality cinematic-level assets that were originally scanned.
"Also Lumen, the new real-time global-illumination system, will not only bring unprecedent quality of lighting to the scene but also to free artists from having to worry about the details of their levels.
"We're really trying to empower developers here and to enable developers to create immersive experiences that are not only unbelievable realistic but also economical and practical for them to create without having to have a 1,00 person team."