What Unreal Engine 5 is going to be quite demanding when it comes to hardware It was something that we already knew or, at least, we could imagine, thanks to the demos that have been released in recent times and that, yes, have made it quite clear to us that this development environment poses a great evolutionary leap with respect to its predecessor and that, consequently, we can expect titles developed with Unreal Engine 5 to be spectacular… and spectacularly demanding.
However, and although we could already get an idea about it, it is now when we can start to check it, and it is even more shocking than we could expect. Remember the Unreal Engine 5 demo that was released alongside the second Matrix Resurrections trailer? Well, a few days ago the Megacity Sample Project was launched, which is nothing more than the city that was used to create said demo, and in which we could see Lumen, Nanite and Metahumans, three key technologies of Unreal Engine 5, in operation.
Thus, it was only a matter of time before someone with a “top of the range” computer set out to put the city to the test… or, to be more exact, to put their PC to the test against the demands of Unreal Engine 5. happened and how can we see in this video, Epic has shown off with everything that can be done in Unreal Engine 5, but at the cost of excessive performance. And it is that a team with an Intel Core i912900K well accompanied by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 and 32 gigabytes of RAM. And with those wickers, with resolution 4Kthe framerate remained between 30 and 50 frames.
Yes, it is true that we are talking about a fairly high resolution, but we must not lose sight of the hardware we are talking about, which today represents one of the highest performance options that we can use. And yes, I know that above the RTX 3090 is the RTX 3090 Ti, but the jump that we can expect from one model to another will not be a huge jump. Distinguishable, yes, spectacular, no.
Unreal Engine 5 and the new gene
So, seeing the performance of Megacity Sample Project on a high-end PC (very high, actually), the first thing we have to think about is what will happen when trying to port the Unreal Engine 5 experience to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series. Because, if the top of the range of the current generation of graphics adapters, at times, could only reach 30 frames per second, what can we expect from two devices whose graphics adapters are part of an APU (with the limitations that this entails) and with unified memory?
And no, it’s not lost on me that the Matrix demo was released for PlayStation 5, but I remind you again that we’re talking about a demo. What will happen when a full game wants to get the most out of Unreal Engine 5? Well what, most likely, you will find that you cannot do it, as the performance of current generation consoles may fall short very, very soon. And we are talking about consoles that have been on the market for just over a year.
The next generation of graphics for PC, the RTX 40 and RX 7000 series, which will debut in a few months, may already be fully up to what Unreal Engine 5 demands or, to be more exact, will be able to squeeze all or much of the juice out of the Epic Games development environment. However, with the consoles, neither the current ones, nor probably their “Pro” revisions, which will mark the halfway point of this generation’s life, will be able to get to that.
And what will the development studios that rely on Unreal Engine 5 do? In an ideal world clearly differentiated versions, optimized for each platform. In the real world, it is quite likely that we will see many new releases unable to take advantage of the performance of the most advanced systems. And once again we will have to listen and repeat that, in many cases, consoles weigh down the level of technical development of games. And we are talking about the new generation, I repeat. A new generation that, in reality, is not so new.
We already told you a few days ago that, finally, Xbox SeriesX will not have ray tracing in Minecraft. A technology that I can use perfectly on a laptop with an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, a GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile and 18 gigabytes of RAM. Obviously I don’t expect my system to be able to handle Unreal Engine 5 very well, but next-gen consoles aim to not be able to either, I find it sadly remarkable. Let’s wait and see what happens when the first games arrive.
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