5 Unreal Engine 5 things "PS5 and Xbox Series X" can do, but "PS4 and Xbox One" can't do it

5 Unreal Engine 5 things "PS5 and Xbox Series X" can do, but "PS4 and Xbox One" can't do it



The demo of Unreal Engine 5, and the subsequent statements by the technical team after the new engine, have already cleared up many doubts about what the new generation will be able to do in terms of technical strengths. We review five things that PS5 and Xbox Series X will be able to do, marking the differences with the current PS4 and Xbox One.

PS5 and Xbox Series X, is beginning to accelerate the pace of its launch in the coming Christmas, thereby revealing some of its future games, and of course the technical tricks that they can perform. Yesterday, without going any further, we advanced many of these terms and technical routines of Unreal Engine 5 , which will soon begin to be key when it comes to talking about the new consoles: Nanite, Lumen, Quixel Megascans ...

But now, if in the meantime you are a bit lost and you do not know very well how PS5 or Xbox Series X will differ from what you have at home right now, do not worry, here we are going to tell you the 5 things that PS4 and Xbox One cannot do, and PS5 and Xbox Series X can .

We insist again that the demo has mentioned some characteristics that, speak of technical capabilities that can be carried out with the engine ... but then it will depend on how each study uses them, or if in the design of their game, they have sense or can be used given the limitations, strengths and weaknesses of each hardware.  

5 things that PS4 and Xbox One can't do,

but PS5 and Xbox Series X can

1- Photorealism to a new level ... and up to 8K


Any object that appears on the screen can have ultra-detailed textures in resolutions up to 8K . What does this mean? Well, it is virtually possible to have realistic 3D objects, at the level of special effects that appear in movies . This will be achieved in part, thanks to the use of the textures, objects and materials that Epic can thanks to Quixel Superscans , the Spanish company that bought a few months ago and which is specialized in creating "assets" with photogrammetry, an ultra-realistic scanning technique. .

This high level of detail, added to the characteristics of the new consoles, such as faster access to data, will allow these 8K assets to maintain their high level of visual quality even when we approach them, not only from afar. A texture scaling in real time that will allow us to enjoy more detailed and realistic environments. An example is a fact: the scenarios in which Mandalorian is filmed are created with Unreal Engine ... so imagine what can be done in games.
This is also possible in part thanks to the 16 GB of VRAM from PS5 and Xbox Series X, double that of PS4 and Xbox One , which added to the SSDs of each system, will allow injecting much more information much faster, according to need each frame. To put it in some way, it is as if they had "infinite memory", since they will be able to load and empty the RAM at speeds previously unthinkable, thus ending the bottlenecks that are generated in current systems.

Again, we insist again: each machine will handle all this differently and although everything points to PS5 having a faster disk, as Tim Sweeney from Epic confirmed yesterday, Unreal Engine 5 will also work on Xbox Series X and who knows What strengths and weaknesses will the Microsoft machine have, which neither Epic or Microsoft have yet spoken about. 



2- Nanite, the evolution of geometry applied to the video game


Behind the textures, what we see at first glance, hides a geometry that will also be at a new level, in which even the smallest detail is created with the maximum number of polygons . This new geometry system has been named Nanite, and thanks to it, even the most insignificant stone on the stage, is generated at the highest quality, without resorting to techniques such as Parallax Occlusion Mapping, which "lighten" the polygonal load of an object with a texture that creates irregularities and details like a more complex 3D object.

During the demo, a very specific example was put in a room with statues, which in total added more than 16,000 million triangles on the screen (16 billion Americans). The level of detail was incredible, and everything was still handled at the same speed, without losing detail in any statue or anything like that. In fact, this specific scene was referred to when only PS5 could move something like that.

This outrage is possible only with the Nanite micropolygon rendering system , and is only possible with the new CPUs of the new consoles, added to the characteristics that they have highlighted before, from RAM to the speed of access to the SSD hard drive. Nanite will be able to render in real time, allowing each triangle to be present on the screen, at all times, with the highest possible quality. 
Although PS4 and Xbox One have raised the bar in this regard, and have presented more detailed models (there is Final Fantasy VII , for example), they had to make sacrifices in other areas, such as the scenarios, with lower geometry backgrounds. less complex and sacrificing details, something that is being especially evident in the most demanding end-of-generation games.

This processing capacity of PS5 and Xbox Series X will allow to generate infinitely more detailed models, of millions of polygons, and that maintain detail at all times, whether they are in the foreground or further away, being able to appreciate details such as facial beauty or pores in the model, if the studios want to go to that extreme



3- Lumen, the global lighting system that will take light effects to a new level


Dynamic lighting will reach a new level with Lumen, the real-time lighting system built into UE5 , which will also be a step up from what we've seen on PS4 and Xbox One. In the demo, it looked like moving the source of Light fell directly on each and every element on the screen, down to the last stone, generating a much more realistic effect.

Lumen, as opposed to RTX techniques, aims to be a solution that consumes less resources, requires less GPU and CPU load. In the absence of seeing more tests, the demo makes it clear that this technique can leave very good lighting effects, in tune with those achieved with RTX ... 
something about which PS5 has not yet given any sample, and Xbox Series X applied to Xbox One games enhanced with Smart Delivery
But it is good to know that regardless of the capabilities of the new consoles in terms of RTX, there is an integrated lighting solution in one of the graphics engines that will be among the most used in Next Gen games ... and that for obvious reasons, If it were to jump to PS4 or Xbox One, it would do so with some sacrifices, but never with the results seen in the demo, mainly because it would seriously affect the performance of current consoles.



4- Physics applied down to the last detail 


Throughout the demo it is possible to see a multitude of "minor" details, but they can hide more than it seems. A clear example of this is found in the first bars of the demo, in which the protagonist jumps a small abyss. In doing so, he lifts a cloud of dust and sand from the ground that remains in suspension . Sand and dust that are geometric objects, and not particle systems as in the current generation of consoles (on PC they have been treated differently, at higher quality, thanks to technologies such as PhysX ).

Performing these effects in real time, with polygonal objects on current consoles, would mean forcing current CPUs to perform an enormous amount of additional calculations, which would cause less performance, hence lighter techniques such as particle systems are used. so as not to overload the system. Here the combination of Nanite geometry, along with increased processing power and access speed, virtually allows for infinite, interactive details to be created that react to our stride. A detail that if used promises to elevate interactivity to a new level.



5- Drawing distance, detail on the horizon and "pop-in"


Once again, the result of combining the Nanite geometry, with the SSD, RAM, GPU and CPU combined, on paper will allow the level of detail not to decrease as we move away from the foreground , from what which is closer on the screen. That is the way to render the polygons in the new consoles will allow distant objects to offer the maximum quality that the screen on which we are playing allows, without making sacrifices in detail, textures or geometry.

This brings yet another advantage, and that is the fast loading times will virtually eradicate the "pop-in", that polygonal objects or textures that load late will appear abruptly on the screen, a defect that many very demanding games have . It is something that can be seen in the demo, both in the final plans, in which the details of the distant building are appreciated, as in the dizzying flight segment. 


As we say, these are some of the things that PS4 and Xbox One cannot do, and that we will see on PS5 and Xbox Series X thanks to Unreal Engine 5. Logically we have left out the audio and other facets that have not been taught, such as everything related to Ray Tracing. And, we insist it remains to be seen how each studio is able to squeeze it so that PS5 and Xbox Series X "sing" like a console has never done before.

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