Earlier this week, The Coalition released two tech demo videos of its own tests with Unreal Engine 5 to stunning results. However, the Gears 5 developer says that what we saw in the demo was just the tip of the iceberg as the demo does not show how Unreal Engine 5 can take full advantage of Microsoft’s ninth-generation consoles.
In an email sent to IGN, a representative for The Coalition said that the tech demo shown off on Monday was not fully optimized to take advantage of the Xbox Series X/S hardware. The Coalition believes that once Unreal Engine 5 is fully optimized, it can anticipate any projects it develops using the game engine to achieve something more impressive than what they showcased in the Alpha Point demo.
The developer also goes on to explain that once new features come to the Series X/S that include improvements to the shader compiler, as well as variable-rate shading optimizations into the game engine, it would allow the developer to take better advantage of the hardware when working with Unreal Engine 5.
“With upcoming Xbox Series shader compiler improvements, adopting faster render target formats, and more usage of async compute and raytracing to use our extra GPU power we expect higher performance and quality through better throughput and utilization of the hardware,” a Coalition representative told IGN. “We also have yet to add hardware Variable Rate Shading optimizations which we demonstrated benefits through VRS in Gears 5 on XSX/S, that are not yet in UE5 but The Coalition plans to work with Epic to add. These Xbox-specific advantages are on top of cross-platform optimizations we expect from Epic on the road to UE5 official release next year.”
The promise that Unreal Engine 5 will deliver stunning results is nothing new. Back in May 2020 when Epic Games officially announced Unreal Engine 5 along with a gorgeous PS5 tech demo, founder and CEO Tim Sweeney explained Unreal Engine 5 is meant “to do things that are absolutely not possible today.” Other instances of the potential of Unreal Engine 5 include a developer using the tool to render 10 billion polygons of a dog having a nap.
Unreal Engine 5 was released in Early Access in May; that same month, The Coalition formally announced that future installments in the Gears of War series and “multiple new projects,” would be powered by the game engine.
While the full release is slated for early next year, the potential being shown in tech demos such as Alpha Point give us a glimpse of how the upcoming game engine will take advantage of ninth-generation gaming hardware.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.