The technical specifications on the PS5 and Xbox Series X are relatively comparable, but Epic Games chose to only show Unreal Engine 5 on the former during its demo this week. However, according to studio head Tim Sweeney, this decision does not mean the Xbox Series X can’t handle the impressive visual effects.
The Unreal Engine 5 demo on PlayStation 5 was the culmination of years of discussions between Sony and Epic on future graphics and storage architectures.
The Nanite and Lumen tech powering it will be fully supported on both PS5 and Xbox Series X and will be awesome on both.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) May 15, 2020
Writing on Twitter amid fan speculation, Sweeney shared that the technology powering the Unreal Engine 5 demo that Epic Games prepared will be fully supported on both systems. It chose to work with Sony to produce the demo because of “years of discussions” between the two companies.
The Lumen technology refers to a new illumination system put in place for Unreal Engine 5 that makes it much easier for environments to showcase “natural” night from various sources. Nanite is a system for creating and importing extremely detailed geometry through billions of tiny triangles.
Because the demo we saw is not representative of an actual game in development, it being on PS5 doesn’t mean the company has an exclusive game in the works. Both Xbox Series X and PS5 will see Fortnite transition to Unreal Engine 5 in 2021, and it will launch on the systems this year.
Epic Games arguably has a more famous relationship with Microsoft over the years, as it developed the Xbox-exclusive Gears of War series until Microsoft ultimately purchased the franchise rights and founded its own studio, The Coalition. Despite this move, the new games still run on Unreal Engine technology, including turn-based strategy game Gears Tactics.