A couple of days ago, Epic Games unveiled a tech demo for the next iteration of its proprietary game creation engine, with the new version being Unreal Engine 5. We got to see an impressive demo running on PS5 hardware, showcasing the abilities of this next-gen beast. However, Unreal Engine 4 isn’t only for next-gen machines, in fact, it’ll be usable on current-gen consoles, too.
As mentioned on the official Unreal Engine website, Unreal Engine 5 will be available for preview in early 2021, and the commercial, full-fat version will be ready in late 2021. Developers can still start their next-gen games with Unreal Engine 4 before migrating it all to Unreal Engine 5, which should help with development time.
What’s really interesting, though, and something that seems to have gotten lost in the hype is that the engine itself will be just as flexible as Unreal Engine 4 in terms of where it can be used. The website states that the full release in late 2021 will support “next-generation consoles, current-generation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.”
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that just because the current-gen console can support it, it doesn’t mean we’ll suddenly see next-gen graphics on current-gen machines. Instead, it’s more likely that we’ll see cross-generation releases using Unreal Engine 5 run a little smoother as they’ll be the same games, but with some features dialled back, or removed completely for current-gen consoles.
Source: Unreal Engine Official Website