AMD-Powered PS5 Demo Puts Your PC to Shame

Epic Games announced the successor to its ubiquitous Unreal Engine 4 game engine today, showing off a playable real-time demo running on a PlayStation 5 developer platform. That gives us insight not only into UE5’s capabilities, but also just what the PS5 and RDNA 2 powered hardware can do. Specifically, it sheds even more light on AMD’s upcoming Big Navi / RDNA 2 architecture, which will compete with Nvidia Ampere for the battle to be the best graphics card later this year.

Titled Lumen in the Land of Nanite, the new Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) demo primarily focuses on UE5’s ‘Nanite’ feature, which lets it display millions of polys on screen at once, automatically scaling down polygon counts from potentially billions of polygons. The demo also showed off the new ‘Lumen’ feature, which allows for fully dynamic lighting with no baking required. We take it that means ray tracing, though the demo never explicitly states whether that’s the case.

Before we get into specifics, it’s worth remembering that tech demos frequently outperform full games released around the same time. For example, Square Enix’s 2012 Agni’s Philosophy real-time tech demo showed off graphics more similar to 2016’s Final Fantasy XV than the PS4’s 2013 launch titles. This is because tech demos have the advantage of being tailor-made to show off game engines and the hardware running them in their best light. They don’t have to worry about packing in all the assets and other mechanics a full game requires.

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