Unreal Engine 5 Partially Rewritten Specifically for the PlayStation 5’s Super-Fast SSD

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Last month Epic unveiled “Lumen in the Land of Nanite,” a breathtaking demo for their new Unreal Engine 5, running on PlayStation 5 hardware. Understandably, that raised a lot of questions – was Epic specifically designing Unreal Engine 5 to take advantage of the PlayStation 5? Would the Xbox Series X be able to run the same demo? Epic has been somewhat wishy-washy in their response, continuing to praise the PS5’s capabilities, while also hinting the Unreal Engine 5 demo could be done on other platforms.

Well, in a new interview with VG247, Epic’s VP of engineering Nick Penwarden confirmed they have specifically rewritten parts of UE5 to take advantage of the PS5’s super-speedy solid-state drive, implying the engine will be able to do things on Sony’s console it can’t do elsewhere…

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The PlayStation 5 provides a huge leap in both computing and graphics performance, but its storage architecture is also truly special. The ability to stream in content at extreme speeds enables developers to create denser and more detailed environments, changing how we think about streaming content. It’s so impactful that we’ve rewritten our core I/O subsystems for Unreal Engine with the PlayStation 5 in mind.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily prove “Lumen in the Land of Nanite” couldn’t be done on Xbox Series X, but it does mean that, at some point, it is possible there will be UE5-powered experiences that will only be possible on a PS5. I’d love to see get even more clarity on this subject from Epic, but corporate politics means it probably won’t happen.

On the subject PS5, this week we were supposed to finally lay eyes on some actual games running on the console, some of which may use Unreal Engine 5, but the event was delayed. Hopefully Sony sets a new date for the event soon.

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