Epic Games officially launched Unreal Engine 5 today, ushering in a new era of video games that are poised to blow away modern-day titles in terms of graphical fidelity. The new engine is headlined by a trio of next-generation, real-time rendering technologies that include Lumen, a global illumination solution, and Nanite, Epic Games’ new micropolygon geometry system that promises a massive boost in geometric detail. Developers also have access to new Virtual Shadow Maps (VSMs) for implementing soft shadows with “reasonable” performance costs. Unreal Engine 5 can be downloaded through the Epic Games Launcher; two sample projects (Lyra Starter Game and City Sample) are also available.
Unreal Engine 5 is now available! (Epic Games)
The wait is over—we’re very excited to announce that Unreal Engine 5 is now available to download!
With this release, we aim to empower both large and small teams to really push the boundaries of what’s possible, visually and interactively. UE5 will enable you to realize next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before.
As you may have seen, the new features and workflows have already been production-proven for game development in Fortnite and The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience demo.
Meanwhile, although some major new features like Lumen and Nanite have not yet been validated for non-games workflows (this is an ongoing goal for future releases), all creators will be able to continue using workflows supported in UE 4.27. But they’ll also benefit from a redesigned Unreal Editor, better performance, artist-friendly animation tools, an extended mesh creation and editing toolset, improved path tracing, and much more. See the documentation for full details.