Virtually every gaming convention of the year cancelled because of COVID-19. Starting with the Game Developers Conference back in February, each month came with more news of postponed events. So gaming industry titan, Geoff Keighley, took it upon himself to create the Summer Games Fest. The three month online event seeks to replace the hype announcements, trailers, and talks that usually take place at E3 or Gamescom. A litany of game companies like Sony, EA, Ubisoft and others joined the event in hopes of recapturing the hype of all events past. To begin the Summer Game Fest opened with a reveal of Unreal Engine 5.
Unreal Engine Tech Demo
The show opened with a tech demo of the new iteration of the Unreal Engine, Unreal Engine 5. The demo showed off a generic female character trekking through a pseudo-Buddhist temple. Epic Games hit their new lighting technology, Lumen, hard. All the lighting for the demo was dynamic and able to bounce around as the player changed the environment. Near the end the character shot through the environment at a breakneck speed pushing the limits of the engine. It’s stunning and almost hard to believe that none of it is pre-rendered. One interesting note for the UE5 demo, is that its the first in-engine footage we have of the Playstation 5. Finally showing off the graphical power of Sony’s new console.
Following the tech demo, Keighley talked shop with the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney as well as CTO Kim Liberi and VP of Engineering Nick Penwarden. The trio hopes Unreal Engine 5 pushes the entire games industry forward in terms of lighting and photo-realism. The Unreal Engine 4 saw use in the film industry as well. Graphics from the software helped in Disney’s “The Madalorian” so Epic anticipates more film applications for UE5.
More To Come?
Disappointingly, that was all that took place in the stream. While Summer Game Fest aims to pad out the entire solstice with content, its hard not to be frustrated with the lack of concrete game reveals. Microsoft’s Xbox 2020 stream drew the ire of gamers with their lack of actual game play but still showed off a number of new titles. Summer Game Fest jumped off without a game announcement at all. More streams are planned for the season, so hopefully we’ll get more engaging reveals as the summer goes on.
For more information on Summer Game Fest and a full schedule click here!
Featured Image: Summer Games Fest