The Unreal Engine 5 reveal occurred only just a few days ago and resulted in almost everyone in the industry talking about the impressive graphics that were seen in the reveal. The demo for Unreal Engine 5 was shown to us using the PS5 console and not the upcoming Xbox Series X. This resulted in everyone this week talking about the insane graphical power of the PS5 and not the Xbox Series X, a big win for Sony. If you haven’t seen the Unreal Engine 5 demo running on the PS5, you can watch it in full in the YouTube video posted below.
It has been an interesting few weeks in the next console generation battle between Microsoft and Sony. On Sony’s side they’ve actually been fairly quiet with their next generation game reveals, we haven’t really seen anything major at all from them regarding their games. We’ve only really had tech details told to us in the past, with a lovely presentation from Mark Cerny a few weeks ago where he revealed the hardware, but showed us nothing when it came to games. if you missed out on seeing this, you can find that here. For the most part, games running on the PS5 apart from the PS4 Spider-Man game have been a mystery to gamers. Sony in recent weeks has mostly been marketing its upcoming PS4 games, The Last Of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima, PS5 news in general has been slow.
On Microsoft’s side, things have been a little different. Just last week we were all given a glimpse of their next generation games. This was done in a video called “Inside Xbox Presents First Look Xbox Series X Gameplay” and it was a first look at Xbox Series X gameplay that was done via a live stream. They didn’t just show us 1 game either, they showed us a whole bunch of titles to impress us. I watched this in full last week and actually was rather impressed with what was there, they have a big lineup of games such as Bright Memory Infinite, Dirt 5, Assassin’s Creed Vallhalla and many more. You can watch Microsoft’s Xbox Series X gameplay reveal video from last week in the YouTube video below.
Last week when watching the Microsoft presentation, I actually thought it was rather good. I had not been expecting so many games to be available from launch on the console and I had in no way expected to be seeing so many reveals from a team that appears to be working from home. As a presentation put together and recorded with everyone in their remote workplaces, it was actually pretty good. The game lineup was decent and it got me a little more interested in the Xbox Series X. A decent effort from the team at Microsoft to put this all together.
Once I went online however and had a look at the YouTube comments on their video and some of the articles/coverage in the gaming press, things were not as positive towards the Microsoft gameplay reveals. Many of the top YouTube comments are complaining about there being not enough gameplay and in the press there is content with titles such as “Xbox’s First Series X Misstep – Next-Gen Console Watch” from IGN and “Xbox 20/20 Had Some Cool Games But Not The Gameplay We Were Expecting” – Gamespot. The lack of gameplay in the Microsoft Xbox Series X Gameplay video from last week, seemed to be a pain point for many of the people watching. It’s possible it just comes down to poor labelling of the video or selecting the wrong title for what it was. For me when I watched the presentation, I didn’t actually read the title of the video or think much of it, so didn’t go in expecting gameplay, but I guess many viewers went in with the expectation and didn’t get it fully delivered how they might have liked.
One week later after the Microsoft reveal, we get this surprise gameplay reveal from the people at Unreal Engine 5, who show us only gameplay and pretty much nothing else. The video is a bit of a mixture of tech speak with them telling us how many triangles are in the levels or in the statues, but you know what? It was impressive. I was blown away by the details in the Unreal Engine 5 video and having someone technical there talking about triangles I couldn’t actually even see, made it seem even more impressive. As it is a tech demo and not really a real demo of an actual game on the PS5, we do have to be a little careful that this video doesn’t give us false expectations, the game we see there is likely one we will never play as it is just a demo of the type of things that Unreal Engine 5 can do for developers on the PS5. In fact the game shown in this demo “Lumen in the Land of Nanite” isn’t going to be released at all.
The most interestng thing about the Unreal Engine 5 reveal from this week was that it was done totally in favour of the PS5. Unreal Engine is not a thing that is exclusive to a console and is likely also going to be used in games on the Xbox Series X and it’s possible it may run just as well there or even better or much worse, we don’t know yet. This all doesn’t matter at the moment though because the title of the video is “Unreal Engine 5 Revealed! | Next-Gen Real-Time Demo Running on PlayStation 5” and this means that in the minds of the viewers, this is probably what we could expect from the PS5, not something for the Xbox Series X and that is a win for Sony, especially as it comes just a week after people were a bit hurt by the lack of gameplay from last week’s Xbox Series X reveal.
Top YouTube comments on the Unreal Engine 5 video are mostly about all the triangles and the graphics, with few complaints. Press coverage towards Sony is also positive with IGN posting vidoes like “Game Scoop! 579: PS5 Graphics Look Unreal”, Gamespot writing “PS5 Tech Demo Showcases Ridiculous Graphics Of Unreal Engine 5”. Coverage towards Sony this week, is very positive and without even revealing a PS5 game or showing much at all, they now have a lot of hype.
One last thing I’d like to mention about the last few weeks of console wars and coverage is regarding the reach of these gameplay reveals on YouTube. Xbox has posted two videos and multiple individual videos for each game, the original live stream totalled 1.2 million views and a repost of it totalled 902k views, this is much lower in its reach compared to this week’s Unreal Engine 5 video which as just reached 10 million views on YouTube in a much short time period. Looking at the figures, there is a massive difference in reach for gameplay reveals and this is also another win for Sony, they reached far more people this week than Microsoft did last week.
There’s probably more to come from both companies in the next couple of months, but the last few weeks has been interesting. I myself am not on any side of PlayStation or Xbox, in fact I own both consoles and play them regularly. I am most excited to see the continuing reveals from both companies and how they present their newest consoles to the public. These last few weeks have been very interesting for both brands.