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Unreal Engine 5 now in Early Access, full release coming in early 2022

Epic Games revealed a fresh new look at Unreal Engine 5 last night. Not only did we get an impressive looking new demo showcasing the engine's tech, but we also have new details on various improvements and when the engine will be ready for wider use. 

Unreal Engine 5 is now available in Early Access through the Epic Games launcher and on GitHub. With this early version of the engine, developers can begin to tinker with some of UE 5's new features, such as fully dynamic lighting, new animation tools, as well as new tools for layering, dividing and editing large maps and open worlds.

Unreal Engine 5 also has a new Super Resolution feature for upscaling from 1080p to 4K, delivering near identical results in fidelity and a major boost to performance. The new showcase demo for instance runs at less than 20 frames per second on PS5 at full 4K, but with Super Resolution upscaling, you get great looking results and a boost to over 40 frames per second.

We can see some of Unreal Engine 5's new features in the demo above. Do keep in mind that this is a technical showcase, so there are plenty of performance drops throughout.

Right now, Unreal Engine 5 is in Early Access, but in early 2022, the engine will be ready for prime time, according to Epic Games. Of course, game development cycles are long, so it could be quite some time before we see a major flagship game running on this new engine.

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