Xbox Head Phil Spencer Talks Unreal Engine 5

Xbox boss Phil Spencer and marketing executive Aaron Greenberg talk about why they're excited for the new game engine.

19 Comments

Epic's Unreal Engine 5 was announced with a tech demo running on PlayStation 5, and it looked very impressive. In addition to PS5, the new engine supports Xbox Series X, and now two of the top executives at Xbox have weighed in with their responses to the announcement of the new tech.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said, "Incredible work by the team at Epic." He added that "many" of the internal Xbox Game Studios teams are using versions of Unreal Engine to make their games, including Ninja Theory, which is using the technology--but he didn't say Unreal Engine 5 specifically--to develop Senua's Saga: Hellblade II. Spencer added that Microsoft is "excited to bring these Unreal Engine 5 innovations to life on Xbox Series X."

We do know that Unreal Engine 5's Lumens and Nanite technology--used for lighting and geometry, respectively--do work on Xbox Series X. This information was shared by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on Twitter. Given the power packed into Microsoft's system, it shouldn't come as a surprise, but we've yet to see it in action on the console.

Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg, meanwhile, stated that the Unreal Engine 5 reveal was "super impressive." He added, "Can only imagine what the new Unreal Engine 5 Engine will look like on the world's most powerful console.

The PS5 tech demo, called "Lumen in the Land of Nanite," is not a real game, but it was actually playable. Epic had planned to bring it to the Game Developers Conference in March to allow people to play for themselves, according to IGN, but the show was eventually canceled.

Epic's Unreal Engine 4 was recently updated to support PS5 and Xbox Series X development, which is what studios will use until Unreal Engine 5 releases in full in 2021. That being the case, it might take some time before studios are able to fully harness the power of the new technology in their games. Epic's own Fortnite will make the shift to Unreal Engine 5 in 2021.

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totallytc

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Edited By totallytc

I just want new gaming experiences, if you can do that with this new gen I'll be happy, BUT if all you are going to offer is reruns and sequels like Madden 13730 with slightly better graphics it may be a while til I jump. PS5 may offer a better VR experience at some point with PSVR2 so at least thats something.

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Shantmaster_K

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Very impressive. Can't wait for the Series X.

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thenephariouson

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Edited By thenephariouson

Ughh.... i hate all this posturing in the run up to new console releases..

It only fuels N4G-esque Click-bait articles and adds fuel to the 'fanboy' fire... hate it

It wont really matter which platform(s) you choose as the next evolution of console games are no doubt going to look wonderful on both and ultimately its down to the Devs to harness all this POWA!!

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johnny0779

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Edited By johnny0779

hat demo being displayed supposedly on PS5 hardware was like running a Ferrari engine on a Ford Focus....lol

But I guess the real message here is that if it can look this "impressive" on PS5 just imagine on Series X.

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Atzenkiller

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He added, "Can only imagine what the new Unreal Engine 5 Engine will look like on the world's most powerful console.

Yeah, they just had to put that in there. The world's most meaningless title, held by whoever claims it until something more powerful comes out. Probably 2 or 3 years later when they release an upgraded version. But boy will that most powerful console be more powerful than the second most powerful console in the world. I bet it will be like day and night.

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CashPrizes

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I honestly think it will be a inverse of the PS3/360 dynamic console hardware power wise. In that generation, the PS3 had more power under the hood, but just a few years into the generation developers were not utilizing it because the 360 had sold so much better, they were developing for the 360 first. The PS3 versions of multi-platform games often looked exactly the same (or worse like Bayonetta) because no one was taking advantage of it.

If PS5 outsells SeXBox 2to1 again, might see this happen again. Or they could be so similar architecture wise it is no problem for developers to get that extra 10-20% on the Sex, who knows.

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DarkReign2022

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@CashPrizes: The issue was that the PS3 and it's proprietary Cell Processor was a complete bitch to code for. Games that were designed exclusively were able to put more attention into it, but because the architecture was so unusual and so distinct from everything else on the market, it was easier to develop the game for every other platform and simply adapt it to the PS3, which is why many games were on par between platforms or even oftentimes performed worse on the PS3 version.

PS4 versus Xbox One is a much different case where they both utilize standard off-the-shelf hardware, much more similiar to PC architecture, and you could more easily design a game around whichever was the more powerful console and simply lower resolutions, reduce framerate, or remove CPU-sucking elements like on-screen NPC counts similar to having multiple hardware tiers for PC gaming. PS4 versus PS3 development made a world of difference in terms of time, effort, and money.

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Atzenkiller

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Edited By Atzenkiller

@CashPrizes: The main issue with the X360 was that it had no hard drive built in by default, unlike even the first Xbox. And no bluray drive either. That's what's held most games back the most. That the PS3 was also more powerful and was able to create better graphics was part of it as well of course. But these limitations the X360 had were affecting all multiplatform games. With some games only having optional installs, which of course many players never found out about cause they never bother to check the options menu. So you had to wait 2 or 3 times as long for an online match to load in a game like SF4 only because the other guy didn't install the game on his hard drive. And the low amount of storage space available has certainly hindered game development quite a bit as well. With many PS3 exclusives maxing out a 25GB or 50GB bluray.

So no matter how much more powerful the new Xbox might be over the PS5, I doubt it will really make any difference. My guess is that the difference might be similar to what we've seen early on in this gen. Where most Xbone games couldn't even run at 1080p while the PS4 had no problems with that. And by now all Xbone games run at the same resolution if I'm not mistaken. Since the next gen is gonna be all about 4K graphics wise I'd guess that if the Xbox was any more powerful it might be able to handle that slightly better. But after a while there won't be any difference anymore as developers find ways to deal with it.

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Just1MoHr

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Now this is gameplay that has me excited for next gen & makes me wanna buy on day one!!

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lostn

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so this tech demo contained more gameplay than Microsoft's gameplay reveal event?

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x_hedon

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@lostn said:

so this tech demo contained more gameplay than Microsoft's gameplay reveal event?

I hope Sony shows us a game some day.

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Sindred

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@lostn: Pretty much. But wait for it to be shown on the most powerful console. Then we'll see the difference.

Yes, sarcasm. But not towards you.

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AfroMakka

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haha yeah of course they would , thy cling on everything they share with ps even , i remember a few years back when re2 remake was teased on e3 , ryan mccafrey rushed to twitter to clarify that the game is also coming to xbox , meanwhile you dint see many of ps heads rushing to claim that the games announced on xbox are coming to ps , cause ... duh they would , like elden ring or cyberpunk 2077
tells you much about who is tailing and who is confident

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Thelostscribe

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@afromakka: Capcom only had the PS4 logo on the screen when RE2 remake was shown. Sony has had a number of exclusives like this, obviously including Final Fantasy VII remake, so it really wouldn't have been a surprise for the remake to be an exclusive. Also kinda says a lot about the buzz behind RE2 Remake.

Anyways Ryan works for IGN, not Xbox and what else did you expect the Xbox people to say? They said it looks great, will look great on the Xbox too, seems pretty civilized.

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AfroMakka

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@thelostscribe: why didnt the ps side of journals like greg for example jump om twitter and scream that most of the xbox last stream is coming to ps4?! thats because we are confident that sony will deliver and that sont doesnt need to make propaganda out of 3rd party games to market their console ...thats just confidence .. its just what it is .. Confidence

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Thelostscribe

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@afromakka: There has been plenty of grumbling in the PS camp about Sony's lack of news with PS5. A business call of Sony's even included a question where they were concerned that PS5's marketing was falling behind Xbox.

Xbox obviously needs to make waves, they are clearly behind Sony this gen. They have confidence in their product, they need to call attention to it.

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AfroMakka

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@thelostscribe: thats not marketing fail at all. They still have 2 hitters to close this gen wirh and they want them both to sell well , if the console is launching in november then they still have 3 months after july to announce the price and the launch games , sony just need to mention 1 sequel as a launch title - demon souls remake by blue point or hzd 2 or bloodborne 2 - and 2 more that would come soon and a small game from insomniac or housemarque as a launch game and god fall and multiplats and believe me , everyone would forget the silence that is happening now

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Thelostscribe

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@afromakka: We're not talking about the future though, we are talking about the present and right now people are let down with Sony's silence. No doubt they come from a position of strength, so they can be silent for longer, but people feel Sony is not delivering and that is starting to be widely reported.

I have no doubt Sony is cooking up the goods, three out of four of their consoles have sold over 100 million units, they are kings at what they do.

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AfroMakka

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@thelostscribe: i know what you mean and to put things in perspective iam not a sony fanboy xD i eally hate tha uncharted series ALOT !! but iam just glad that they are still creating awesome worlds for us to immerse in and that they are still releasing exclusives for the ps4 , meanwhile every1 is happy with the 12 teraflops they will get while twiddling their thumbs now

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