I’ve been convinced the entire time that the new generation of consoles would ultimately not be ready for 4k/60fps once engines caught up to the new tech, and I think this is the first example of that starting to pan out. Once cross-generation ports stop being a thing, I think we’re back to 1080p as the goal. If we’re looking at a tech demo that is already not at 4k, and already not at 60 FPS, I think the expectation is going to be that you either pick the visual features or you pick the performance. Giving users options to turn some of the big bullet point features off via performance vs visual quality options has been popular of late on consoles, and I think that’s going to be something we continue to see a lot.
As far as the engine goes, it’s more of Unreal. If you’re comfortable in UE4, then you’re going to be comfortable in UE5. If you’ve wanted UE4 to be more like Unity, you’re still going to be unhappy. The big new features in place allow for better visual fidelity, but aren’t fundamentally changing how the engine works, especially on the programmer side of things, and honestly that feels like a good thing. UE3 to UE4 was a transition that needed to happen. UE3 was reaching a point where the core tech had been dragged along from UE1 to the point where the engine needed to fundamentally change. However, the iterative patching cycle of UE4 has allowed the engine to grow more organically, with it better able to partition off systems to building block style pieces that can be swapped out easily, and UE5 feels like an example of that. UE5 is less of a new engine, and more of just another patch version – albeit with some major systems upgrades – and developers are going to be able to jump in running, leading to a much smoother transition this go around.