PS5 and Xbox Series X are coming later this year and they have plenty of power to offer but what kind of difference should you expect to see in games coming out in 2020? According to Epic Games, the difference is not going to be all that great.


Nick Penwarden, VP of engineering at Epic Games talked about the PS5 and Xbox Series X and he mentioned that games of 2020 are not going to take full advantage of the new hardware that these consoles have to offer. According to him, games are going to be different than current generation PS5 and Xbox One titles but players will feel the real difference in 2021.

The following is what Penwarden had to say about games coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2020:

I don’t think that there’s going to be, like this desert of not-great-looking stuff in the first phase of the console/ What we are able to show in the demo, in terms of visual fidelity as well as the size of game worlds that will be built with UE3, is going to represent the difference from what’s possible today and what’s possible tomorrow.


Unreal Engine 5 is going to come out next year, so what about the games that are coming to Xbox Series X and PS5 in 2020 and the first phase of the console generation? The following is what Penwarden had to say regarding the matter:

From a developer engineer point of view, when are you going to really see a hardware fully exploited? You don’t really see what something is truly capable of until more towards the end of the generation. Are you going to see the PS5 fully tapped out on the very first thing that people have tried to use it for? You’re never going to see that, I don’t think you won’t see any difference – you’ll see some very cool stuff from UE4 on next-gen from other studios. And then with Unreal Engine 5, there’s a but of a step function there: once people get their hands on that, instead of a gradual rise, you’ll see a big jump.

So what we can take from this is that the initial games are not going to feel all that different and that players will have to wait for UE5 to come out before they can witness the actual power of the next-generation of consoles. Note that some games use their own engines, Cyberpunk 2077 for examples uses the RED engine that CDPR has made for its games. Horizon Zero Dawn uses the Decima engine and the upcoming sequel will use a tweaked version of the same engine. So we could see a greater difference.

It should be noted that this does align with the release date for the major upcoming titles. All the big games that are coming out for next-generation hardware will release in 2021. Even Cyberpunk 2077 is going to get a patch for PS5 and Xbox Series X after the game has been released. While the game should look better on the new consoles at launch, my guess is that the next-gen patch will come out next year.

This does not mean that games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X are not going to look amazing or next-gen. Give the developers time to work with the new hardware and tweak their engines accordingly and you should be able to witness the power of the next generation of consoles. Epic’s Kim Libreri mentions the following:


As we get into these new generations, I think there’s potential to have new types of gameplay, new types of interactions beyond just talking about what the environment looks like with the nanite technology. I think that games will evolve. It wasn’t until server power in the cloud was powerful enough to host a 100-player game that you could have a battle royale game. There is still a fair way of separation between what we experience in the real world and what we can experience in a modern game. I think we’re going to get a lot closer with this generation, because of the added power across the board, not just GPU, not just CPUs, the whole works.

All things considered, the question is why should you buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X in 2020 keeping in mind that games that are actually going to take advantage of the hardware are not even coming out this year. Wouldn’t you be better of sticking with your PS4 or Xbox One until January? Let us know what you think.

Source: Edge Magazine August 2020


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