Epic opens up Unreal Engine 5 for early access with fresh PS5 and Xbox Series X footage

Epic Games is showing off another look at what Unreal Engine 5 can do on PS5 and Xbox Series X as it opens up the engine for early access to developers around the world.

The new footage shared by Epic Games takes place in the same world as that real-time PS5 demo from last year, following Echo as she travels through beautiful natural environments studded with ancient technology. OK, "following" might be too a strong word because these presentations are 100% tech demos rather than game trailers. They aren't really invested in spinning a narrative yarn as much as they are showing off new engine features like, let me check my notes here, Data Layers.

Still, you can see the new engine rendering some frankly gorgeous rocky scenes on both PS5 and Xbox Series X just under a minute past the start of the video. Then if you skip to about 13:30 you can witness an incredibly beautiful yet anticlimactic boss battle running in real time on Unreal Engine 5. Again, this is about showing off the tech developers use to make games, not a game in and of itself.

If you want to see more of the Valley of the Ancient demo for yourself, Epic is offering it as a free sample project through the Unreal Engine tab of the Epic Games Launcher. It will require about 100GB of space on your storage drive, and Epic recommends having an RTX 2080 and 64GB of system RAM to run it well. The demo isn't available on consoles, but Epic says that it has run Valley of the Ancient on them "at full performance."

Edge Magazine went inside Unreal Engine 5 with Epic to "show the difference from what's possible today with what's possible tomorrow." 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.