Watch: Xbox Series X stunning Unreal Engine demo proves it can compete with PS5

Xbox Series X Unreal Engine 5
(Image credit: Xbox/The Coalition)

Microsoft-owned studio The Coalition has released two tech demos that showcase Unreal Engine 5 running on the Xbox Series X —  and they look incredible. 

We got a first look at the power of Unreal Engine 5 last year thanks to a PS5 tech demo, but this offering from The Coalition proves that the Xbox Series X can certainly keep pace with Sony’s flagship console.

The Vancouver-based studio, which developed the last two entries in the Gears of War franchise, took to Twitter and YouTube to show off a pair of impressive demo reels. The first short video highlights the advanced features of Unreal Engine 5 such as Nanite which “allow for unlimited triangle budget” and Lumen which “allow real-time lighting with none of the traditional overhead tasks.” The second video showcases the character rendering abilities of the new version of Unreal Engine. 

Don’t worry if that all sounds like incomprehensible tech-speak to you. The key takeaway from these tech demos is that Unreal Engine 5 will allow developers to make games on Xbox Series X that look absolutely gorgeous. Gears 5, which was released in 2019, was built on Unreal Engine 4, so expect the next entry in the franchise to be among the first Xbox first-party games to put the new version of the engine through its paces. 

It had previously been announced that multiple upcoming Microsoft-funded projects will make use of Unreal Engine 5, including a next-gen RPG from InXile as well as several projects set within the Gears of War franchise. 

Don’t forget that Sony actually purchased a minority stake in Epic, the team behind Unreal Engine 5, for $250 million last summer. So this new engine tech will certainly be seen across multiple PS5 games as well. Based on the tech demos we've seen of the engine running on both consoles it'll be extremely powerful on either system

Unfortunately, you may be waiting a while to play games that take full advantage of the power of Unreal Engine 5. It only launched in early access this year, so developers will still be learning how to best utilize the advancements offered. Big-budget games that have been built with the engine in mind are likely at least a couple of years away from launch. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.