Will migrate to Unreal Engine 5 in mid-2021.
Fortnite launches on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when the consoles come out later in 2020, Epic has confirmed.
That’s the Unreal Engine 4 version of the enormously popular free-to-play battle royale. Epic added it will migrate Fortnite to the just-announced Unreal Engine 5 in mid-2021.
More specifically, Fortnite launches on PS5 and Xbox Series 5 in Unreal Engine 4.25 form, Epic boss Tim Sweeney told Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter in a recent interview.
“We’re gonna be launching Fortnite on next-generation consoles using Unreal Engine 4.25, which is going to be updated, which lots of partners are launching next-generation games on, and we’ll transition Fortnite to Unreal Engine 5 next year and start to incorporate cool new features based on it,” Sweeney said.
Unreal Engine 5 works on all platforms Unreal Engine 4 works on, including Android and iOS, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch – “and it has to because when Fortnite switches to Unreal Engine 5 late next year, we’ll continue supporting all nine platforms – well, nine, when you add the two new ones,” Sweeney explained.
Unreal Engine 4.25 only launched this month, and the first release of the engine with initial support for PS5 and Xbox Series X. Some of its features are already in Fortnite, according to Epic:
“The Fortnite team has been battle-testing Niagara VFX and Chaos physics, and these feature sets are now in use in currently shipping seasons of the game. Niagara is now production-ready, with a polished new UI and significant performance and stability improvements. There are also a host of new features, including the ability to create complex, large-scale particle effects such as flocking and chains, and to have particles react to music or other audio sources – all in real-time.”
Epic has yet to say how Fortnite will be enhanced on next-gen consoles, but given Microsoft and Sony’s support for ray-tracing, that fancy visual tech is a decent shout. In a FAQ, Epic said the more powerful hardware “will allow us to improve performance and visuals”. Epic plans to support cross-progression across console generations and platforms so your account, progression, and items carry over. Fortnite will also support crossplay across all platforms, including current and next-generation consoles.