Recently I’ve heard the PS5 describe as a PS4-Pro Pro and I can see where people are coming from, and this is why I let’s stress the importance of Direct X12 Ultimate.
One thing that people seem to agree on is that Unreal Engine 5 is “next gen”. Even though it runs at 30 FPS in many cases with various solutions to hit a 4K resolution, people are most impressed by the fidelity and lighting.
As Kage touched on, many of us seem to have a unique definition for “next gen” when games that are running at 4K and 120 FPS aren’t considered “next generation” but the sub-4K 30fps UE5 demos are.
What they are doing are things that you would see as a result of mesh shaders and RT hardware, but in software. It’s done in software so it can run on as many hardware configurations as possible. It’s these features that people are finding impressive.
The Series consoles are the only ones with these features in hardware.
(I won’t get into it now, but it looks like an efficient GI solution wouldn’t be completely based on RT hardware but could be boosted by it)
The only question now is whether a developer would create a game in DX12U from the ground up supporting these features. The answer is likely no.
With the silicon shortage, only a fraction of today’s gamers has the hardware to run it. There’s only 10 to 20 million Series console owners, and it looks like only a portion of DX12U graphics card owners are using it for games because another portion of owners are using it for crypto mining.
So to create a game that can only run on something like 5%-10% of gaming hardware out there doesn’t make financial sense.
In many cases developers want their games playable on hardware a decade old. I hope people wanted Halo Infinite to be a next gen only title, but if it ran on the Xbox One it could run on PC hardware from 2012. Which is great for getting more players to try out a free to play game and spend money in it.
That said, the industry does need its own “Crysis” that pushes people to upgrade their hardware. Flight Sim, which is a DX 11 game, actually pushed people to upgrade their computers because of how demanding it was. I think Microsoft first party would be wise to be the first ones to do this. They need to take that risk. Consider it a write off to encourage people to buy Series consoles or DX12U videocards.