Unreal Engine 5 Preview 1 Released With Rendering Improvements & More

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 23 February 2022 at 05:23 AM EST. 15 Comments
While not immediately relevant to Linux gamers, Epic Games has promoted Unreal Engine 5 from its "early access" phase to now being available in "preview" form for this popular, cross-platform game engine.

After being in early access form since last year, Epic Games has now released Unreal Engine 5 Preview 1. Over the functionality already laid out in prior UE5 builds, Unreal Engine 5 Preview 1 features memory and performance improvements to its Nanite virtualized geometry system, full hardware ray-tracing support for its Lumen global illumination system, performance improvements to its virtual shadow maps, support for hair primitives and the eye shader model with its path tracer, many improvements to its World Partition streaming solution, new Large World Coordinates for creating larger worlds with UE5, and many animation enhancements and other refinements throughout the engine.

The complete list of changes to find with UE5 Preview 1 can be found via UnrealEngine.com.

There has been some success in building Unreal Engine 5 early access releases on Linux, but there can be headaches around the Epic Games Launcher integration, not all of the new rendering features being supported by the Vulkan API, and Linux overall remaining a back-seat focus for Epic Games. We'll see if any prominent Unreal Engine 5 games end up supporting Linux natively in the future but more than likely it will be primarily a case of eventually enjoying UE5 Windows games running on Linux by way of Steam Play (Proton). In any event, it's fun seeing all of the UE5 rendering/visual improvements happening with the competitive state of commercial game engines.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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