Within the first few minutes of Sony‘s PS4 meeting they had already jumped headfirst into the next-gen with a tech demo courtesy of Unreal Engine 4. The demo itself was part of a larger tech demo — called the Elemental demo — which gamers have seen before, but this was the first next-gen footage seen running on PS4 prototype architecture.

For a presentation that started off strong and, for the most part, only got better from there, the Unreal Engine 4 demo was a great jumping off point. The trailer illuminated just how superior PS4 is in terms of graphical capabilities, and showed off the types of experiences developers will be capable of delivering with PS4.

Here’s what Epic Games‘ Founder and CEO had to say about the relationship between PS4 and UE4:

“We are thrilled to build onto our long-established success with PlayStation. Unreal Engine 4 is expertly designed for the next generation of game development and the outstanding power of PlayStation 4. Today’s demonstration offers a preview of what developers can accomplish using our tools to create games for PlayStation 4.”

It wasn’t long before gamers saw brief glimpses of the PS4’s general potential, in trailers for games like Killzone: Shadow Fall, inFAMOUS: Second Son, Watch_Dogs, and Knack.

The next-gen is very much a tangible future now, and as such the media, developers, and publishers have begun to embrace its potential. Next-gen consoles might be exciting new hardware, but the next-gen engines are what will fuel those impressive console showpieces. That’s why EDGE has put Unreal Engine 4 on the cover their March issue. Inside the magazine, Epic discusses what UE4 means for the future of video games, a future that should hopefully include the most photorealistic graphics gamers have ever seen.

Unreal Engine 4 EDGE Cover

The issue also includes a head-to-head comparison between the PS4 and the next Xbox. Microsoft‘s next-gen console, however, is still mostly a mystery. A rumor suggests Microsoft will hold an Xbox 720 event in April, but apparently EDGE feels confident enough to assume the system specs for the Xbox 720.

Now that the PS4, and by extension the next generation of consoles, is a real thing, gamers can expect more and more elements, like Unreal Engine 4, to fully explore the capabilities of the new hardware.

What did you think of the Unreal Engine 4 tech demo for PS4? How would you like to see developers leverage the new engine?

Source: All Games Beta, Epic Games