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Unreal Engine GDC Announcement

Unreal Engine GDC Announcement

February 26, 2024

The State of Unreal, the biggest event of the year for Unreal, is happening on March 20th at the Game Developers Conference.

For the past two years, Epic has hosted a massive event at GDC where they unveil the latest advancements and upcoming features for Unreal. You can watch this video which recaps last year’s State of Unreal event where they announced PCG, Substrate Materials and Metahuman Animator

You can watch it live on Unreal Engine’s youtube channel or stay tuned for a reaction video on Unreal Sensei where I will summarize the event and give my thoughts.

I speculate that a large focus of the event will be on a release date for Fab, Epic’s new online marketplace that is combining the Unreal Marketplace, Sketchfab and ArtStation Marketplace. Another big unveiling will be a new texture editor directly in Unreal that will enable procedural material creation simliar to Substance Designer. Epic’s long-term goal is for Unreal to have all the capabilities needed to create experiences and games without the need for third party programs like Substance. Broken early code for this feature can already be found in the engine.

Unreal Engine will get early Apple Vision Pro support for UE5.4 according to this forum post. At the Vision Pro reveal, Apple announced a special partnership with Unity to develop AR/VR applications for the new headset. This was anticipated due to the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games over iOS's App Store mandatory developer fee for the past four years.

The Unity partnership and lead up to the announcment saw Unity stock increase 50%, though it later fell to all-time lows due to the runtime fee debacle. But this partnership doesn’t prevent other developers like Epic from developing for the platform. Epic staff have confirmed support for a full immersion mode, which is similar to traditional VR experiences like those on the Quest. They are also evaluating support for the Vision Pro's AR capabilities, which means floating Unreal Environments in your living room might not be possible.

In the meantime, some members of the community like Michael Becker and Alex Coulombe have already gotten parts of Unreal working on the Vision Pro, although it is very glitchy. Will be interesting to see new Unreal projects for the Vision Pro.

That is it for this week! I will see you next time and look out for GDC news!

Zach Hunter

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