Fortnite is at a major turning point as it reaches into the next generation of home gaming consoles and transitions to the next edition of Unreal Engine. Epic Games’ own Lead Console Programmer Ben Woodhouse spoke up this week about the future of one of the most popular games in the world.
We’ve previously taken a peek at how Fortnite is changing for Xbox Series X. Thanks to an extended interview at Xbox with Woodhouse, we’re able to verify a few features and upcoming features for the game’s near future.
Beyond the bits that should be immediately apparent, the “obvious visual upgrades” as Woodhouse described them, Epic Games took advantage of the graphics power embedded in Xbox Series X (and S) to include some features that “make the world feel more dynamic and alive.”
Added to Fortnite for Xbox Series X/S:
• Simulated physics fields for explosions shockwaves
• Realistic motion to grass and foliage for explosions
• Raymarched volumetric clouds (in the sky)
• New storm effects
• New fire effects (GPU fluid simulations)
• New smoke effects (GPU fluid simulations)
• New elimination animations
The most major difference between the consoles Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S – when it comes to Fortnite – is in resolution targets. Fortnite for Xbox Series S targets 1080p output, while the Xbox Series X achieves 4k. Both consoles are able to reach 60fps frame rate “regardless of GPU load” thanks to TAA2. TAA2 is a “bleeding-edge temporal antialiasing algorithm” that’s active in Fortnite now and will be added to Unreal Engine 4.26 for developers in the near future.
Woodhouse also suggested that they “may also look at supporting a 120fps mode in future releases.” That means they COULD, but might not. They’re speaking of Fortnite on consoles, of course – they’ve already got higher frame rates in-effect on high-powered gaming PCs and… you know… iPad Pro.
Woodhouse also confirmed that while the current Fortnite universe runs on Unreal Engine 4, they’ll be moving forward quite soon. “In the next year, we will start moving Fortnite over to Unreal Engine 5 and are very excited to see what we can do with that change.”