Many of us know how good Unreal Engine is. Whether that’s 4.x version, which was available since 2014, or the new 5.0 Early Access version. Unreal Engine 5 adds many new technologies and features on top of version 4.x which has proven to be a phenomenal, industry and even life changing software. It allows creation of not just games but also different kinds of 3D apps on many platforms: Windows Desktop, Android, iOS, Linus, Mac, VR… and Web. This time, let’s focus on Web platform.
The answer to question “Why would one want to have apps or games run in web browser?” would be simple – convenience, and convenience leads to more users.
When it comes to technicalities, there are basically two techniques for deploying Unreal Engine apps to web platform. Those techniques are native HTML5 and Pixel Streaming. The differences, pros and cons of these two techniques are going to be covered in depth in the next blog post, but one important difference has to be mentioned, and that is that PIxel Streaming allows you to reach more users and also offer them smoother experience. This is because HTML5 technique is relying on hardware capabilities of user’s device, while Pixel Streaming is using much more powerful remote server to do the heavy lifting. This leaves only a small portion of work to be done by user’s device. To spare you of deep technical explanations, a basic explanation would be something like this: If device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, desktop, TV…) is capable of streaming videos online, it’s capable of running Pixel Streaming and thus providing very smooth experience even in the most demanding 3D apps.
In order to best demonstrate this in practice, I decided to pair Unreal Engine 5’s Ancient World demo with Pixel Streaming technology. Ancient World demo was specifically made by Epic Games to demonstrate the power of Unreal Engine 5. It has quite demanding hardware requirements, since one would need a PC with GTX 1080 graphics card and 32 GB of RAM memory just to run the demo at 30 fps, which is basically the barest playable minimum for today’s graphics fidelity standards. With Pixel Streaming, you can run the same demo on ANY mobile device even though it doesn’t meet the hardware requirements, since, like previously said, the heavy rendering job is done by powerful remote servers. Below you can see the demo video that I made.
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