Today Epic Games announced the first early release of Unreal Engine 5, their next generation game engine. Unreal Engine 5 is available in the Epic Games Launcher, just make sure you have updated to the newest release of the client and a new UE5 tab should appear.
EDIT: 2:33PM EST 05-26-21 We now have a hands-on video available here, you can check out UE5 and the new Valley of the Ancient demo in action saving yourself 1/4 Terrabyte in downloads.
Details of the Unreal Engine 5 Early Access release from the Unreal Blog:
Today, we’re excited to announce that Early Access to Unreal Engine 5 is now available. While our ultimate goal is for UE5 to empower creators across all industries to deliver stunning real-time content and experiences, this Early Access build is intended for game developers who like to live on the bleeding edge to start testing features and prototyping their next games.
This Early Access build of Unreal Engine 5 is not production-ready, but this is where, for the first time, you can get your hands on some of the technology that caused so much excitement when it was showcased in last year’s announcement—not to mention some you’ve never seen before.
More in-depth release notes are available here while you can learn more about Unreal Engine 5 on the UE5 homepage. New features such as Nanite, enabling ultra high polygon models, Lumen a realtime lighting system and MetaSounds will change the way Unreal developers create games.
In addition to the Unreal Engine 5 release, they also released a new demonstration project Valley of the Ancients which is available in the Epic Games Launcher (and is absolutely massive!). The Source Code is also available if you are a registered UE developer on GitHub and are currently logged in (otherwise that link will give you an error). The documentation is also available online right here. There is a 2 hour UE5 introductionary course available here.
You can learn more about the Unreal Engine 5 early access release in the video below. Stay tuned for a hands-on video of the new Valley of the Ancients project as soon as it finishes processing.