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Next-gen consoles are set to arrive later this year (barring any Covid-19 complications) and they will likely usher in the next era of gaming visuals, thanks to faster hardware, SSDs, and tech like real-time ray tracing. Though gameplay trailers for titles that will take advantage of all those meaty features are still scarce, game art studio Dekogon has shared some beautiful next-gen environments it has created with Unreal Engine 4.
While we’re not entirely certain that the level of visual fidelity you’ll see in the pictures and videos throughout this article will be possible in next-gen games, we wouldn’t be surprised if they come close.

The lighting and reflection accuracy Dekogon has achieved in some of these environments makes them appear ray-traced, so it should be doable for upcoming consoles.

Indeed, the basketball court, in particular, could almost be mistaken for a real-world location — there’s very little that immediately breaks your suspension of disbelief.

Light filters in through the large rectangular windows on either side of the room, and seems to bounce off of the shiny, smooth court floor.

One of Dekogon’s other projects, a subway interior, is also stunningly beautiful. The light from the roof lamps casts a dim glow over the various seats, walls, and poles in the subway car, causing it to feel appropriately dark and grimy — not unlike what you’d see in the real world.

This degree of photorealism is something we haven’t really seen in modern video games yet (with a few more recent exceptions), but the power of Unreal Engine 4, combined with the capabilities of consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, could finally make it a reality.

Until those consoles release, though, enjoy pondering the possibilities and consider taking a gander at the rest of Dekogon’s work over on the studio’s ArtStation page.

If you happen to be a game developer, you can even purchase some of these environments for your own use via the Unreal Engine Marketplace.