Much has been made of the value that ray tracing will bring to gaming experiences, and now Minecraft is aiming to deliver enhanced visuals for its PC players with a newly announced partnership between Microsoft (which owns developer Mojang) and Nvidia.
The pair confirmed the news via an announcement prior to Gamescom 2019 officially kicking off in Cologne, Germany tomorrow, adding that it will arrive as a free update for all PC Minecraft players who own a compatible Nvidia RTX graphics card.
“Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” explains Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft.
“RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it,” Persson adds.
To accompany the announcement, a video showcasing the differences in quality that ray tracing affords, has also surfaced. We’ve pasted it below for you to watch, but the general idea we get after watching it is that things all look a few degrees sharper thanks to ray tracing.
More specifically light is far more detailed in the RTX version of Minecraft compared to the normal variant. Things still look rather blocky in general, although that was never going to change, but the improvements here are that everything looks more polished.
As The Verge points out, it’s worth noting that this latest announcement comes a week after Mojang opted to cancel its Super Duper Graphics pack update for the game, which too was going to enhance the representation of light and shading among other things in Minecraft.
The new ray tracing update seems to have tackled all the elements that the Super Duper one was going to, but RTX remains available to PC players only, and leaves console owners in the lurch. What Mojang has in store to compensate, is unclear for now.
Also undetermined is when the ray tracing update will port to players, with now precise date forthcoming just yet. With Gamescom continuing throughout the week, hopefully that information will be revealed later during the next few days.