When Nvidia first announced real-time ray tracing support on its RTX graphics cards, the feature was poorly received. The ray tracing support came with a higher price tag, and only a handful of games adopted the feature.
But despite Nvidia’s steep RTX tax and limited games support, the RTX graphics cards started the ray tracing conversation. Fast-forward to E3 2019, and the question about ray tracing being a gimmick has been laid to rest as more developers are incorporating support for the feature in their games.
At E3 2019, ray tracing has come out in force. Nvidia’s biggest RTX win came in the form of the partnership with Nvidia and CD Projekt Red, a partnership which will bring real-time ray tracing support to Cyberpunk 2077, one of the biggest games showcased at the event.
Head of GeForce marketing at Nvidia, Matt Wuebbling, said; “Cyberpunk 2077 is an incredibly ambitious game, mixing first-person perspective and deep role-playing, while also creating an intricate and immersive world in which to tell its story. We think the world of Cyberpunk will greatly benefit from the realistic lighting that ray tracing delivers.”
Ray tracing is an advanced graphics technique. It is used to give movies ultra-realistic visual effects. The RT cores in Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards are specifically designed to accelerate ray tracing to render in-game visual effects in real time.
Head of Studio at CD Projekt Red, Adam Badowski, said: “Ray tracing allows us to realistically portray how light behaves in a crowded urban environment. Thanks to this technology, we can add another layer of depth and verticality to the already impressive megacity the game takes place in.”
But it isn’t just Cyberpunk 2077; ray tracing is coming to several other titles like Watch Dogs: Legion, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Dying Light 2, Sword, Fairy 7, Wallenstein: Young Blood, and Remedy’s Control to name a few. Ray tracing has become so popular that next-gen Xbox and PlayStation console will also integrate the feature.
Considering the next-gen consoles will use AMD graphics, we’re likely to see the feature on the next-generation of AMD cards as well. So, it’s safe to say that Nvidia’s big ray tracing gamble seems to have paid off.