Minecraft will be getting real-time ray-tracing support, courtesy of NVIDIA. In a joint announcement by NVIDIA and Microsoft at Gamescom 2019, the GPU brand said that it will be helping the game’s developer, Mojang, in providing its RTX technology for the game.
Specifically, NVIDIA also announced that it will use a form of ray-tracing, known as path tracing, into the Windows 10 version of the game. According to the GPU brand, path tracing is a new method in which RTX-capable systems can simulate the way light is transported throughout a scene. To get into the technicalities, path tracing “presents a unified model for lighting calculations” for different types of effects.
Some examples in-game include direct lighting from the sun or emissive surfaces such as glowstone and lava; realistic hard and soft shadows based on the size, shape, and distance of the light source; atmospheric scattering and density; indirect specular and diffuse illumination; and transparent materials with reflections, refractions, and the scattering of elements, to name a few.
To recap, the ray-tracing announcement was made a week after Mojang announces the cancellation on the graphical update called “Super Duper Graphics Pack”. At the time of writing, NVIDIA and Microsoft have not announced a release for the ray-tracing update. However, the update will be free, and will only be accessible to gamers whose systems are powered by NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX series graphics card.