Gamescom—Minecraft, the world’s best-selling video game with over 176 million copies sold, will be dramatically more realistic through support for real-time ray tracing on PC, NVIDIA and Microsoft today announced.
A free game update will provide Minecraft players with vivid visualizations of their self-created worlds, with more realistic shadows, lighting and vibrant colors.
“Minecraft will expose ray tracing to millions of gamers of all ages and backgrounds that may not play more hardcore video games,” said Matt Wuebbling, head of GeForce marketing at NVIDIA. “The world’s best-selling video game adding ray tracing on PC illustrates the momentum that ray tracing has built in the gaming ecosystem.”
“Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” said Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft. “GeForce 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.”
Together, NVIDIA and Mojang, the developer of the game, are adding a form of ray tracing known as path tracing for the Windows 10 version of the game. Path tracing simulates the way light is transported throughout a scene. It presents a unified model for lighting calculations for many different types of effects that have traditionally been implemented separately using rasterized or hybrid renderers. Among these are:
- Direct lighting from the sun, sky and various light sources, including emissive surfaces such as glowstone and lava
- Realistic hard and soft shadows depending on the size, shape and distance of the light source
- Per-pixel emissive lighting
- Indirect diffuse illumination (diffuse global illumination)
- Indirect specular illumination (reflections)
- Transparent materials with reflection, refraction and scattering (stained glass, water, ice)
- Atmospheric scattering and density (volumetric fog, light shafts, realistic sky)
Real-time ray tracing is changing the way games are created and dramatically increases the image quality they can achieve. Ray tracing is built upon a robust ecosystem that includes industry-standard application programming interfaces, support in an array of popular and private game engines, and games from the biggest publishers for their most anticipated titles.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ GPUs are the only GPUs capable of playing games with real-time ray tracing.
NVIDIA is kicking off Gamescom 2019 at an exclusive invitation-only event that features some of the world’s most anticipated titles premiered with ray-traced graphics. Attendees can play Minecraft and capture their ray-traced gameplay to share later.