In another collaboration between software giant Microsoft and graphics chip company Nvidia Corporation, Microsoft announced it would use the latter’s real-time ray tracing technology to provide players of its Minecraft video game more realistic graphics on personal computers.
Microsoft will offer real-time ray-tracing support for any player using an Nvidia RTX card, as a free update. Microsoft and Nvidia made the joint announcement at the industry trade show Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, according to one online report.
“Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft,” Saxs Persson, head creative director for Minecraft at Microsoft, said in a statement. “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.”
According to Nvidia, the company will work with Mojang, the creator of Minecraft, to add 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.
A year ago, Nvidia announced it would introduce GPUs with integrated acceleration of ray tracing. Microsoft had announced it would implement DirectX ray tracing its DirectX applications programming interfaces.