Minecraft is unrecognisable on the Xbox Series X thanks to ray-tracing technology (VIDEO)
Even several years before the release of Nvidia's RTX graphics cards, ray-tracing was considered the "Holy Grail" of graphics. We have seen examples of old games, such as the Quake II originally released in 1997, being literally transformed by the incorporation of ray-tracing features.
RTX graphics cards are now marketed, and the next-gen Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will support the feature, as will AMD's PC RDNA 2 graphics cards. Therefore, ray-tracing is becoming a reality for more and more gamers and developers, instead of an unbelievable dream.
So Microsoft, wanting to showcase the capabilities of the Xbox Series X, has revealed that ray-tracing technology can transform a game with seemingly simplistic graphics like Minecraft. Specifically, it has shown its title to run in full path-tracing, the most demanding version of ray-tracing that represents as faithfully as possible how light works in real life.
The Xbox Series X "shows its teeth" in this demo, since although Minecraft may be fooled by its simple graphics, the calculations made are extremely demanding in terms of processing power. For example, a computer with no hardware acceleration for ray-tracing runs a single-digit frame-rate Quake II demo. In the case of the Xbox, Minecraft runs smoothly with the most demanding ray-tracing version available at 1080p and with stable playable frame-rate.
Games like Control and Battlefield V use hybrid solutions and only use ray-tracing for certain effects such as reflections. This allows developers to run their games with high resolutions and frame-rates despite making use of this demanding technology. Since the Series X "passes the test" of path-tracing, it turns out that its hardware is ready to welcome the new era of graphics.
Below is a video featuring gameplay footage and more information.