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Minecraft’s ‘Super Duper Graphics Pack’ may have been unceremoniously dumped last week but help is at hand, provided you’re willing to spend at $350 on a graphics card. Nvidia has officially unveiled GeForce RTX ray tracing support for Minecraft, adding real-time ray-traced lighting effects to Minecraft’s infamously blocky world.
“Ray-tracing is one of the key innovations that we think is next for Minecraft”. Says Saxs Persson, Minecraft creative director. “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 highlights, you get to see the reflections, you can even see a mob reflected in it.”
Mojang and Nvidia’s partnership will introduce ray-traced real-time global illumination, allowing emissive blocks to light up the environment, water, glass and other reflective surfaces can accurately depict real-time reflections, while shadows and shading will now look more lifelike.
“Our tech gives us that custom flavour for each block that you can’t see anywhere else,” said Michael Weilbacher, CTO on Minecraft. “We wanted to keep the authentic look of Minecraft and still push the boundaries with ray-tracing.”
It certainly looks like a mightily impressive upgrade. The core visual appeal of Minecraft is kind of lost a little along the way, but it’s certainly worth it transform the world’s most popular game into something thoroughly modern-looking.
As for when you’ll be able to get your mitts on Minecraft RTX, that’s a little up in the air. It would appear Mojang and Nvidia are targeting a launch at some point within the next year or so.