Cyberpunk 2077 should, at long last, arrive in three weeks. To whet your appetite a bit more, CD Projekt Red and NVIDIA have shed more light on the highly anticipated RPG's ray-tracing features. In a new developer video, they showed off gameplay footage with DXR ray-tracing and NVIDIA's DLSS tech activated. NVIDIA claims the game is "more immersive and detailed" with ray-tracing enabled. When it's switched on, the company says "glorious ray-traced reflections are cast on every possible surface; substantially improved shadows naturally soften and sharpen; [and] shops, streets and buildings are realistically illuminated with diffuse lighting." In September, CDPR revealed the minimum and recommended PC requirements.
At its big RTX event at Gamescom, NVIDIA made some bold claims about its new Turing RTX cards. First and foremost was that the GeForce RTX 2080 offered performance "six times faster" than current 1000-series Pascal-based GTX cards. That's in large part because of new ray-tracing tech that helps the GPUs calculate complex game lighting much more quickly. "This is a new computing model, so there's a new way to think about performance," said CEO Jensen Huang. The new GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, 2080 and 2070 cards are quicker than ever, but the increase is not nearly as dramatic as the "six times" claim.
The PC industry is finally making a push toward a "holy grail" rendering technique that makes computer-generated imagery in movies appear so much more lifelike than the graphics in games. At GDC 2018 on Monday, Microsoft introduced a new "DirectX Raytracing" (DXR) feature for Windows 10's DirectX 12 graphics API. To coincide with the announcement, Nvidia announced "RTX technology" for enhanced DXR support in upcoming Volta graphics cards, as well as new ray tracing tools for its GameWorks library that can help developers deploy the technology faster. Likewise, AMD said it's "collaborating with Microsoft to help define, refine and support the future of DirectX 12 and ray tracing." And top gaming engines like Unity, Unreal, and Frostbite are already planning to integrate DirectX Raytracing.
When Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War drops on November 13th, you'll be able to play it with ray-tracing turned on. Support for ray-tracing was confirmed during NVIDIA's event today, during which it revealed new GeForce RTX graphics cards. According to NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, Black Ops Cold War will also support his company's DLSS 2.0 AI-powered antialiasing as well as new low-latency Reflex technology. Developers Treyarch and Raven Software released a trailer that has new footage from the game, but perhaps more significantly, shows off how it uses ray-tracing.
Nvidia has unveiled its new Turing architecture along with details of the first GPUs to use it. Turing includes dedicated "RT Core" hardware designed to drive ray tracing, a complex technique that can deliver extremely realistic lighting effects but has been prohibitively resource-intensive to render in real time. Nvidia calls the new Turing-based Quadro RTX the "world's first ray-tracing GPU" and claims it's the biggest leap since the company introduced CUDA in 2006. The Quadro RTX products are intended for high-end professional use, not gaming -- the flagship Quadro RTX 8000 will cost $10,000 when it ships toward the end of the year. For that, you get a GPU with 48GB of new GDDR6 memory, 4,608 CUDA cores, and 576 Tensor cores.