Minecraft isn’t the first name that springs to mind when you think of state-of-the-art visuals, although that’s all about to change. The biggest game on the planet has been cherry-picked by Nvidia as another showcase for the ray tracing capabilities of its GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics cards.
It’s all part of Nvidia’s new scheme from its in-house Lightspeed Studio. Having already turned its hand to Quake II RTX, Minecraft RTX is next in the firing line.
Minecraft RTX uses a more advanced version of ray tracing known as path tracing, which is more hardware intensive compared to the ray traced shadows used in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s new release.
We will go over the path tracing tech in a more thorough Ray tracing tech article soon.
The end result is Minecraft RTX will certainly encourage avid Minecrafters (of which there are a reported 130 million) to want to see their beautiful creations in full ray traced splendour. And once you see what Minecraft RTX looks like on your friends PC, with all its twinkly lighting shimmering off of everything you will really not want to play it any other way. Smart move Nvidia.
Vanilla Minecraft vs Minecraft RTX Graphics Comparison
Slide over to compare
Performance-wise, Nvidia told us it’s expecting its bottom end RTX graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6GB, to be able to play Minecraft RTX at 1080p, 60 frames per second with all raytracing features enabled.
For higher resolutions you will require a higher-end GeForce RTX 20 Series video. The top-end Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB are well placed to handle Minecraft RTX at 4K screen resolution.
If you want to get Minecraft RTX looking even crazier, the ray traced version of the game will also be totally compatible with all the usual mods. This includes the popular SEUS shaderpack for Minecraft, which we saw running on top of a ray traced version. This version of the game looked great, with its mod enhanced textures getting another layer of visual loveliness from the ray tracing.
And when can you get your hands on all this ray-traced blocky loveliness? Launch details for Minecraft RTX are still sketchy but we get the impression that it could be along as early as this Christmas. At the very maximum, Minecraft RTX will launch within one year of Gamescom 2019 according to Microsoft (which took place in August).
As for the thorny issue of a price tag, Minecraft RTX will be introduced to Minecraft as a free update for all those who already own the bestselling PC game of all time. There once was a plan to potentially sell it as DLC but Minecraft RTX is now going to be totally free.