Microsoft has announced a separate boost to Minecraft’s visuals, days after it cancelled a long-delayed graphics upgrade.
This update improves how light bounces around Minecraft scenes to make them look more “realistic”.
The graphics patch will be available only to Nvidia RTX users.
Microsoft stated that it would be available in 2020, but did not give a firm date.
The RTX graphics cards use a technique known as “ray tracing” which allows for better understanding of how light bounces around virtual scenes in games.
It can make the on-screen visuals more real by making shadows, colours, and the play of light in games environments look more like the real thing.
“Ray tracing is at the center of what we think will be next for Minecraft,” stated Saxs Persson (creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft), in a statement.
He explained that in normal Minecraft, a block containing gold appears yellow. But with ray tracing on, you can see the specular highlight and the reflection. You can even see a mob reflecting in it.”
Katharine Castle wrote that the Rock Paper Shotgun game website update was “impressive in action”.
She also stated that she was concerned about how easy Minecraft’s RTX updates will be to use.
Ms Castle stated that it would require a “hefty” RTX to run all the different lighting effects, shadows, and atmospheric effects simultaneously.
Minecraft abandons Super Duper graphics planMinecraft – 10 years later, what’s next?
A Minecraft player is unable to play for five years.
Prices for Nvidia cards vary widely between online retailers. Low-end cards usually cost more than PS300. The most expensive cards in the range can be thousands of dollars. This update will only be available for Windows 10.
Mojang, Minecraft’s maker, said that the update would be available as an option on the settings screen. This will allow players to test it out while it is being developed.
It also stated that it was working to overhaul Minecraft’s graphics engine. This should provide some visual improvements for people who don’t have an RTX card, or who cannot run the game on a PC.
Mojang stated that while not all devices will be able to support ray-tracing, they will offer graphics enhancements for most devices. This general update is not expected to be available until a certain date.
Both announcements were made just hours before the Gamescom gaming event, which takes place this week in Cologne.
The RTX news came less than a week following Microsoft’s announcement that it would cancel the “Super Duper Graphics Update” for Minecraft.
This was announced in 2017 and promised to improve the appearance of the game on all devices.
After two years of development, the update was canceled because of the “technical difficulties” in producing it.