The gaming industry has descended on Cologne, Germany for Gamescom 2019, and Nvidia kicked off the event by announcing that nine upcoming games will support real-time ray tracing in at least some capacity. Implementation will vary between titles (it's not as simple as flipping a switch) but the support from major publishers in some of their biggest titles adds to the slowly growing number of games supporting the feature.
Three of the most notable titles Nvidia announced today are Minecraft, the next entry in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, and Cyberpunk 2077. Some mods have already made ray tracing available in Minecraft, but Nvidia said that it worked with Mojang and Microsoft to bring official support for the tech into the incredibly popular game by way of path tracing. (Just like modder "Sonic Ether" demonstrated with a fan patch in April.)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is also set to include ray traced shadows, Nvidia said, as well as the Nvidia Adaptive Shading technology. The company didn't say how Cyberpunk 2077--which basically pulled a Kim Kardashian and "broke the internet" at E3 2019 when it released a cinematic trailer featuring Keanu Reeves--would implement ray tracing. We suspect that won't dampen excitement for CD Projekt Red's followup to The Witcher series.
Here are the six other titles Nvidia heralded at Gamescom. Some were already confirmed to have ray tracing, but Nvidia is promising a more in-depth look at how the rendering technology will be used in the titles for Gamescom attendees:
- Synced: Off Planet
- Dying Light 2
- Vampire: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines 2
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood
Most of these titles have noteworthy developers and/or publishers. Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Watch Dogs: Legion, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood are the latest entries in big-league franchises; and Synced: Off Planet is being developed by Tencent Next Studios. That studio's parent company, Tencent, is a gaming juggernaut that owns large chunks of Riot Games and Epic Games.
The other titles are either critical darlings in the waiting (Control won numerous awards at E3 2019) or followups to well-received series. Support from all of these games will help bring ray tracing from a novelty that's only supported by a few titles to a nigh-ubiquitous presence in AAA releases. Nvidia invited some Gamescom attendees to experience the games for themselves; the rest of us can learn more via the company's website.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.