Nvidia announced that native support for its Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology would be added to the Unity game engine by the end of the year. That integration will make DLSS part of two leading engines—Unity and Unreal Engine—used to develop games for practically every device on the market.
DLSS was introduced in 2018 as a way to improve both performance and presentation in supported titles. Nvidia turned the feature into a full-on technology suite with the release of DLSS 2.0 in 2020. Developers could still build DLSS support into their games, sure, but the technology also made its way to mice and monitors.
The problem was convincing developers to integrate a technology that only worked on specific hardware. Making that integration as simple as possible can help solve that problem. (At least until the cross-platform FidelityFX Super Resolution debuts... some time this year. Maybe.) That's where game engine makers come in.
Nvidia said that native DLSS support would reach Unity through the High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) in the Unity 2021.2. release "before the end of 2021." The integration is supposed to allow Unity developers to "create beautiful real-time ray traced worlds running at high frame rates and resolutions on NVIDIA RTX GPUs."
Epic Games released an Unreal Engine plugin earlier this year to make adding DLSS support as simple as possible. That's great for developers making their games with Unreal Engine, but there are many other game engines on the market. Introducing native support for DLSS to Unity should allow the technology to spread even further.
Light Brick Studio offered a demonstration of DLSS and real-time ray tracing in Unity at GTC 2021. (You have to register for the event to view that talk, but it's free.) Unity has not provided a release estimate at the time of writing; hopefully, developers can take advantage of native DLSS support sooner than later.
Nvidia also revealed its product roadmap for the next few years, including its first Arm-based CPU architecture and the "Ampere Next" GPU, at GTC 2021. But DLSS is available today, even if it's not a native part of Unity. At least enthusiasts won't have to compete with scalpers and cryptocurrency miners for games that support it.