This year, GPU-maker Nvidia is introducing a new technology that will be able to render and illuminate “cinematic-quality” visuals in real time. This was announced at the 2018 Game Developer Conference, and current consumer graphics cards are not capable of supporting it.
The tech, which is currently called “real-time ray tracing,” has long been considered a holy grail of sorts for rendering visuals. Nvidia is branding its version of it as “Nvidia RTX,” and has been rolling it out to companies such as Epic Games, 4A Games, and Remedy Entertainment, all of which have been experimenting with it.
Of course, it will be a while before we see Nvidia RTX appear in consumer game releases. Nvidia RTX requires a Volta GPU, and consumer-level Volta GPUs simply don’t exist yet. In the meantime, Nvidia’s efforts to get this thing rolling appear to be going well, as the company already has Microsoft, therefore DirectX support, on board. Since this has come out of GDC, competitor AMD has released statements saying it is also working with Microsoft and others on similar technology.