Ray Tracing, the technology that will revolutionize video games

Let's see what it is and how it will optimize graphics.

Techniques used by the new Ray Tracing

The new Ray Tracing technology enables hyper-realistic graphics on the new Play Station console. / Photo: nvidia.com

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: El Ray Tracing, la tecnología que revolucionará los videojuegos

The launch of the PlayStation 5 surprised all fans. In this case, we are talking about an impeccable console in terms of aesthetics, where the Cnet medium describes it with a “clean and futuristic” design. However, that's not all, as some graphics power issues also matter.

In this sense, the Clarín website mentions that Sony clarified that hyper-realistic graphics will be achieved thanks to Ray Tracing technology, also known as ray tracing. For those who do not know it, it is a technology that will revolutionize the graphics engine used in video games, so we invite you to see what it is about.

What is Ray Tracing and what is it for?

The specialized website of Vida Extra is clear, since it considers that the ray tracing engine is "the technology of the future of video games", but that it will take a while to settle. In other words, we are talking about an algorithmic structure that allows us to calculate the place where light will appear, so that different reflections appear in real time and look like a real movie.

This technology is a new leap in visual quality, although perhaps not so much in gameplay. That is, it elevates realism to the point where it becomes really difficult to separate the video game from real life, since it increases everything related to shadows, reflection, and refraction, although it will not have as much impact on the movement of the players until the refresh rate of the devices is not increased. 

The HobbyConsolas media mentions that it is a photorealistic technology that is as great a revolution as what happened at the time we went from flat polygons to 3D graphics. Although many do not know it, it is not a new technique, because in reality it has been "with us" for years.

To understand it, we must say that it is a way of simulating how our eyes perceive objects. Although we see with millions of colors ourselves, it is all about photons of light from different sources. So they all emit millions of rays that are absorbed and reflected by objects.

These are resources that have already been used in many media, such as cinema. Even recently, the Xataka media mentioned that it was tested with Star Wars, with a short film generated in real-time where it is almost impossible to distinguish the technology, due to its enormous rendering capacity. 

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So why hasn't it been implemented in games until now? Simple: because doing it in real-time implies generating really complex and difficult calculations. So in a movie, it is relatively easy to implement, because it is done only once. In contrast, in video games the formula for light must be constantly generated.

Obviously, the PlayStation 5 will not have this exclusive technology, although it is presumed that it will be the one with the best capacity to run it. For example, Hardzone media highlights that Cyberpunk 2077, the upcoming CD Projekt RPG (creators of The Witcher 3) will be collaborating with NVIDIA to provide this light enhancement.

So, we see that the PlayStation 5 announced some titles, among them the remake of the popular Demon's Souls, which will have this technology that will revolutionize the playable experience, as mentioned by the specialized media of Level Up.