AMD has posted a video showing off the RDNA 2 ray tracing capabilities of its upcoming graphics cards – with the tech also found in the PS5 and Xbox Series X– and this gives us an idea of the kind of graphical effects we may see in future games.
Using Microsoft’s just-announced DirectX 12 Ultimate API, which brings DirectX Raytracing tools, variable rate shading and more, the video (which can be seen below) shows off advanced lighting effects and reflections, amongst other bells and whistles.
While this is just a tech demo – and in some cases goes a bit overboard with some of the effects (we doubt many games will be this shiny) – it does show what the Xbox Series X and future AMD Radeon graphics cards will be able to do.
Coming to Xbox Series X
As AMD explains, it has worked closely with Microsoft to add DirectX 12 Ultimate support to its upcoming AMD RDNA 2 architecture, and “with this architecture powering both the next generation of AMD Radeon graphics cards and the forthcoming Xbox Series X gaming console, we’ve been working very closely with Microsoft to help move gaming graphics to a new level of photorealism.”
The PS5 also uses AMD RDNA 2 tech to provide its graphics, but due to DirectX 12 Ultimate being Microsoft tech, it’s very unlikely to be coming to Sony’s console.
Nvidia also announced that its GPUs will support DirectX 12 Ultimate, bringing updated ray tracing effects to Nvidia’s graphics cards as well.
DirectX 12 Ultimate hasn’t got a launch date yet, but it’s likely to arrive alongside the Xbox Series X later in 2020.