Microsoft and Mojang have just announced that Minecraft will be teaming up with Nvidia to deliver Geforce RTX ray tracing to the mega-popular blocky sandbox, and judging by the demo, players are getting a really sweet eye-candy update.
According to the announcement, ray-traced Minecraft will be playable on Windows 10 and devices capable of DirectX R, meaning Nvidia Geforce RTX GPUs, but the plan is to expand it to all platforms with DirectX R support in the future.
"With the capabilities of this tech, you'll be able to experience your Minecraft worlds with realistic lighting, vibrant colors, realistic water that reflects and refracts naturally, and emissive textures that light up. What does 'emissive' mean? It means you're about to see Minecraft like you've never seen it before", they wrote.
More precisely though, emissive means that lava blocks, for instance, will emit light all around, producing a warm, golden glow that makes it pretty clear what sort of blocks you're looking at. As you'd expect, it's especially useful when out of players' line of sight, and you can see it in action in the video.
In short, gold will look more golden; wood will look woodier and Minecraft will get a dose of realism, while maintaining its trademark blocky aesthetic.
Mojang said that they'll have more info to share later this year, which includes technical requirements, but a future beta will let you turn on "Optional graphics with RTX" in the settings menu.
Minecraft's RTX capabilities won't start rolling out before the new year though, but there will be other graphics improvements until then.
"You'll see individual Minecraft Bedrock platforms update in the months ahead as we learn the capabilities of our lovely new game engine, Render Dragon", they said.
Mojang Render Dragon improvements on Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, and these include edge highlighting and new lighting techniques. Nevertheless, these are but a few of actual upgrades the dev is planning for Minecraft, so players have a lot to look forward to in 2019 and 2020.