AMD plans on bringing ray tracing effects to the company’s PC graphics cards as well as the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
The upgrade means you’ll encounter more realistic lighting and shadows in games that support ray tracing effects. Nvidia first incorporated the technology in the company’s RTX graphics card starting in Sept. 2018. Now AMD wants to enable it too.
PC gamers will be able to obtain the technology in upcoming Radeon graphics cards that’ll be built with the “RDNA 2” architecture, company senior vice president David Wang said on Thursday. AMD plans to announce more details later this year.
“We have developed an all new hardware accelerated ray tracing architecture,” Wang said during AMD’s analyst event. “It is a common architecture that can be used in the next generation game consoles.”
As a result, the ray tracing will arrive to both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, two systems AMD is also developing the graphics technology for. Both consoles are slated to arrive later this holiday season.
Although ray tracing can make the latest game titles look even more realistic, one problem has been the lack of adoption across the industry, Wang said. Developers have had to essentially add the effects into their games. Meanwhile, consumers who want to enjoy the visuals have had to pay up for a new RTX graphics card from Nvidia.
However, bringing ray tracing to the two biggest video game systems promises to speed up adoption. According to Wang, AMD’s ray tracing architecture will also make it easy for developers to add the enhanced lighting and shading effects to games for both PCs and video game consoles.
In addition to ray tracing, AMD is also enabling “variable rate shading” in the company’s RDNA 2 architecture. The feature will allow the company’s graphics card to focus more resources on rendering the most visual complex areas of a game while spending less energy on the simpler parts. Nvidia’s graphic cards also offer variable rate shading.