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Nyren's Corner: Apparently NVIDIA Forgot to Clarify RTX Support

Today, NVIDIA gave a very long presentation to introduce their new Turing GPU architecture, going into so much technical detail that it’d make most peoples eyes roll into the backs of their heads. After finally showing off some games that support the new real-time ray tracing technology, they displayed 21 games that would support NVIDIA’s RTX technologies. Everyone immediately assumed that this meant all these games would be receiving real-time ray tracing, the major focus of todays event, the big talking point. Well, as it turns out, that’s not really the case.

While presenting their new architecture, NVIDIA actually demonstrated multiple new technologies aside from real-time ray tracing, but the second biggest feature was DLSS or Deep Learning Super Sampling, a technology that combines deep learning AI and super sampling anti-aliasing to create a far more accurate result than current Temporal Anti-Aliasing methods.


That’s really the only example given of this technology at work, but the results are clear to see. So it’s no surprise then that a lot of developers want to utilize this in their games rather than TAA. It just works better, but it likely requires an NVIDIA RTX GPU. And this is the technology, that most games announced to be getting RTX support, are in fact getting rather than real-time ray tracing. The breakdown goes as follows:

Real-Time Ray Tracing:

- Assetto Corsa Competizione

- Atomic Heart

- Battlefield V

- Control

- Enlisted

- Justice

- JX3

- MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

- Metro Exodus

- ProjectDH

- Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing:

- Ark: Survival Evolved

- Atomic Heart

- Dauntless

- Final Fantasy XV

- Fractured Lands

- Hitman 2

- Islands of Nyne

- Justice

- JX3

- Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries

- PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

- Remnant: From the Ashes

- Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass

- Shadow of the Tomb Raider

- The Forge Arena

- We Happy Few

As you can see, more developers have opted to only use DLSS rather than ray tracing or a combination of the two. This isn’t too surprising as real-time ray tracing is likely more difficult, or at least more time consuming, to implement compared to DLSS. For games that are still a ways out from release, such as Metro and Mechwarrior, it makes sense to have both since they have the time. Square has cooperated with NVIDIA in the past, so it makes sense that Shadow of the Tomb Raider would have both, and in the case of Battlefield, DICE has a lot of excellent engineers that probably wouldn’t find it difficult to implement ray tracing in a short span of time, though it is odd that they decided not to use DLSS as well.

If there’s one game where the RTX support is somewhat disappointing, it’s Final Fantasy XV. The PC version of that game is pretty much a technical showcase, both for Square’s Luminous Studio engine and NVIDIA’s GameWorks tech. So while it isn’t surprising to see it listed, it IS surprising and disappointing to see that it’s only getting DLSS support and not real-time ray tracing. While the game is graphically impressive, it does have some rough edges that these two technologies combined could solve, such as reflections and the massive amounts of aliasing on the characters hair, which is a result of each hair strand being rendered individually. The DLSS could potentially solve that, but we’ll have to wait and see.

None of this is to say that the games so far only getting one or the other, can’t get the missing tech down the line. It could come down to priorities or available resources. Only time will tell

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