NVIDIA made a splash earlier this year with the release of their new GeForce RTX gaming cards, which ushered in an era of more realistic reflections courtesy of DXR real-time ray tracing. For now, Microsoft/DirectX and NVIDIA are pretty much the only names in ray tracing, but you’d better believe others are working on their own versions of the tech. At SIGGRAPH Asia 2018, an industry event devoted to the latest in computer graphics, Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital revealed they’ve created their own in-house real-time ray tracing tech, which you can see demoed in the video below at the 7:20 mark (apologies for the sketchy quality).
Gran Turismo Sport already uses a simplified version of ray tracing that “pre-bakes” the reflections seen on the cars. In other words, the reflections in GT Sport may look like they’re being rendered in real-time, but they’re actually a bit of a cheat. Polyphony’s new tech would allow for legit real-time ray tracing, allowing for even more convincing lighting and reflections.
Polyphony hasn’t confirmed what they plan to use this tech for, simply saying they’re “still exploring […] the possibilities” but it seems fair to assume real-time ray tracing will be included in the next iteration of Gran Turismo. If that’s the case, what might that say about the makeup of the PS5? The PS4 is powered by AMD tech and most have assumed the PS5 will be, too. Of course, AMD have indicated they're planning to go head to head with NVIDIA on ray tracing in 2019, so let’s not jump to any wild “RTX-powered PS5!” conclusions.
It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of tech Sony and it’s various subsidiaries, like Polyphony, cook up for their next-gen games. They’ve produced some of this generation’s best-looking titles, and I suspect that will continue on the PS5. What next-gen Sony games are you looking forward to in terms of graphics tech?