The Minecraft RTX Beta Is Due on April 16th With DLSS 2.0 Support
Microsoft and NVIDIA had promised the highly anticipated Minecraft RTX Beta for Windows 10 PC wouldn't be far off, and they have delivered. It's officially coming on April 16th and we've got all the details thanks to a recent online briefing with Microsoft and NVIDIA, starting with the newly announced DLSS 2.0 support.
First of all, let's make it clear that this is going to be a single player beta. You won't be able to play with your friends for the time being, though Senior Program Manager for Minecraft Kasia Swica clarified that Minecraft RTX should get out of beta before the end of 2020. At that point, it will feature full multiplayer functionality and Minecraft RTX players will get to play even with those who don't have RTX compatible hardware.
We're making a change to Minecraft bringing on a new graphics engine called the Render Dragon and this Render Dragon engine is going to be available for all Minecraft bedrock platforms in the future. Today, render dragon is only available with RTX in our beta.
When we release Minecraft with RTX for all Windows 10 players, not only will all players with compatible hardware be able to experience Minecraft with RTX, but players who are on Minecraft with RTX will be able to play with players who do not have ray tracing compatible hardware. The texture packs that we see will be different, so players with ray tracing compatible hardware will be able to see ray tracing in all of its glory, but they'll still be able to cross play with their friends without RTX compatible hardware, just different texture packs will be sent through and they won't see those ray tracing effects.
In addition to the three custom-built ray traced worlds mentioned a couple of weeks ago, another trio will be available at the beta launch from the Marketplace: Aquatic Adventure RTX (created by Dr_Bond), Color, Light and Shadow RTX (created by PearlescentMoon), and Neon District RTX (created by Elysium Fire). In total, players will get to try six custom-built ray traced worlds on April 16th. Of course, creators will now be able to freely create their own ray traced worlds or even convert their existing Java worlds to the Windows 10 Bedrock format, as detailed in this guide, in order to enable RTX.
Now, as mentioned above, the big news of the day (other than the Minecraft RTX Beta date, of course) is the addition of NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) 2.0. We've already covered the newest implementation at great length, but as a recap, DLSS 2.0 moved to a multi-frame approach for its image reconstruction, leaning on the accumulation of frames that is then 'sorted' thanks to the power of NVIDIA's Neural Graphics Framework (NGX), delivering higher quality results than traditional heuristics models.
This new approach guarantees far superior image quality to DLSS 1.0 while delivering truly impressive performance boosts. DLSS 2.0 can do up to 4x upscaling, for instance, with minimal image quality loss.
In the Minecraft RTX Beta, DLSS 2.0 proves to be a big winner once again. The full path tracing implementation of Minecraft RTX, similar to what we've already seen in Quake II RTX, is clearly very intensive between ray traced lighting, .
Thankfully, NVIDIA is promising a 1.7x performance boost when enabling Deep Learning Super Sampling. However, do note that upscaling in the Minecraft RTX Beta is directly tied to your render resolution. This means that if you are playing at 1080p, you'll get Quality Mode (upscaled from 720P); at 1440p, you'll get Balanced Mode (upscaled from 835p); and at 2160p or 4K, you'll get Performance Mode (upscaled from 1080p).
We'll have our own impressions of the Minecraft RTX Beta up on Thursday. Stay tuned!