When CD Projekt RED revealed the first look at The Witcher 3 Next-Gen last week, the developer outlined ray-traced global illumination and shadows, while they said screen space reflections remained in place (albeit improved over the original release) instead of ray-traced reflections. However, experts like Digital Foundry's Alexander Battaglia pointed out that some of the water reflections seen in the trailer of The Witcher 3 Next-Gen seemed to indicate ray-tracing was in use.
Today, amidst their RTX and DLSS update post for December, NVIDIA confirmed that, indeed, The Witcher 3 Next-Gen features ray-traced reflections.
- RTX Global Illumination (RTXGI) adds more immersive and realistic outdoor ray-traced lighting
- Ray-traced ambient occlusion improves shading around objects occluding light
- Ray-traced shadows improve the fidelity, clarity, and visibility of shadows
- Ray-traced reflections increase the accuracy and quality of reflections on bodies of water and other suitably reflective surfaces
On top of that, Ultra+ settings increase draw distances, foliage density, background character detail, asset quality, and more. Texture resolutions are increased, and environments gain new geometric detail.
It's hard to imagine why they wouldn't say that outright in the reveal live stream. Perhaps it was a simple slip-up or a last-minute addition. Either way, we can't wait to check it out once The Witcher 3 Next-Gen hits on December 14th. As a reminder, The Witcher 3 Next-Gen also supports NVIDIA DLSS 3 (for GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs), DLSS 2 (for GeForce RTX 20 and 30 Series GPUs), and NVIDIA Reflex (for GeForce GTX 90 Series GPUs and upward).
In related ray tracing news, NVIDIA is expanding Minecraft with RTX next week. Four new worlds will be added for free on December 6th.
World #1: Alien Encounter
Creator: Syclone Studios
World #2: The Redstone Temple
Creator: Gamemode One
Type: Puzzle Adventure
World #3: A Spirit's Journey
Creator: Everbloom Games
Type: Story-Driven Puzzle Adventure
World #4: The Isles of Whimsy
Creator: Shaliquinn's Schematics
Type: Open World Survival