Windows 10 Raytracing Update Arrives

A new Windows 10 Raytracing update brings the supposed next big thing for realism in gaming closer to a proper release. Following the update, which includes a vital DirectX API update, real-time raytracing will be accessible to those running compatible graphics cards, while games supporting the new tech await crucial patches.

Announced as part of Microsoft’s big hardware reveal yesterday afternoon alongside a slew of new Surface PCs, Redmond ushered bigged up the Windows 10 Raytracing update, with native real-time raytracing support being one of its major features. You’ll need to enable Windows 10 updates to take advantage of the new addition if you’re a current Nvidia RTX GPU owner.

Microsoft stated in a separate blogpost: “Today marks a key milestone in making this dream a reality: gamers now have access to both the OS and hardware to support real-time raytracing in games. With the first few titles powered by DirectX Raytracing just around the corner, we’re about to take the first step into a raytraced future.”

Raytracing is a tech that has been available for decades, but the computational power needed to achieve in the past made it far too expensive for consumer setups and video game applications, rendering it a luxury tool reserved for spaces like the animation industry.

With the introduction of Nvidia’s Pascal lineup of GPUs over the Summer, real-time raytracing in everyday applications finally hit the mainstream. Although gaming-grade graphics cards, like the newly released RTX 2080, were bigged up to support the tech, reviews of the products were ultimately left inconclusive as games or applications previously announced to support the new raytracing tech were made available at the time of its late September release.

The addition of native real-time raytracing support to the popular DirectX API is the next step in allowing previously announced real-time raytracing-enabled games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider to patch in support over time, meaning other announced titles like Metro Exodus will hopefully ship with the feature as planned.