Press Roundup From GDC 2019: Ray Tracing Takes Off

By NVIDIA on April 02, 2019 | Featured Stories GDC 2019

GDC and GTC always deliver new, exciting announcements about games and technology, and this year was no different.

Of the headlines, NVIDIA featured in many, across all spectrums of the tech industry, thanks to a wide-reaching, jam-packed GTC keynote from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang. It touched upon gaming, GPUs, automotive, deep learning, AI, healthcare, and more. For a full tech roundup head on over to the NVIDIA Blog, and below, check out press coverage for our gaming announcements.

"NVIDIA’s Big Bet on Ray Tracing Pays Off”

“A little more than six months later, at the 2019 Game Developer’s Conference, Nvidia’s [ray tracing] bet seems to be paying off. Every major game development platform, from Unity and Epic’s Unreal to Crytek’s CryEngine and mega-publisher Electronic Arts’ internal toolset Frostbite has announced support for the tech. Moreover, bespoke engines behind games like “Max Payne,” “Quantum Break,” and “Alan Wake” developer Remedy’s “Control” are also getting behind the technology in a big way. It’s not a particular exaggeration to say that ray-tracing is one of the stars of this year’s GDC, and Nvidia is, by virtue of its aggressive push, standing at the forefront of it.”  – Variety


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“NVIDIA Takes RTX Ray Traced Quake 2 To The Next Level At GTC 2019”

“When Quake II launched over two decades ago, nobody could have predicted that sometime in the future a company like NVIDIA would overhaul the graphics with real-time ray tracing technology, giving the game a luster that was unheard of at the time. But that is precisely what NVIDIA has done, at least in a demo that it showed off at GTC 2019. To fully realize the potential, NVIDIA also added high dynamic range (HDR), which is working in conjunction with real-time ray tracing. The results are impressive—here's a before and after comparison to showcase what a big difference this makes.” – HotHardware


For further info, head on over to our Quake II RTX article.

“NVIDIA brings a little RTX DirectX ray tracing to GTX graphics”

“If you've got GeForce GTX graphics in your desktop or laptop, Nvidia's got an update you're going to like. The graphics chipmaker announced Monday at GDC 2019 it will enable DirectX ray tracing (DXR) on some of its older graphics cards with its Pascal architecture via a driver expected in April. DXR is one of the major features of its newest RTX GPUs using its Turing architecture announced last year. Ray tracing reproduces how light behaves in the real world improving shadows and reflections to give games a more photorealistic look and immersive feel.” – CNET

For in-depth info on this announcement,’s dedicated article has got you covered.

“Unity adds preview support for NVIDIA's ray tracing tech to push gaming realism”

“Ray tracing has been a major topic of conversation at both GDC and GTC so it seems fitting that that the overlapping conventions would both kick off with an announcement that touches both industries. Today at GTC, Nvidia announced that it has built-out a number of major partnerships with 3D software makers including some apparent names like Adobe and Autodesk to integrate access with Nvidia’s RTX ray-tracing platform in their future software releases. The partnerships with Unity is perhaps the most interesting, given the excitement amongst game developers to bring real-time ray tracing to interactive works. Epic Games had already announced Unreal Engine 4.22 support for Nvidia RTX ray-tracing, and it was only a matter of time before Unity made the plunge as well, but now the tech is officially coming to Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) today in preview. While the prospect of added realism in gaming is certainly something consumers will be psyched about, engine-makers will undoubtedly also be promoting their early access to the Nvidia tech to customers in other industries including enterprise.” – TechCrunch


See additional news in our GDC 2019 articles.

“Developers can implement the tech by essentially just flipping it on, making it likely you'll see it in more games soon”

“NVIDIA also unveiled a new set of tools for those game engines called GameWorks RTX that will help developers implement ray-traced games. It includes the RTX Denoiser SDK that enables real-time ray-tracing through techniques that reduce the required ray count and number of samples per pixel. It will support ray-traced effects like area light shadows, glossy reflections, ambient occlusion and diffuse global illumination (the latter is used in Metro Exodus). Suffice to say, all of those things will make games look a lot prettier.” – Engadget


Get access to the tools here.