The rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update has commenced and some of you may already have installed it. I have updated on my desktop, just because I accidentally checked for it in Windows Update and Microsoft’s machine learning and telemetry data ‘decided’ my PC was ready. Microsoft headlined the included updates, changes and tweaks as offering increased mobile synergy, with some other features thrown in including updates affecting the all-important system security.
Now Nvidia has chipped in with a blog post of its own highlighting a change which might be even more important to PC gamers and enthusiasts – the arrival of public support for Microsoft DirectX Raytracing (DXR). It doesn’t hold back on it estimate DXR, referring to it variously as a ‘milestone’, an ‘important catalyst’, and a ‘huge’ feature for a number of reasons. But note that Nvidia also reminds us that the introduction of GeForce RTX 20 Series GPUs was ‘seismic’ and a ‘revolution for the games industry’.
Specifically Nvidia points out that:
- DXR provides an industry-standard application programming interface (API) that gives all game developers access to GeForce RTX’s hardware support of ray tracing.
- DXR adds support for ray tracing to the Windows operating system, so DirectX 12 Windows PCs can now execute the applications that support real-time ray tracing.
Nvidia goes on to turn the spotlight back on the RTX enabled games trailers it has shown us several times before; Battlefield V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Metro: Exodus. It adds that there is a long list of developers working to implement real-time raytracing and DLSS technologies in upcoming games titles.
We are still playing a waiting game. Developers seem to be scheduling raytracing and DLSS feature additions to arrive after the general release of many titles we have seen announced so far. Today’s Windows 10 update doesn’t magically enable RTX-On in all the new games listed in Nvidia’s blog (and many are yet to be released except as beta tests) but is nevertheless an important step forwards and is indeed likely to be a catalyst for the industry.
It is worth a read of Microsoft’s new blog post about DirectX Raytracing and the Windows 10 October 2018 Update for a less Nvidia-centric view on DXR technology.