As reported by The Verge‘s Tom Warren (via VGC), Microsoft seems to have enabled ray tracing on Minecraft Preview, an app that allows players to test upcoming Minecraft changes before they go live in the full game.
As demonstrated by Warren, the Minecraft Preview build allows users to enable ray tracing and customise the feature’s render distance. A clip provided by Warren also showcases what Minecraft looks like with ray tracing enabled on an Xbox Series console.
Warren added that he was able to enable ray tracing by joining a PC player who already had ray tracing active in their game. Though it isn’t easily accessible just yet, being able to access ray tracing on Xbox Series X|S consoles suggests that Microsoft is approaching a point where it can be tested by players on the platform.
Minecraft with raytracing on Xbox? The latest Minecraft Preview is optimized for Xbox Series S / X and has early raytracing support 👀 pic.twitter.com/cqH0cuGbtS
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 28, 2022
Ray tracing has been available for Minecraft‘s PC players since 2020, when it was introduced with a trailer showcasing the gorgeous lighting changes.
As to what ray tracing actually is, Nvidia has previously explained that it’s a “method of graphics rendering that simulates the physical behaviour of light”. For players, that translates to enjoying improved lighting and better graphics – though the feature can be fairly intensive to run.
Recently, the newly-launched Minecraft Preview app has been used to test other features coming to the game. At the moment, Mojang is allowing players to preview Wardens, a terrifying monster that lurks underground and tracks players by listening to their movement.
In other gaming news, the latest Warzone update has introduced several large changes to perks in the battle royale. Ghost has been weakened after overperforming on Caldera, while a few other perks have been strengthened.