Microsoft and Nvidia have announced that Minecraft with RTX-powered ray tracing is headed into beta this week.
The beta launches this Thursday (April 16) at 1pm ET (or 4am AEST on Friday, April 17) exclusively for PC, and along with it introduces substantial graphics upgrades to the game. These include major improvements to lighting, reflections, shadows and other graphical elements for players using an Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card.
The update will launch alongside six RTX creator worlds and custom maps from top Minecraft creators, which will be free for download from the in-game marketplace. The different worlds have been designed to showcase the game’s enhanced graphics.
Check out the Minecraft with RTX trailer below.
To experience the full beta, players are encouraged to download the RTX Game Ready Driver from the official Nvidia GeForce website.
The updated version of Minecraft was first announced by Microsoft and Nvidia last August. “Ray tracing sits at the centre of what we think is next for Minecraft,” Saxs Persson, head creative director for Minecraft at Microsoft, said in a statement at the time. “GeForce RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it.
“In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it,” he added.
In other Microsoft news, the company recently announced that the backyard survival game Grounded, from Obsidian Entertainment, will go into early access on July 28.
Xbox head Phil Spencer also previously confirmed that both his team and developer PlatinumGames are not working on Scalebound, which was cancelled back in 2017 after a series of delays.