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Up For Debate - What will be the next big tech craze after ray tracing?
By Chad Norton on December 6th, 2020 at 05:00pm - original article from game-debate

Ray tracing. It’s the big tech craze at the moment and is the driving factor behind this year’s next generation of consoles and graphics cards including the recently revealed RTX 30 series from Nvidia and the Radeon RX 6000 series from AMD. But whilst the technology is still finding its footing in the industry, what do you think will be the next big tech craze afterwards?

Increasing graphical fidelity is a natural evolution of video game graphics as we try to emulate the real world as much as possible. That is why ray tracing is such a big deal at the moment, because it is the next step in creating ultra realistic lighting; which is arguably one of the most important aspects of getting any computer image to look ‘realistic’.

Ray tracing is also making its way into a lot of the biggest games at the moment: ¬¬g_id:4614[Cyberpunk 2077]¬¬ and ¬¬g_id:37410[Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War]¬¬ are some of the latest games to incorporate the tech, to name a few. Both have slightly different implementations of it, but the core technology remains the same.

But what could be the next big step forward? Will it be to do with graphics like better textures? Or better and more accurate animations including facial animations? Or maybe more hardware/performance-related things like AI upscaling or SSDs?

At the same time as ray tracing begins to lift off, we’ve already seen a slight shift towards using SSDs instead of traditional hard drives due to the next-gen consoles supporting them. SSDs generally don’t increase performance apart from faster loading screens, but they do help to stream textures faster and provide less texture ‘pop-in’.

Or maybe the next big tech craze will be AI? Things like DLSS from Nvidia or FidelityFX Super Resolution from AMD will be game changers in terms of increasing performance whilst retaining the same graphical quality, which is almost a requirement in most games with ray tracing implementations.

So once the amount of RT Cores and Ray Accelerators becomes the norm on graphics cards, maybe we’ll see an increased amount of Tensor/AI Cores to help with the upscaling tech?

What do you think? What could be the next big tech craze after ray tracing? Will it be another graphical enhancement like ray tracing? Or will it be more towards performance? Let’s debate!