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Microsoft: Xbox Minecraft ray tracing preview was a mistake

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The prototype code has been removed from the Minecraft preview

Microsoft Holds Its Xbox 2016 Briefing During Annual E3 Gaming Conference Photo by Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft started testing Minecraft ray tracing on the Xbox earlier this week, and now the software giant says it was mistake and will be removed. A preview version of Minecraft appeared for Xbox testers with optimizations for Xbox Series X / S consoles and the ability to enable ray tracing.

“The previous Minecraft Preview build available to Xbox Insiders inadvertently included prototype code for ray tracing support on Xbox consoles,” says the Minecraft team in a tweet. “This early prototype code has been removed from Preview and doesn’t signal near future plans to bring raytracing support to consoles.”

Despite originally teasing Minecraft ray tracing on the Xbox Series X two years ago, it’s clear Microsoft isn’t ready to roll this out in the near future. Microsoft’s statement does leave the door open for ray tracing to still appear on Minecraft for the Xbox Series X / S consoles at some point, though.

We tested out the ray-tracing support in the Minecraft Preview build, and it was clearly early unoptimized code that required separate packs and workarounds to work fully. Ray tracing is currently only available on Minecraft for Windows, and it’s boosted by Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling to improve frame rates. Microsoft could be aiming to incorporate AMD’s FSR 2.0 Xbox support to improve Minecraft ray tracing frame rates on Xbox Series X / S, but don’t expect to see this appear any time soon.