CD Projekt Red is releasing a technology preview of a new Cyberpunk 2077 ray tracing mode next month. Path tracing, also known as full ray tracing, will be enabled in the game on April 11th, which will bring even more accurately simulated light to the role-playing game.
Path tracing is film-like rendering that’s been used by studios like Pixar to create incredible visuals in movies. Visual effects artists use path tracing for film and TV graphics, but it’s incredibly GPU-intensive for video games. CD Projekt Red is using Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) upscaling technology to bring this full ray tracing mode to Cyberpunk 2077.
“This not only gives better visuals to the players but also has the promise to revolutionize the entire pipeline of how games are being created,” says Pawel Kozlowski, a senior technology developer engineer at Nvidia.
The technology preview will be live in Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.62 on April 11th, and Nvidia describes it as a “sneak peek into the future of full ray tracing.” Games like Minecraft, Portal, and Quake II also added path tracing recently, but Cyberpunk 2077 is widely seen as the biggest test of the technology in video games so far.
“With full ray tracing, now practically all light sources cast physically correct soft shadows,” says Ethan Einhorn, a senior product marketing manager at Nvidia, in a blog post. “Natural colored lighting also bounces multiple times throughout Cyberpunk 2077’s world, creating more realistic indirect lighting and occlusion.”
While we don’t have the full specs for the Overdrive Mode in Cyberpunk 2077, Nvidia mentions that “it wasn’t until GeForce RTX 40 series and DLSS 3 was available that it was possible to bring path tracing to real-time graphics.” That suggests you’ll definitely need the latest and greatest Nvidia RTX 40-series GPUs to take advantage of this technology preview. We’ll find out exactly what it looks like on April 11th.
Nvidia also published a new Game Ready Driver for its range of GPUs today. The driver includes optimizations for Cyberpunk 2077’s ray tracing Overdrive Mode technology preview.