The Ray Tracing Capability of Cyberpunk 2077 On PC Will Humble You As a Console Player

Cyberpunk 2077’s ray tracing capability is being touted as PC-exclusive, but it could very well come to next-gen consoles too

Much like the PlayStation vs. Xbox war, the PC vs. console war continues to rage, and the general consensus is that PC is better than consoles most of the time – at least until the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch, and we’ll have to revisit that statement. Be that as it may, Cyberpunk 2077 players on PC will have a huge advantage over console players at launch. I’m talking, of course, about ray tracing, and now we have a new set of images to showcase just how dramatically it improves the game.

As you can see from the images we have here, Ray Tracing takes graphics and overall appearance to the next level. There are a handful of different effects going on here:

  • Ray-Traced Diffuse Illumination: This “captures sky radiance” and emissive lighting. In other words, it’s able to more accurately distribute light in the game, so the sun and moon, for example, and realistically illuminate the city.
  • Ray-Traced Reflections: This one is pretty simple, but the idea is that reflections in water, glass, mirrors, etc. will all be more realistic. The way light affects surfaces is better simulated as well.
  • Ray-Traced Ambient Occlusion: This basically makes lighting in enclosed places more realistic. When in use, objects will appear darker and more realistic than usual.
  • Ray-Traced Shadows:  We’ve had somewhat realistic shadows in games for a while, but with ray tracing, they are much more realistic. CD Projekt Red promises pixel-perfect shadows and “directional shadows from sun and moon light” that are said to drastically increase immersion.
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On top of all this, Cyberpunk 2077 will also take advantage of Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 tech, which is basically an AI rendering system with a learning neural network. I won’t pretend to understand how that works, but CDPR and Nvidia say it can generate “beautiful, crisp game images” and will allow PC players to push the games settings to as far as their hardware will allow. As you might imagine, since CDPR and Nvidia are working so closely on Cyberpunk 2077, the game will be available on GeForce NOW at launch.

Will Cyberpunk 2077 Have Ray Tracing on Xbox and PlayStation?

Since Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be compatible with Xbox Series X and PS5 at launch (the two systems won’t even be out yet) the ray-tracing support will only be available to PC players. Right now, a lot of outlets are boasting ray-tracing as a PC-exclusive, but we also know that both the Series X and PS5 will support ray tracing, and it wouldn’t make sense not to bring the capability to console players when the game is finally enhanced and released in next-gen spec.

When Does Cyberpunk 2077 Officially Launch?

After several delays, Cyberpunk 2077’s release date has been pushed back once again, to November 19, 2020. As of now, that appears to be a solid day, but that’s what we thought about the September 17 launch date. It will be available on PC, Xbox One and PS$ at the time of launch, on Google Stadia by the end of the year, and it will make it to the PS5 and Series X sometime in mid-2021.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Robert is an automotive expert and gaming fanatic that somehow manages to split his time between doing both and blending in some family time as well. His gaming history goes all the way back to Atari, the Commodore 64, and the original Nintendo, and he can proudly say that he’s owned every single mainstream console since, including duds like the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Wii. He currently owns a Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 Pro, and a custom-built gaming PC. His all-time favorite games include Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (zombies, specifically), League of Legends, Diablo 3, and even a little World of Warcraft. Robert has been working as a journalist for nearly 15 years, primarily in the automotive segment and now in the gaming segment.


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