Thursday, May 19, 2022

Xbox Minecraft ray tracing preview was a mistake, Microsoft says

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Microsoft has started testing Minecraft ray tracing on Xbox earlier this week, and now the software giant says it was a mistake and will be removed. An example 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 accidentally included prototype code for ray tracing support on Xbox consoles,” said the Minecraft team in a tweet† “This early prototype code has been removed from Preview and does not indicate any plans in the near future to bring ray tracing support to consoles.”

Despite of originally tease 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 leaves the door open for ray tracing to still appear Minecraft for the Xbox Series X/S consoles at some point, however.

We tested ray tracing support in the Minecraft Preview build, and it was clearly early unoptimized code that required separate packages and workarounds to work fully. Raytracing is currently only available on Minecraft for Windows, and it’s boosted by Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling to improve frame rates. Microsoft could aim to include AMD’s FSR 2.0 Xbox support to improve Minecraft ray tracing framerates on Xbox Series X/S, but don’t expect this to come soon.

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