GTA 6 Reportedly Uses Hybrid Ray Tracing For Next-Gen Visuals

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GTA 6 Should Be A Visual Treat!

Story Highlights
  • GTA 6 uses ray-traced global illumination and reflections.
  • The trailer suggests a hybrid software and hardware ray tracing solution.
  • Ray-tracing shadows appear to be missing from the footage.

With GTA 6 being revealed recently, Rockstar has broken several records thanks to an impressive trailer. Part of what made the trailer so compelling was that Rockstar appears to be heavily leaning into ray-tracing technology.

Tech experts at Digital Foundry have shared instances of global illuminations and ray-traced reflection in the game, proving that ray-tracing will play a huge part in elevating the visual experience offered by this entry.

Why it matters: Red Dead Redemption 2, despite the lack of ray tracing, is still one of gaming’s best-looking releases, proving Rockstar has always pushed the boundaries of visuals and tech.

YouTube video

The trailer shows realistic light reflections on several occasions. During the car chase sequence, the side mirror also appears to utilize ray-traced reflections, further highlighting that this technology will play a significant role in GTA 6.

These instances indicate a possible hybrid solution combining hardware and software ray-tracing. Digital Foundry says:

“One of the features evident in the trailer is that they could be using proper RTGI.”

However, ray-traced shadows are seemingly missing from the game’s first trailer. While they may be added later on, the trailer shows a focus on ray tracing for realistic lighting and reflection.

With GTA 6 launching as a console exclusive, Rockstar could have decided to cut ray-traced shadows for resource management. This element could still be part of the PC Port down the line, where the team has more capable hardware to work with.

GTA 6 Female Protagonist Lucia

Not too long ago, the studio tested the waters with ray tracing on consoles. The most recent GTA 5 release includes ray tracing features for PS5 and Xbox Series X, so Rockstar Games is already quite familiar with this technology.

GTA 6 will be released in 2025, marking the developer’s first AAA launch since 2018. With prior experience and record anticipation, hopes are high for the studio to produce an exceptional blend of these technologies in its upcoming title.

Because GTA 6 seems to be pushing the latest consoles to their limits, the game is expected to be locked to 30FPS at launch. However, if these technologies can create a truly next-generation experience, we feel the tradeoff will be worth it.

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