MS Phil Spencer: Ray tracing rough around the edges; 8k years away
Posted: Posted October 6th by ShadowFox08
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Head of Gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer gave some rather frank answers in an interview posted yesterday on Wired. On the topic of ray tracing, one of the defining features of the upcoming next-generation consoles, Spencer admitted that so far support has been less than impactful for gamers.

When I think about games where ray tracing has had a dramatic impact on my experience as a player, it’s kind of spotty.

Of course, PC is far ahead of consoles when it comes to ray tracing support, having paved the way with NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2000 Series (known as the Turing architecture) over two years ago. However, there's no shortage of PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X games already confirmed to feature ray tracing, such as:

Legacy Of Kain Defiance Looks Incredible With ReShade Ray Tracing

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (PS5)
Gran Turismo 7 (PS5)
Quantum Error (PS5)
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition (PS5, Xbox Series X)
Bright Memory Infinite (PS5, Xbox Series X)
Observer: System Redux (PS5, Xbox Series X)
Chorus (PS5, Xbox Series X)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 (Xbox Series X)
Call of the Sea (Xbox Series X)
The Medium (Xbox Series X)
The Ascent (Xbox Series X)
In the same interview, Spencer expressed skepticism that 8K displays will become standard in games any time soon, if ever.

I think 8K is aspirational technology. The display capabilities of devices are not really there yet. I think we’re years away from 8K being—if it ever is—standard in video games.

On this topic, it is really hard to disagree with Phil Spencer. Game developers have been trying to come up with clever ways to diminish the already great performance cost of rendering at 4K resolution; 8K resolution isn't really feasible in any way for next-generation consoles, even though they are technically compatible with it through the HDMI 2.1 specification.

In fact, only the mighty GeForce RTX 3090, released very recently and priced $1499, can really do smooth 8K gaming in some titles. Even then, it's only when the game is either very optimized and not that demanding anymore (Destiny 2) or supports the new NVIDIA DLSS 2.1 8x upscaling mode.

In short, don't expect to play 8K games on a console until the generation after the one that's about to begin. But don't be too dismayed about it, too, as the differences will likely be minimal anyway.


Sounds about right. Will be interesting to see how far ray tracing matures next gen.. and 8k probably won't be a thing till the generation after. I do think a mid gen refresh will be capable, but it's better off waiting for next gen. At the moment, Nvidia was only advertising 8k gaming for it's 3090 (and 3080?) GPU cards that recently came out, and they are in the 30-36 TFLOPs range. That being said.. if AMD CNA get something to rival DLSS 2.0 for mid gen refresh, we could see 8k native games.


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All this article reminded me of is how much I want another Soul Reaver or at least a remake of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 1.

Posted October 6th by Alan
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Honestly games dont need to be at 8K yet. I dont even know of anyone who has a 8K HDTV and I am still playing games on my old 1080p TV that I bought in 2013. To me graphics have hit a point that they no longer really impact a game like they used to. Now I think that now developer's are only held back by the limits of their imagination.

The PS4 and X1 are still producing games that look amazing, you only have to look at the recent Star Wars Squadrons that runs well and looks great on whatever XBOX or PS4 you have. I'm currently working on a playthrough of Horizon Zero Dawn and the graphics continue to amaze me and that's a 3 year old game running on the Base PS4 I got in early 2014.

And as exampled by games like Shrine's Legacy, and other retro style games, it's not always about the graphics that make a game compelling and fun to play. SO honestly I can live without 8K, I could even live without 4K.

Posted October 7th by Q
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NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 brings 4K to medium-range cards today. If we're talking 8K 30f, I'd say we're already there. By the time the 3060 comes out, you'll be looking at a graphics card in the $300 range capable of pushing that. 8K 60f would require an RTX 3070, which costs $500, but you can buy that in the coming weeks.

In order to get this into consoles, the hardware has already been locked down. Consoles will stay that way for many years. This is what Phil Spector is referring to. But if you want to game 8K 120f, you technically can today, if you can find a monitor and cable that supports it.

Posted October 7th by mariomguy
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The Last of Us 2 is the best looking game of this generation and it looked fantastic on my 1080P TV/ PS4 Slim. (It ran great too!)

I dont know any one with a 4K TV.... I wont be getting one any time soon. (The yearly upgrades cant be good when it comes technological waste in the environment)

Posted October 7th by S.O.H.
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I dont know any one with a 4K TV.... I wont be getting one any time soon. (The yearly upgrades cant be good when it comes technological waste in the environment)

I have a 4K TV but it's in my living room. Part of the reason I haven't upgraded my 1080p TV that I used for gaming is that it has multiple inputs including Composite, Component, VGA and HDMI so I can basically plug all of my game consoles into it. The new 4K TV's only have HDMI. Some, like the one I bought, come with an adapter for component cables but that's it. i'll probably stick with my 1080p TV for a while longer until something forces me to upgrade it.

Posted October 7th by Q
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The Last of Us 2 is the nicest-looking video game I've ever played and I didn't even play it on a PS4 Pro. It's just a shame that the same care wasn't given to it's writing. Almost everything else about it was fantastic. I could even play through it again and enjoy it probably if I played it on insanity.

Posted October 8th by I killed Mufasa
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My 4K TV is a Samsung, it has support for both component and composite video inputs, and it supports 4K 60f gameplay. I watch Netflix 4K on it, and it's beautiful. I also have a 4K Blu-ray player, but 4K movies are expensive, so I don't have a lot of those.

8K is totally unnecessary, the benefits of 4K are indeed good enough, and the bitrates and power necessary for 8K video are extreme. Really, it's just quality, not the resolution, that matters the most. A TV capable of 8K should have the power necessary to handle 4K without problems.

I'm also looking to upgrade my main PC display to a 4K gaming monitor once they come down in price. If I can find one for $300, I'm sold.

Posted October 8th by mariomguy
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My 4K TV is a Samsung......

As is the one I have. It has 3 HDMI and a weird adapter for component but nothing for VGA. I know it sounds weird to complain about that but my Dreamcast plugs into that port. Yeah I could get a cheap VGA to HDMI adapter on amazon but those can have a tendency to negatively affect picture quality. Not to mention that I’d have to get a external speaker source since there would no longer be the proper audio inputs to go along with a native VGA port.

Posted October 8th by Q
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8K 60f would require an RTX 3070, which costs $500, but you can buy that in the coming weeks.

For the most demanding games only 3090 has support for that, and maybe 3080.

Posted October 10th by ShadowFox08
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It depends on what you consider to be 8k. DLSS 2.0 upscales from a 4k base image, and their AI is really fast. You can more than double framerates with it. My RTX 2060 Super is already capable of effectively pushing 4k 60f on high settings without DLSS, so a 3070 with more power than a 2080 ti would have absolutely no issue pushing DLSS 8k 60f high to very high or even max settings on well-optimized games. More stringent games might require more power, but the 3090 is basically two 3080s put together, and the 3070 is more powerful than everything that has ever been released before it. It's insanity. And AMD's Radeon 6000 is looking to challenge the RTX 3080.

This generation of GPUs is bringing us not only raytracing as a standard, but unbelievably high resolutions and refresh rates, as well as newer technologies that make the impossible standard for everybody. It's insane how quickly GPUs are improving now, I can't keep up...

Posted October 11th by mariomguy
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