|>>|| No. 25791
Speaking of pointless fads, I've only just got a graphics card capable of this raytracing stuff, and having tested it out in a few games, that's exactly what I'm going to call it.
I mean, it obviously has potential; but the way NVidia are leaning so heavily on it is little more than marketing guff. I'm old enough to remember several similar overhyped gimmicks that remind me strongly of this, and I feel confident it's going to follow the exact same trajectory.
Remember tessellation? Yeah, you probably do now that I've mentioned it, but other than that I bet you had completely forgotten it existed. Cast your mind back, about ten years now, and tessellation was the absolute must have feature. It was the reason to upgrade, it was the future of graphics, it was supposed to utterly change the face of graphics as we know it. There was that demo with the dragon on those floating islands, and we were all amazed, remember? But when was the last time you even heard it mentioned? I'm sure games still use it, but it didn't lead us to the promised land of blowjobs and free doughnuts did it.
Remember PhysX? That was a complete joke. Hairworks? Actually, come to think of it, it's always Nvidia pushing this bullshit too.
Raytracing will do the same thing I reckon. It won't be the be all end all, we won't have this revolution where it's raytraced everything all the time and we laugh at how primitive things were before it. It'll just become another pretty mundane part of the feature set developers can use. And the reason I say that is because it only looks good about as often as it looks like shit, frankly, and that's in the cases you can even see a difference at all. It does some things well, like reflections, but honestly I think the more conventional lighting in most games looks better (I would imagine because it requires more direct, deliberate artistic input from a developer.) Raytracing will stick around, sure, but it will end up as just another menu toggle that makes a barely perceptible difference to quality, for a modest frame rate cost.
I'm sure some of you are just nodding and going "yeah, duh" but they really have been pushing it to the point I was expecting a lot more out of it. Not that I'm disappointed, it's just rare that even my natural level of skepticism is exceeded.