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Gran Turismo Developer Polyphony Digital Are Working on Real-Time Ray Tracing tech

Ray Tracing, from a Sony-only developer?

Gran Turismo Developer Polyphony Digital Are Working on Real-Time Ray Tracing tech

Gran Turismo Developer Polyphony Digital Are Working on Real-Time Ray Tracing tech 

At SIGGRAPH Asia 2018, Polyphony Digital confirmed that they were experimenting with real-time ray tracing, developing their own path tracing solution to offer accurate reflections that offer a notable graphical leap over the pre-baked reflections that are used in their recent games. 

In their demo, which is available to view below, dynamic/moving lighting is used to see these reflections in action. Two things are worth noting here, first, that Polyphony is working on real-time ray tracing and second, that Polyphony Digital only develop games for Sony hardware. The studio is most famous for their Gran Turismo series, which has been exclusive to Sony platforms since the PS1. 

Does this mean that the PS5 will be capable of real-time ray tracing? Perhaps, but simply working on a new graphical technique does not guarantee that it will be used on Sony's next console. That being said, Sony is known for adding custom hardware to their recent PlayStation silicon, with Sony's PS4 Pro featuring specialised hardware for Checkerboard rendering, which is designed to help produce higher resolution images with a lower performance cost. 
  


Polyphony has not confirmed that their ray tracing tech will be used in any upcoming games, stating that the company is still exploring the possibilities. The demo showcased at SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 was not accelerated, using a compute method for path tracing, which should put to bed any potential rumours of an Nvidia RTX-powered PlayStation 5, though the consequences of this is the demo's low framerate, appearing jerky in places.  

While we are uncertain if we will see this technique used in games anytime soon, it is exciting to see a console-only developer invest time in real-time ray tracing, showcasing a clear interest in integrating some of the latest techniques from the PC space into what could become a future console title. 

You can join the discussion on Polyphony Digital working on real-time ray tracing tech on the OC3D Forums

Special thanks to Dicehunter for providing us with this information. 

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Most Recent Comments

02-01-2019, 06:49:19

tgrech
Personally I think it's inevitable the next consoles will use it, DXR was a cross industry effort, AMD's architecture(Presumably spanning the PS5, Xbone, Ryzen & Radeon) probably won't be as dedicated to it as NVidia's or commit as high a %age of die space to RTRT, but their cards are already potent enough at RT (With a fairly mature non-realtime pipeline) that AMD doesn't really need to take the same degree of change in direction to offer the support, especially with a 7nm launch.

As well as this, I can't see there being anyway that the game industry is going to diverge in directions so sharply with the next console generations, with investments in completely different rendering engines for different platforms. We know for a fact Microsoft has thrown a lot of money at getting RTRT out, so an Xbone release at the very least would seem all but a given on at least one model, and given how wide the support is for DXR amongst cross-platform engine developers and the like, I feel that confirms it, the support for DXR amongst such a wide variety of companies wouldn't exist now if it was expected to be a single-manufacturer product for all of 2019.

DXR's support at this stage arguably seems stronger than DX12's was, but certainly seems much more in line with past Microsoft-led industry standard API's as we'd expect for a wide-ranging feature. Compare the support for this to GPU-vendor-specific technologies(What some expected DXR to be due to NVidia's early deployment of their accelerator units, and the only thing that would really stop it from reaching consoles) and the difference is night and day.Quote

02-01-2019, 07:29:23

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgrech View Post
Personally I think it's inevitable the next consoles will use it, DXR was a cross industry effort, AMD's architecture(Presumably spanning the PS5, Xbone, Ryzen & Radeon) probably won't be as dedicated to it as NVidia's or commit as high a %age of die space to RTRT, but their cards are already potent enough at RT (With a fairly mature non-realtime pipeline) that AMD doesn't really need to take the same degree of change in direction to offer the support, especially with a 7nm launch.

As well as this, I can't see there being anyway that the game industry is going to diverge in directions so sharply with the next console generations, with investments in completely different rendering engines for different platforms. We know for a fact Microsoft has thrown a lot of money at getting RTRT out, so an Xbone release at the very least would seem all but a given on at least one model, and given how wide the support is for DXR amongst cross-platform engine developers and the like, I feel that confirms it, the support for DXR amongst such a wide variety of companies wouldn't exist now if it was expected to be a single-manufacturer product for all of 2019.

DXR's support at this stage arguably seems stronger than DX12's was, but certainly seems much more in line with past Microsoft-led industry standard API's as we'd expect for a wide-ranging feature. Compare the support for this to GPU-vendor-specific technologies(What some expected DXR to be due to NVidia's early deployment of their accelerator units, and the only thing that would really stop it from reaching consoles) and the difference is night and day.
If both the next PlayStation and Xbox use AMD hardware, which seems extremely likely at this point. It stands to reason that both consoles will be fairly similar at a basic hardware level.

The differences will come with customisations, with Microsoft investing in both DXR and DirectML (Machine Learning).

At SIGGRAPH 2018 Microsoft showcased DirectML being used to upscale Forza Horizon 3 from 1080p to 4K (4x resolution boost), showing some pretty good results when compared to bilinear upsampling.

More info here.

https://www.overclock3d.net/news/sof..._spring_2019/1

With MS working heavily on both of these, it seems probable that AMD will be able to accelerate both with future graphics architectures. The question is how long this will take. AMD has been very quiet about Navi, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.Quote

02-01-2019, 08:43:14

demonking
I was surprised to see that its in the works for consoles so soon that we are getting public demos, I wasn't surprised that GT would be looking at it. GT has always had impressive graphics, I have a feeling that the next iterations of the consoles might not have RTRT, perhaps a second release (like the PS4 pro) later down the line. The hardware is not the only part of RTRT that has not matured yet. Anyone remember the first iterations of water ripples and how much that ruined hardware in its early days?Quote
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