When Microsoft introduced Xbox Series X it showed ray-traced Minecraft footage that was supposedly recorded with the game running on said console. DigitalFoundry was, in fact, one of the media that shared sequences, and you can find them in the video that I leave you right at the end of this article.
I already told you at the time in this article, published shortly after the presentation of Xbox Series X, that according to Microsoft itself, the Minecraft demo with ray tracing that they had run on said console works in 1080p, and with averages of 30 to 60FPS. Those values were not good at all, since they were not even up to what a GeForce RTX 2060 could achieve.
It was a bad omen of something that in the end was confirmed to great fanfare, ray tracing is great for the new generation of consoles, and Minecraft with ray tracing is another example of this.. The official Minecraft official Twitter account has confirmed that the previous leaked build of this game to the Xbox Insider channel, and which contained code pointing to ray tracing support on Microsoft consoles, was a bug. it was a previous prototype and that the code related to said support has been removed.
Regarding his short-term plans, in that same tweet it has been confirmed that there are no plans to bring ray tracing to consoles. Does this mean we’ll never see ray-traced Minecraft on Xbox Series X? The literal interpretation of the tweet speaks of the near future, so The possibility that it will arrive in the distant future is not ruled out.
All in all, and bearing in mind that it will soon be two years since the arrival of the new generation, I think we should not have high expectations in this regard, more than anything because have had plenty of time to release a ray-traced version of Minecraft for Xbox Series X if they wanted to, or could, do so.
Why hasn’t Minecraft with ray tracing come to Xbox Series X yet?
In March 2020, Microsoft itself confirmed that Minecraft with ray tracing was viable on Xbox Series X, in fact it showed real scenes of said game running on the console. It seemed that things were on track, but in the end it is clear that it was not. I already told you at the time that it gave me a bad feeling that DigitalFoundry did not go into specific details about the performance and experience it offered Minecraft with ray tracing on Xbox Series X, and in the end it is clear that my mistrust was fully founded.
As for why Minecraft with this technology has not yet arrived on Xbox Series X, and why it will not do so in the short or medium term, I think the answer is very simple, due to a question of power. Ray tracing requires a lot of power, and the RDNA2 architecture that Microsoft’s console uses has already been shown to completely deflate when such technology is activated. In other words, ray-traced Minecraft would be too much for the Xbox Series X GPU.
However, maybe in the future, and thanks to the use of a more advanced rescaling technique, like FSR 2.0, which will run smoothly on Xbox Series X, such a game ends up being viable. Right now it only remains to wait, but keeping expectations under control since in the end the power of the “new generation” consoles is what it is, and developers cannot perform miracles.