Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode Featuring Real-Time Path Tracing Coming to Cyberpunk 2077 on April 11

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CD PROJEKT RED has previewed the new Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode coming to Cyberpunk 2077 on April 11, at the Game Developer Conference 2023. The new technology will be the next step of ray tracing with nearly all light sources casting physically correct soft shadows. NVIDIA says that RT: Overdrive mode will further increase realism in gaming by creating more indirect lighting and occlusion, along with more natural colored lighting.



“This not only gives better visuals to the players but also has the promise to revolutionize the entire pipeline of how games are being created,” said Pawel Kozlowski, a senior technology developer engineer at NVIDIA.

NVIDIA explains that while real-time path tracing has been long used for computer-generated imagery in movies, gaming has largely relied on rasterization techniques since the 1970s, that is, until the introduction of its RTX GPUs in 2018. It has provided a comparison image of the three technologies in a side-by-side-by-side comparison.


“Path tracing has been one of the main lighting algorithms used in offline rendering farms and computer graphics in films for years. It wasn’t until GeForce RTX 40 series and DLSS 3 was available that it was possible to bring path tracing to real-time graphics.”

Cyberpunk 2077 has become a flagship title for NVIDIA’s evolving RTX technologies as it was one of the first games to adopt DLSS 3, aka Frame Generation, which allows AI and tensor cores to increase framerates. Additionally, the game also utilizes Shader Execution Reordering to optimize GPU workloads for improved performance with path tracing Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode. While Cyberpunk 2077 will be one of the first games to get the new mode, there have been other games that were recently updated to include path tracing.


Cyberpunk 2077, previously an early adopter of ray tracing, becomes the latest modern blockbuster title to harness real-time path tracing. Coming shortly after path tracing for Minecraft, Portal, and Quake II, it underscores a wave of adoption in motion.”

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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