Skip to main content

Why ray tracing remains the greatest edge PC gaming has over consoles

As powerful as this new generation of gaming consoles are, the reality is that they’ll still be limited in terms of what graphical features are available.

As evidenced by some recent revelations on how Far Cry 6 will compare on PC versus console, PC gamers can rest assured that their super-powerful graphics cards are still leagues ahead.

Two players ride horses in Far Cry 6.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ubisoft’s 3D Team Lead Programmer Stephanie Brenham spoke with Wccftech about Far Cry 6 and what graphical features we can expect.

Brenham was asked whether the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S/X will feature ray tracing or any AMD-specific technology such as FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). Unfortunately, neither of those features will end up on newer-generation consoles despite their power. Ubisoft’s goal with the consoles was to ensure optimal performance while also trying to target 4K.

“On console, our objective has been to take advantage of new hardware capabilities, optimizing performance targeting 4K and achieving 60 [frames per second], for instance, all while ensuring new game features, like our dynamic weather system, are supported on all platforms,” Brenham said.

Ubisoft worked with AMD to implement FSR and ray tracing specifically for PC. This speaks to the gulf that continues to exist between the full capabilities of a high-end gaming PC versus the next-gen consoles. Both Microsoft and Sony, together with AMD, have made massive strides on what’s possible with AMD APUs. However, PCs will always wear the performance crown due to their ability to use discrete graphics cards.

Consoles are aimed squarely at the mainstream market and provide the best bang for the buck in the $400 to $500 range. It would be impossible to build a PC at that price range that offers similar performance. But meeting that price point will still mean compromises on console performance. Conversely, the limit to PC performance depends mainly on the budget of the user. The MSRP of the Nvidia RTX 3070 alone is the price of an entire gaming console, and it still offers more utility outside of gaming.

However, there is a silver lining for console owners. We’ve previously written about how Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox Series X will be getting AMD’s FSR technology, though there was no word as to when that would happen. That’s not too surprising considering the Series X contains a RDNA 2 GPU, though it’s unknown if the PS5 will also support FSR.

Ray tracing is also technically possible on next-gen hardware as evidenced by titles such as Spiderman: Miles Morales and Ratchet & Clank on PS5. The Xbox Series X, meanwhile, can also do ray tracing on games like Control Ultimate Edition, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, and The Medium.

Ultimately, developers are going to optimize a game depending on the platform it’s on. PCs will be able to take advantage of advanced graphical options and multiple methods of input. Consoles will benefit from the tight integration of hardware and software to deliver a more streamlined experience.

Editors' Recommendations

David Matthews
David is a freelance journalist based just outside of Washington D.C. specializing in consumer technology and gaming. He has…
Microsoft explains why Xbox’s best feature still hasn’t come to PC
why xbox quick resume still hasnt come to pc quickresume  respec featured image

When Microsoft announced Windows 11, it framed the release as the best operating system for gaming, and it had some features to back up that claim. Since launch, Microsoft has been working on bringing features like Auto HDR and DirectStorage that debuted on Xbox consoles into the Windows ecosystem.

But one critical feature is still missing: Quick Resume.

Read more
Flex your GPU’s power with the best ray tracing PC games
Blades clashing in Bright Memory: Infinite.

Ray tracing is the lighting tech that defines the look of many modern AAA games. Demanding as it is, most of the best gaming desktops come with ray tracing-capable hardware, allowing you to experience the most graphically demanding technique games currently have access to.

Just because a game has great graphics doesn't mean it's a great showcase of ray tracing, though. For example, Hitman 3's ray tracing update was a disappointment. We catered our list toward games that best showcase ray tracing, so you can use them for bragging rights or just to see what your PC is capable of.

Read more
The Wolf Among Us 2 will launch in five parts next year
Bibgy smokes a cigarette in front of a full moon.

More than two years after its reveal at The Game Awards 2019, Telltale Games re-revealed The Wolf Among Us 2 on The Game Awards' YouTube channel today. A new trailer was released and a 2023 launch was confirmed.
The trailer follows Bigby as he discusses his tactics as a private investigator to a support group and confronts some magical criminals, including the Scarecrow and Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. His opponents get the upper hand, but Bigby becomes a werewolf to fight back.
The Wolf Among Us 2 - OFFICIAL Full Trailer (2022)
In an interview after the trailer, the developers explained that this game takes place six months after the first game. It will follow Snow White and Bigby as they try to rebuild Fabletown in a less corrupt way. The presentation also confirmed that Adam Harrington and Erin Yvette will reprise their roles as Bigby and Snow White, respectively. The actors teased increased tensions between the two characters as Bigby is a loose cannon and Snow White doesn't want to pick favorites while she's mayor.
The whole season will last five episodes, though Telltale and developer AdHoc teased that episodes won't come out until all of them are done and can be released in quick succession. As such, it seems like all episodes will be out in 2023, and we won't have to wait several months between each piece of the story like we did with season 1.
The Wolf Among Us 2 will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2023. The PC version will be an Epic Games Store exclusive at launch. 

Read more