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Fortnite brings long-awaited ray tracing to PC version

Ray tracing — the high-quality lighting effect taking gaming by storm — has arrived on one of the biggest franchises.

Starting on Thursday, players of Fortnite on the PC can turn on ray tracing and experience the title with far more fidelity.

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The feature, which is only available on PCs running Nvidia GPU cards and DirectX 12, allows for dramatically improved visual and lighting effects, creating a more realistic in-game experience, developer Epic Games announced in a blog post.

Epic Games showed a before-and-after shot detailing how big of a difference ray tracing makes.

In the first, with ray tracing on, there’s far more detail on cars and you can see the reflections of other players on windows. In the other, with ray tracing turned off, the same scene looks rather dull in comparison.

Ray tracing is a newer technology developers are increasingly adding support for in games. In addition to PCs, the technology will be available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, both of which launch this November. Ray tracing is a rendering technique that mimics real-life light and how it affects how we see the world. Ray tracing should make games far more realistic, developers say.

In addition to ray tracing, the Fortnite update also includes support for Nvidia’s DLSS, which allows for ray tracing to work at higher frame rates. Another feature, called Nvidia Reflex, reduces Fortnite‘s latency and renders the ray tracing effects in real time.

How to turn on ray tracing in Fortnite

First, you’ll need to have PCs that work with DirectX 12 and have four or more cores in their CPUs. An Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or higher is also required. However, Epic says the game will look best on CPUs with eight or more cores and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 or higher.

To turn on the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Install Microsoft’s Windows 10 May 2020 update.
  2. Install the R455 Driver.
  3. In the Fortnite settings, scroll down to Advanced Settings and change the DirectX version to DirectX 12.
  4. Also in Advanced Settings, players will find their Nvidia DLSS options. They can choose Quality, Balanced, or Performance.
  5. Finally, find Ray Tracing in that pane and turn it on. Next, decide whether to activate shadows, reflections, ambient occlusion, or global illumination. The settings can also be configured from low to high, allowing players to control how it looks.

Once those steps are completed, the game will automatically turn ray tracing on and players will be all set.

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Netflix expands its game lineup with new titles from Ubisoft and more
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Netflix is doubling down on its commitment to gaming. During a presentation attended by Digital Trends, the streaming service's games team teased four new titles. It highlighted how many games are in the works for Netflix as it continues to put its mark on mobile gaming and ramp up its efforts on its cloud gaming service.
The four games Netflix discussed were all from external studios. Following Valiant Hearts: Coming Home, Netflix is collaborating with Ubisoft again on the action roguelike Mighty Quest: Rogue Palace, which is based on the game Mighty Quest for Epic Loot and launches on April 18. 
Ustwo Games is bringing complete versions of both Monument Valley titles to Netflix in 2024, building on the partnership established with Desta: The Memories Between. Netflix also confirmed that it is working with Catalyst Black and Vainglory developer Super Evil Megacorp on a tie-in game for an unannounced Netflix IP.
Finally, Netflix confirmed that it is working with developer Nanobit on another game based on the show Too Hot to Handle. Their previous tie-in game for that show is the most popular Netflix game.

Netflix made it clear that it understands that people like games that tie into known franchises and that there are plenty of titles still in the works. Leanne Loombe, vice president of External Games, confirmed that Netflix is currently working on 70 games with external developers, in addition to 16 titles that are in "early ideation" at its internal studios. She explained that the ultimate goal is for Netflix to release batches of new games that appeal to a wide variety of gamers every month.
"It's going to require us to release a variety of different games and take some risks, and not everything we launch will be a hit," Loombe explained. "But everything is going to be a great opportunity for us to continue to evolve our strategy and also our approach around games to make sure that we're bringing those most-played games to our members."
In the near term, that means the focus will remain on mobile games that players download on the App Store and Google Play Store before authenticating them through Netflix. Loombs also reaffirmed Netflix's efforts to build a cloud gaming platform, albeit slowly and steadily.
"We are very early in that side of our journey, but we are very committed to making sure that games can be played wherever you have Netflix," Loombe said. "We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen, be frictionless, and provide that accessibility into gaming experiences. But we do want to be super thoughtful about how we build that and how we bring it to our members, ... just like we're doing for mobile games, we will take it slow."
Don't expect Netflix to be an immediate competitor for Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo, but don't be surprised if it ends up becoming very relevant in the mobile and cloud gaming spaces in the future. 

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