Horizon Forbidden West Will Use Ray Tracing on the PS5

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Horizon Forbidden West: PlayStation Studios has released several details about Horizon Forbidden West and has revealed that the game will have ray tracing capabilities on the PlayStation 5. The potential utilization of the console’s hardware was already expected, but was confirmed by Mathijs de Jonge, the game’s director.

In an interview with Hardware Zone, the Guerrilla Games employee commented on the game’s optimizations for PlayStation 5. The director of Forbidden West revealed that the studio is using ray tracing to create physics effects, rendering and even sound.

Mathijs de Jonge did not go into technical details about the function’s implementation, but said the technology will be used in designing “many things” in the game. “I’m not a technical engineer so I can’t explain much beyond that. But yes, we’re using [ray tracing].”

PS5 only

Support for real-time ray tracing is one of the main new features present in new generation consoles. Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S hardware have dedicated cores for ray tracing rendering.

The technology is already quite popular on the PC, appearing on Nvidia and AMD GPUs, and allows developers to create more realistic games, but requires more hardware power. Real-time ray tracing is quite comprehensive and can be implemented to create reflections, shadows, ambient occlusion, and even more immersive audio.

As real-time ray tracing rendering needs dedicated hardware to deliver best results, functions that require ray tracing will not show up in the PS4 version of Horizon Forbidden West. In addition to the improved graphics, the new game in the franchise will also have other features exclusive to the PS5, including full support for DualSense and 3D audio.

Horizon Forbidden West is set to be released in late 2021 for PS4 and PS5, and has recently gained a 15-minute 4K gameplay. However, Sony does not rule out the possibility of postponing the game until next year, as happened with the new God of War.