21 games will support Nvidia's real-time ray tracing, here are demos of Tomb Raider and Control

Nvidia today announced a new generation of GeForce RTX graphics cards, and as widely expected, the GPU maker spent considerable time talking about real-time ray tracing. The hardware that will make this possible is here, Nvidia claims, and the software is in place too. All that's left are the games.

Before the GeForce event ended, Nvidia also announced a barrage of blockbuster games being developed on its RTX platform, which enables real-time ray tracing and new AI capabilities in games. Between what's coming soon and what will arrive a bit later, Nvidia called out 21 games in all.

"The Nvidia RTX platform and GeForce RTX 20-series GPUs bring real-time ray tracing to games 10 years sooner than anyone could have ever imagined,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of Content and Technology at Nvidia. "Thanks to the AI and hardware light-ray acceleration built into GeForce RTX GPUs, games using these futuristic features are right around the corner."

Battlefield 5 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider headlined the announcement, with nifty tech demos showcasing what's in store. Check out a more detailed breakdown of Battlefield 5 at the link, and watch Tomb Raider's below.

And here's a look at Control by Remedy, another game with an early demo showing off support for the RTX platform.

All three demos showcase what real-time ray tracing brings to the table. We've already covered the ins and outs of ray tracing and what it means for gaming, and you should definitely check that out if you haven't already. The short version, though, is that ray tracing vastly improves the visual fidelity of graphics compared to current rasterization techniques. The elusive technology is also demanding.

That's where's Nvidia's new hardware and RTX platform come into play. Nvidia built its Turing architecture with ray tracing in mind, and on the software side, Nvidia's RTX platform and Microsoft's DirectX Raytracing (DXR) API are enabling a new era in gaming. We still have a ways to go before entire scenes are ray traced, but by using a combination of ray tracing and rasterization, game developers can create more immersive experiences with a lot more detail than before.

Here are some other ray tracing demos worth checking out:

All of these spectacular graphics are made possible by new RT cores that are only found in Nvidia's latest RTX cards. However, the new cards also feature Tensor Cores, which perform deep neural network processing. To go along with this, all of Nvidia's GeForce RTX cards support a technique called Deep Learning Super-Sampling (DLSS). This applies deep learning and AI to rendering techniques to smooth out edges on objects in games.

That's a whole lot of technical jargon, but the good news is you won't have to know the ins and outs to appreciate the difference. You'll be able to see it in a number of new games, and existing ones that receive updates to support RTX, if you get one of the cards.

With new super-sampling, combined with real-time ray tracing, there's the potential for new and updated games to look markedly better than what's out there today. Nvidia says there is broad adoption for DLSS, including Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass, Final Fantasy XV, Hitman 2, and several others.