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A First Look At Ray Tracing On the Xbox Series S

A few weeks ago, Ubisoft gave a first look at ray tracing on next-gen Xbox consoles. We have now had the opportunity to play the enhanced edition of Watch Dogs: Legion on both Xbox Series S and Series X. The most obvious difference from a standard Xbox One or PS4 version of the game is the inclusion of X and S Series ray tracing.

Within the London-based world of Watch Dogs: Legion, there are plenty of reflective walls, puddles, and flashing neon signs on both consoles. For ray tracing, these are all ideal. These ray-traced reflections more accurately show the frequently wet and dark areas of London, and in Watch Dogs: Legion, it often looks like there are several puddles on the floor just ready to reflect nearby light sources.

Piccadilly Circus, a tourist hotspot in the heart of London’s West End theatre district, is one of the best locations to demonstrate this in the game. Large displays, reflective puddles, neon signs, and plenty of windows are nearby to really explain nighttime ray tracing.

The $299 Xbox Series S manages most of these well, while 1080p runs at 30fps. In fact, on this smaller next-gen Xbox – you will be shocked at this early example of ray tracing since the Xbox Series S is capable of 4K production. You will be surprised while playing the Watch Dogs on a 4K OLED TV.

While the game doesn’t make on the Series S in 4K, the console improves the image quality from 1080p to 4K. The outcome is often a little rough around the edges, but for me, an OLED TV definitely helped hide the fact that the picture is being upscaled from 1080p.

Check out: All games that are coming to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

The $499 Xbox Series X hits a 30fps 4K resolution, and the quality of the image is always similar to the ultra levels seen on the game’s PC version. I also tested Watch Dogs: Legion on a PC fitted with a Core i9-10900 K and the newest RTX 3090 GPU from Nvidia. Thanks to a faster frame rate, enhanced ray-tracing effects, and a little more detail. The PC version is significantly superior, but the Xbox Series X is also shockingly similar.

Ray tracing sounds like one of the biggest expectations of this new generation of consoles. Still, during the review period, we could not thoroughly evaluate it on the Xbox Series X or S. In several games, the PlayStation 5 also uses ray tracing, like Spider-Man Miles Morales, which requires a 30fps ray tracing mode or a 60fps output mode. So far, we have not been able to check Watch Dogs: Legion on the PlayStation 5.

Check out: Xbox Series X’s backward compatibility

We may need to wait to see the first 60fps AAA next-gen game with tons of ray tracing abilities allowed. But these current examples promise Xbox Series X, S and, and PS5. In the months and years ahead, we’re bound to see even more amazing results.

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