After months of waiting, ray tracing may finally be coming to Xbox consoles.
What you need to know
- Players have been waiting for Minecraft to become upgraded for the current-gen Xbox Series X|S consoles for many months.
- On Monday, some players began reporting that the latest build of Minecraft Preview was showing as Xbox Series X|S Optimized.
- A few of these players were then able to access ray tracing on Xbox Series X|S, either through joining a PC ray tracing world or creating a new world.
- Mojang Studios could be preparing to, finally, begin testing Xbox Series X|S ray tracing with Minecraft Preview players.
Mojang Studios is a member of the growing Xbox Game Studios family, making Minecraft a first-party Microsoft title. Despite this fact, Minecraft has yet to be properly upgraded on Microsoft’s powerful Xbox Series X|S consoles, leaving many players to feel disappointed or frustrated. On Monday, reports from a handful of players suggest that Mojang Studios could finally be preparing to fully test ray tracing for Minecraft, bringing it into the world of Xbox Series X|S Optimized games.
Minecraft with raytracing on Xbox? The latest Minecraft Preview is optimized for Xbox Series S / X and has early raytracing support 👀 pic.twitter.com/cqH0cuGbtS
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 28, 2022
A small handful of players that are enrolled in Minecraft Preview, the upcoming replacement for Mojang Studios’ long-running Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta program have reported the title as appearing as Xbox Series X|S Optimized on the current-gen consoles. This observation comes despite the lack of any further news or communication from Mojang Studios, and no mention of ray tracing or current-gen upgrades in the latest Minecraft Preview build.
Among these players, an even smaller number have actually managed to enable ray tracing on Microsoft’s latest and greatest consoles, heavily indicating Mojang Studios is indeed nearly ready to begin testing a proper upgrade for Minecraft on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Players have been able to access ray tracing on Xbox Series X|S either by joining a multiplayer game with a PC that has installed the necessary ray tracing packs and enabled the feature, or by creating a new world and accessing the “Ray tracing” toggle in Settings.
Unfortunately, we here at Windows Central were unable to corroborate the reports, despite being enrolled in Minecraft Preview on an Xbox Series X. I was able to join a ray traced world I started on my PC, and my Xbox Series X seemingly downloaded the necessary ray tracing packs, but to no avail. Minecraft Preview does not show the Xbox Series X|S Optimized tag, and the “Ray tracing” toggle in Settings is still greyed out (as it has been since its introduction on PC).
Still, there are enough Minecraft players sharing the story to strongly suggest Minecraft is about to become Xbox Series X|S Optimized with ray tracing support, or at least that Mojang Studios is ready to collect feedback from the community on the feature. If you want to try your luck at gaining early access, you can use our guide to learn how to download Minecraft Preview.
Minecraft on Xbox Series X|S has been actively discussed within the Minecraft community since before the launch of the advanced gaming consoles, after Microsoft initially demoed ray tracing using Minecraft. Since then, Mojang Studios has kept quiet about the feature. Now, it seems good news may be on the horizon for one of the best Xbox games you can play. We’ll continue to monitor this situation for any official word from Mojang Studios, especially as new Minecraft: Bedrock Edition beta and Minecraft Preview builds are released in the near future.
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