Here’s what it’s like to play

Microsoft’s “Minecraft” video game is getting a makeover.

It’s hardly the sort of game you’d expect to be in need of some realism, given the success it’s enjoyed with its basic look. But developer Mojang — which Microsoft bought in 2014 — and chipmaker Nvidia think it could play an important role in the game’s future.

That’s why they’ve partnered up to bring out an update for PC gamers with Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards, which would make lighting and reflections in the world of blocks look much more realistic.

They’re using a technology called “ray tracing,” which is employed in modern movies and some video games. For example, Activision Blizzard’s recently released “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” makes use of ray tracing.

Ray tracing is a rendering technique in computer graphics that looks at the way rays of light bounce off of virtual objects to simulate what lighting would like in a real-world environment. It requires a lot of power to run, which is where Nvidia’s RTX chips come in.

CNBC got the chance to check out the game with ray tracing and see what it was like to play. Here are a few takeaways.

What does it look like?

“Minecraft” with Nvidia’s ray tracing turned on.

Mojang | Nvidia

The game looks visibly different right from the outset as you jump into a pre-made map with ray tracing graphics applied. Rays of light seep in through openings in the walls, while the fire and lava in the game glow.

“Minecraft” with Nvidia’s ray tracing turned on.

Mojang | Nvidia

You can spot some really stunning lighting effects in a few areas. For instance, once stepping outside the initial starting area, the rays of light (seen below) look pretty natural, splashing out onto the world and interacting with different surfaces.

“Minecraft” with Nvidia’s ray tracing turned on.

Mojang | Nvidia

You’re also able to see reflections in glass and the water. It’s a far cry from the original version of the game, which has a much more basic design for those materials.

“Minecraft” with Nvidia’s ray…

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