Talking Point: Has Ray Tracing Been A 'Complete Waste Of Time' For Xbox Series X|S?

Before the console ever shipped back in 2020, ray tracing was an important part of Microsoft's messaging with Xbox Series X. It was seen as an emerging bit of graphical tech that could transform the way current-gen games look as we moved past the Xbox One era. However, as the generation has gone on it's arguably been less of a focus for Team Green, and Xbox fans have begun questioning its worth entirely.

Over on Reddit, a to-the-point thread has taken off a little bit - a thread that basically asks if ray tracing is pointless on current-gen consoles. The OP argues that ray tracing on Xbox Series X is usually a stripped-back version of the tech; that if applied harms performance too much to be worth using.

Now, we do think this thread makes a fair point. Ray tracing is typically a performance-hogger, and PC games usually incorporate more advanced versions of the tech than consoles. However, we wouldn't say it's a complete waste of time - it's just become a much smaller part of current-gen gaming than we perhaps first imagined.

To this day, a game rooted in last-gen is the most impressed we've been with any sort of console ray tracing. Metro Exodus from 4A Games got a proper next-gen upgrade back in 2021, and its fully ray traced lighting model is incredibly impressive - at 60FPS no less. After seeing other RT implementations since, we're not sure how the team managed it - it feels like wizardry to be honest, and the tech even works on Xbox Series S!

Other recent titles have solid ray tracing modes — like the modern Resident Evil remakes, Bright Memory: Infinite and Forza Motorsport to name a few — but we still tend to choose higher performance options in these games where possible. That's not to mention 120FPS support, which when present in a game we nearly always make use of.

In fact, that capability has probably become our favourite tech-y thing about Xbox Series X|S now. Thanks to FPS Boost there's a decent list of 120FPS games on Xbox these days, and games just feel so good to play at such high frame rates - especially when played from a first-person perspective.

So, yeah, while ray tracing isn't typically something we're hugely bothered about in Xbox games, the tech can still provide impressive results - especially when properly implemented like with Metro Exodus. But, what do you think about it? Has ray tracing been a 'complete waste of time' for Xbox Series X|S so far?

Comment down below with your opinions on this controversial topic!