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    Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will support DirectStorage and ray-traced ambient shading on PC

    In a Steam post that has since been deleted, Nixxes Software has revealed some exciting new technical details about the PC version of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. According to the team, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will support DirectStorage with GPU decompression on PC, as well as ray-traced ambient shading.

    This is great news as RTAO can greatly improve visuals in shadow areas. We have seen this in many games such as Metro: Exodus and F1 23.

    As the developers explained:

    “Ambient shading is a technique used in games to simulate how ambient lighting affects a scene. Ambient lighting is a form of indirect lighting: light reflected from other surfaces. This effect is mainly seen in folds, cracks and corners where the surfaces are close to each other. Commonly used AO methods are SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) and HBAO+ (Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion). They are not very demanding on hardware, but they do not give physically accurate results either. RTAO uses ray tracing to further enhance the realism of ambient shading in the game. We have implemented RTAO as an add-on for those with high performance systems with ray tracing compatible hardware and redundant processing power.”

    Apart from RTAO, the game will also support XeGTAO. XeGTAO is another Ambient Occlusion technique comparable to HBAO+. What’s also great is that, according to Nixxes, all GPUs from all vendors will support this Ambient Occlusion setting. XeGTAO generates very high resolution ambient shading that shows even the smallest geometry details, resulting in very high quality output.

    Finally, Nixxes has confirmed that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will support DirectStorage with GPU decompression. This is most likely the first game to use GPU decompression for DirectStorage.

    “In order to provide fast loading and instant transition between dimensions, the game must be able to load assets quickly. DirectStorage ensures fast loading, and GPU decompression is used at high graphics settings to stream assets in the background while playing. Traditionally this decompression is handled by the CPU, but at some point there is an advantage to allowing this to the GPU as it allows for higher bandwidth to stream resources from storage to the graphics card. We use this to load high-quality textures and high-detail environments quickly.”

    Note that all SATA SSDs (and even traditional hard drives) can take advantage of DirectStorage. This doesn’t just apply to NVMe SSDs.

    Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is coming to PC on July 26th. Today the official system requirements have become known.

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