Shares of both Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) saw a handy gain on Monday after the firms announced that they would be partnering to improve Minecraft, perhaps the best-selling video game of all time.
Essentially the game will be dramatically more realistic through support for real-time ray tracing on PC. A free game update will provide Minecraft players with vivid visualizations of their self-created worlds, with more realistic shadows, lighting and vibrant colors.
Together, Nvidia and Mojang are adding a form of ray tracing known as path tracing for the Windows 10 version of the game. Path tracing simulates the way light is transported throughout a scene. It presents a unified model for lighting calculations for many different types of effects that have traditionally been implemented separately using rasterized or hybrid renderers.
Real-time ray tracing is changing the way games are created and dramatically increases the image quality they can achieve.
Saxs Persson, franchise creative director of Minecraft at Microsoft, commented:
Ray tracing sits at the center of what we think is next for Minecraft. GeForce RTX gives the Minecraft world a brand-new feel to it. In normal Minecraft, a block of gold just appears yellow, but with ray tracing turned on, you really get to see the specular highlight, you get to see the reflection, you can even see a mob reflected in it.
Shares of Nvidia traded up nearly 6% to $168.76 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $124.46 to $292.76. The consensus price target is $182.32.
Microsoft traded up about 1% to $137.71 a share. The 52-week range is $93.96 to $141.68, and the consensus analyst target is $154.41.