Right here I list the 5 next-gen graphical effects that I'd love to see and, deduced by looking at all available evidence, GTA 6 will make use of.
1. Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS)
This one's pretty much guaranteed: Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition takes advantage of DLSS on PC if you have the right hardware. DLSS runs on NVIDIA GPUs and takes advantage of their dedicated Tensor Core AI processors to seriously boost frame rates, improve performance and deliver more lifelike visuals in real time.
Although the Xbox Series X and PS5 don't use NVIDIA GPUs they will still be able to deliver an equivalent experience by taking advantage of the consoles' graphics hardware.
2. Real-time ray tracing
Like DLSS, Real Time Ray Tracing is baked into Rockstar's RAGE graphics engine (opens in new tab), and it's already bringing both technologies to Red Dead Redemption on PC; both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are also capable of real time ray tracing.
Ray tracing makes games look incredibly realistic: by creating more lifelike illumination and natural shadows and reflections, every environment feels more real than with traditional graphics. Whether it's Minecraft with RTX for Windows 10, Guardians of the Galaxy or Dying Light 2: Stay Human, the increased immersion real time ray tracing delivers is spectacular – especially on a 4K HDR display.
3. Virtualised geometry
Have you played/experienced The Matrix Awakens on PS5 or Xbox Series X? It's an Unreal Engine 5 demo that, among other things, uses Virtual Geometry to create incredibly detailed virtual objects such as roads and buildings without slowing your system to a crawl. It enables games to deliver huge worlds with previously unthinkable triangle and object counts, and it swaps between low detail and high detail as the camera view requires it, delivering data on demand. It means texture pop-ins, something many GTA V players are very familiar with, should be a thing of the past.
4. Advanced particle simulations
A recent job ad for Rockstar New England got us very excited: "The visual effects help to immerse the player in a believable world, from using ambient effects for things like insects around the player and rain dripping off buildings up to large scale destruction events like skyscrapers crashing to the ground," it explained. "Our technology is used to tie the world together; weapons create bullet impacts, vehicles kick up dirt and smoke and leave debris when they crash, objects get dirty when the fall in mud." With this level of detail imminent, perhaps it's time to invest in one of the best gaming monitors to do it justice.
5. Enhanced animation with predictive foot placement
One of the ways in which otherwise realistic game graphics fall down is in the way characters move: real people move in a much more fluid way than their in-game counterparts. Predictive foot placement sounds rather dull but it helps create much more realistic character animation. By using hip movement. terrain data and other factors to predict where the character's next step will take them and how their foot will sit on the surface you can create much more human gaits and stances; by being proactive rather than reactive the result is on-screen characters that are much more convincing.