With real-time ray tracing, a full day and night cycle on every track, and revamped physics, Forza Motorsport looks set to reclaim the console sim racing crown from Gran Turismo 7.
Keenly aware of this, Forza Motorsport’s Game Director made a not-so-subtle dig at Gran Turismo 7 during last week’s Forza Monthly show, where the Hot Wheels-themed Forza Horizon 5 Series 9 was also revealed.
Shots fired at Gran Turismo 7
One of Forza Motorsport’s headline features is real-time ray-tracing during gameplay, resulting in more realistic lighting and reflections. This means Forza's ray tracing tech won’t be restricted to replays and photo mode – an impressive feat considering Forza Motorsport will run at 4K and 60fps on Xbox Series X.
“Ray tracing is here. It’s on track and most importantly, it’s real-time gameplay,” Forza Motorsport’s Game Director Chris Esaki said. “I really want to make that clear: when we say ‘on track’, it doesn’t mean it’s only in replays or it’s only in Photo Mode on track and we’re just being funny with words.”
“We’re not trying to mislead you here. When you’re racing and when you are playing the game, ray tracing is on. We want to be really clear about that.”
This is an obvious dig at Gran Turismo 7. Ray-tracing is also one of GT7’s most-touted graphical effects, but the technology is only offered in replays, photo mode, and garage screens, giving Forza Motorsport an advantage in the visuals department.
GT7 lets you choose whether you want to prioritise ray tracing or frame ratete. Prioritising ray tracing enables ray-traced reflections on cars except during gameplay.
It’s not clear if Forza Motorsport will offer performance or graphics modes, but an online FAQ confirms it will run at 4K/60fps on Xbox Series X and 1080P/60fps on Xbox Series S.
Full global illumination
While Forza Motorsport will have real-time ray-tracing during gameplay, replays will look even better. Esaki confirmed that footage shown during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase trailer features full global illumination, which realistically simulates light bouncing off surfaces.
This effect was not enabled during the extended demo that showed actual gameplay. According to Esaki, some “non-gameplay” sequences will offer full global illumination.
There’s no release date yet, but Forza Motorsport is on track for a Spring 2023 release window on PC and Xbox Series X|S. An Xbox One version has not been announced, but Turn 10 and Microsoft will “share more details on platform availability at a later date” according to the official FAQ.