The Xbox One could one day make use of a powerful rendering technique called "real-time ray-tracing," an advanced system used to achieve photorealistic lighting effects. Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer has confirmed that internal tests are already underway.
"We've done experiments with Realtime Raytracing," Spencer said on Twitter. " A ton of potential with this tech; amazing visuals." You can see a video demonstration of Nvidia's Kepler real-time ray-tracing system on YouTube courtesy of The Verge.
Real-time ray-tracing would conceivably offer up a significant boost in visual quality for Xbox One games, something Microsoft would likely welcome in the wake of the ongoing 1080p debate. The rendering technique would, however, be yet another computational effort for the Xbox One, but it's possible Microsoft could offload that process to its vast network of cloud-powered servers. Respawn Entertainment is tapping into Microsoft's cloud network to help with performance for its upcoming multiplayer shooter Titanfall.