Microsoft says ray tracing was just “inadvertently” added on Xbox Minecraft preview

April 1, 2022

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Just a few days ago, we felt a stream of excitement with the news that Microsoft tried testing ray tracing in Minecraft on Xbox. Calling it a success, however, is almost impossible due to the challenges we’ve witnessed in the test. It seems Microsoft has realized it too, as it now says that the “inadvertently included prototype code for raytracing support on Xbox consoles” has been removed. It was confirmed by the Minecraft Team on Twitter.

Minecraft Team's tweet
Minecraft Team’s tweet says that ray tracing added on Xbox Minecraft preview was a mistake.

“The previous Minecraft Preview build available to Xbox Insiders inadvertently included prototype code for raytracing support on Xbox consoles,” states the tweet. “This early prototype code has been removed from Preview and doesn’t signal near future plans to bring raytracing support to consoles.”

If you are one of the folks who tested the ray tracing on Minecraft on Xbox consoles, you know that the process can be demanding and complicated since the ray tracing support was very limited.

The feature in the Minecraft preview build that only Xbox insiders could access needed the use of additional resource packs (which couldn’t be downloaded and installed in the Xbox version of Minecraft) and workarounds.

Specifically, you need to enable the packs and host a Minecraft session on a Windows PC, allowing the Xbox player to join and use the ray tracing feature. This would then allow you to toggle ray tracing support on or off through the setting menu. 

With all that, the tease we got two years ago thrilling us about the possibility of ray tracing on Xbox Series X just burst. Given the obvious “mistake” on this build, it looks like Mojang is still far from its actual plan of supporting ray tracing on Xbox versions of Minecraft.

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