Today, nVidia showed us their very latest graphics card, the RTX 2080. It’s the new thing you absolutely need. It will make your life better. I feel like I sound sarcastic, which isn’t intentional. I want a 2080 too. None of us have any need for one, and it’s a lot of money to spend on something that for most people, will do nothing more than give you better graphics in your games. But I still want one. I want it now.

Three models were announced, the 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti. They range from the stupidly powered, to the “are we sure a civilian should have this much computing power”. I won’t go into technical detail, mainly because it was all very complicated, and I didn’t entire understand, or take it all in. What I did understand is that it’s all about light.

I hadn’t noticed until now, but all the light and shadow in all games are complete garbage. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe just how gross and disgusting all games have been for the last 40 years. If only we’d had nVidia’s RTX processing to work out how light should work. It sounds like such a little thing, but the difference is breath taking.

This massive leap in graphics ability needs a lot of processing power, and nVidia have given this card so much, that they needed to come up with a new way to measure it. I don’t know enough about graphics cards to be able to say if this is anything more than a marketing move, but if it really is a thing, then it’s a really impressive one.

Much of the presentation was given over to saying really big numbers, and then being amazed at how big those numbers were. There were also demos of new games that will use those big numbers to hopefully create equally large sales numbers. Battlefield 5 hasn’t been pre-ordering well, probably because everybody hates EA, but this could be the boost that it needs. If you’re planning on getting a 2080, it makes sense to get a game that works with it, so maybe try the new Tomb Raider.

The new cards are available to pre-order today, and will be in stores at the end of September. They’re priced from $499 to $999. In no way do you need it, but you want it and should probably get one. Or you can buy my 1080 off me for pretty much the same price as a 2080. It’s not a good deal, but I end up with a 2080.

Something I’m wondering about is how this is going to effect the consoles of the future. It seems that at least for the next generation, consoles are going to be very far behind PCs in terms of graphics power. This new graphics technology isn’t just about resolution and frame rate. It’s about creating graphics the like of which have never been seen before. I’d be stunned if there’s something similar in development for the next PlayStation and Xbox. That depends on how unique the ray tracing tech is. nVidia say they’ve been working on it for ten years. I’d be surprised if AMD have been doing nothing about it, but I’d be even more surprised if we saw anything from them anytime soon. What if a new version of the Switch had some level of ray tracing technology? Surely it would make sense that nVidia were looking at including it in their Tegra system. I’ll look forward to the fake new Switch rumours that talk about ray tracing.

So it looks like nVidia will be ahead of the pack for some time to come. Their graphics processing will let you see things that others cannot. That’s a high bar to get over, and may be a cause for missed sleep at a few competing companies. I wish AMD the best of luck, and am now officially excited about the forthcoming 4K ray tracing Nintendo Switch.