NVIDIA recently launched a DLSS plugin on the Unreal Marketplace. With this, developers with games built on the Unreal engine should be able to easily integrate NVIDIA’s AI-based resolution upscaling technology through a minor update.
NVIDIA DLSS, the company’s Deep Learning Super-Sampling solution first introduced with the GeForce RTX 2000 Series back in 2018, is now available as a plugin for Unreal Engine 4.26 through the Marketplace.
Previously, developers had to request NVIDIA’s approval for the DLSS Early Access Program. This is inevitably going to make the technology more accessible to everyone, potentially leading to more games supporting the feature.
If you remember, the first version of DLSS wasn’t coming with a huge success. While it did provide a performance boost over the native rendering, the image reconstruction technique had a limitation, such as the neural network needing to be trained for each game. Quality-wise, the results were often not good.
Benefits of NVIDIA DLSS
While DLSS 1.0 was supported in just 8 games and was criticized for poor performance and image quality, DLSS 2.0 features better-than-native image quality at times with a significant performance boost. While it features in 35 games, actually implementing DLSS was a non-trivial exercise until now.
The AI is trained generically, while the quality has greatly improved thanks to the new multi-frame super-resolution approach where DLSS 2.0 accumulates data from multiple frames, similarly to Temporal Antialiasing (TAA). On some occasions, we’ve even seen Deep Learning Super-Sampling providing better quality than native rendering.
It’s not surprising that game developers have accelerated their support for DLSS since the release of version 2.0, then. Just in the last few months, games like Death Stranding, Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, War Thunder, Ready or Not, Minecraft RTX, CRSED: F.O.A.D., Moonlight Blade, Scavengers, Ghostrunner, and The Medium have used it.
Going over the upcoming game releases or upcoming updates to already released titles, Nioh 2, Edge of Eternity, F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach, Outriders and Call of Duty: Warzone are getting it as well.
NVIDIA appears to be at least partially delinking DLSS from ray-tracing. DLSS was built originally to offset the extreme performance hit of ray-tracing effects, without compromising image quality. However, with the exception of a handful of titles like Ghostrunner, most Unreal engine games do not leverage ray-tracing.
This means future DLSS 2.0 updates based on the Marketplace plugin would place emphasis on performance. In quality mode, DLSS 2.0 often looks better than native resolution rendering: this means gamers on Ampere and Turing RTX cards could benefit from what amounts to a significant free performance boost.