I've been interested in ray tracing for over a year now. Apparently the developers concerned with our next generation of video hardware (or the one after that) have settled upon this as the way to do things. This short article will tell you what things.
Ray tracing is orders of magnitude more efficient at yielding "full reality" high definition content. In some ways it takes an awful lot more doing than rasterized images we are drawing now. The processor horsepower needs for ray tracing are staggering, even today. But, as everyone knows; Moore's Law just keeps chugging along and we will easily have that horsepower available to us before all that much more time has passed. And as this article tells us, the economy is to the programmer. She or he gets to write a lot less code to get a lot more effect out of it all. That is the difference. (Ray tracing will also lend itself to more automated ways of tweaking programmed images than we have now. Fill out a form about surface textures, degrees of reflectivity, etc; and the development environment does the rest. The programmers will have a field day.)