A long, long time ago Minecraft was running with ray tracing on the Xbox Series X and it looked fantastic, it was a tech demo but it hinted that the future of the Xbox Series X and Minecraft itself could open up new avenues of adventure by making use of ray tracing... something that since it came tut has been pretty much restricted to PC
As they always do Digital foundry broke down the technical aspects of what's happening down to us common folk but for the most part we all just watched and thought .. want one!
While this was as the breakdown suggests just a showcase, it was expected this would arrive at some point in the future, the Xbox Series X (possibly Series S also?) settings for Minecraft do offer a ray tracing option (its greyed out) and we all sat and waited for what this new future of this massive game would entail.
Nearly two years later and coming up on Minecraft third massive release since then (Caves and Cliffs part 1 and 2 and the upcoming Wild update) and .. nothing .. until Phase 2 of the fairly new Minecraft preview release which did ...with some tinkering allow for ray tracing to be enabled on the console as reported by the verge and while I myself only managed to test the load times of the new Phase 2 preview, the ray tracing stuff I didn't get around too.. but based on reports it looked great.
HOWEVER villagers should put down the emeralds and relax because, at least according to the Minecraft twitter account, it was all an accident and ray tracing isn't coming any time soon if ever at all.
This was also confirmed and references in articles by Comicbook.com and the Verge and the comments on the twitter response suggest that people do indeed want this and are unhappy Mojang are dragging themselves along so very, very slowly.
I myself do wish they would stop introducing new features in Java and Bedrock WITH parity issues then later resolving the parity issues between them... long term parity issues still exist
Ray tracing is cool but making the games work more alike will benefit us all really, can you imagine bedrock with java's villager mechanics .. iron farms that fit under basis, villagers that behave (java has it EASY when it comes to villager stuff) give Java bedrocks wither etc etc .. actually may go through the parity list and see which way I'd prefer it .. either way ray tracing is cool buy not the be all and end all.