We had a chance to talk to Daniel Pohl, the father of Quake 3 and 4 Raytraced and we have a strong belief that with Intel's push Raytracing might be a big next thing in graphics. Daniel now works at intel as a research scientist in the application research lab.
Intel's multi cores can render the complete scene without GPU and it scales marvelously. We were surprised to see that quad-core scales 3.8 times, eight-core scales 7.8 times, while sixteen-cores will give some 15.2 times scaling in performance.
This is the way to go and sell more cores on a CPU. Daniel also showed Quake 3 Raytraced on its Ultra mobile PC with 1.2GHz core - solo and it runs in 20 to 30 FPS range. It can be done in low power devices and he has proved that it works.
Raytracing solves many approximation problems that developers have been using for years and it is the right way to go, but current graphics do not really score well on it.
It looks that the future has to be Raytracing, as this is what the movie industry uses and if you want more realism, it will have to happen. It looks that Intel will push for it.