NVIDIA announced at a meeting in San Jose that they've acquired ray tracing software startup RayScale. This firm has developed a hybrid renderer that takes advantage of both rasterization and ray tracing:
RayScale was a startup based out of the University of Utah and has built a hybrid renderer that merges the two techniques - all of the reflections in the image they showed were indeed done with ray tracing alone. The engine was not up to real-time frame rates on the images but they said they have spent the last two weeks working on adding features, not performance, and that it should be "no problem" to get his running in real-time.
We are obviously very early into the news cycle and will be trying to get more information on what NVIDIA plans to do with this new acquisition. I can tell you that you won't see these techniques in games for some time - both the software and hardware need time to mature and be optimized; but it is coming.
A couple of weeks ago NVIDIA Chief Scientist David Kirk said he believes that hybrid rendering is the future. He told PC Perspective that ray tracing definitely has some advantages at producing some effects, but is slow at others. A hybrid renderer that uses both rasterization and ray tracing would give gamers the best of both worlds and that's what NVIDIA may be trying to achieve with this acquisition.