- Jan 28, 2014
In a blog post Microsoft announced an additive layer to DirectX 12 supporting new features teased during the new console reveals this week, including variable rate shading and sampler feedback. Along with the API update comes DirectX Raytracing 1.1. Unfortunately no mention of DirectStorage, the feature called "Xbox Velocity Architecture" in the forthcoming Xbox Series X. Both AMD and NVIDIA have also made press releases stating their support for the updated API. Microsoft touts this update as, "unifying the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X."
Amplifying a Virtuous Cycle
As any gamer would attest, there are few higher virtues than the appreciation of a well-crafted and beautiful game. DX12 Ultimate creates unprecedented opportunities for the entire gaming ecosystem, creating a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle that results in better gaming experiences!
The cycle below describes the general graphics improvement process in games that has occurred for many years. As new hardware (or a new console generation) slowly reaches market saturation, the number of addressable sockets with next-generation capable graphics features increases. As the number of sockets with these features increases, the number of game studios willing to adopt the new features likewise increases, until finally, market saturation of hardware occurs, and most game studios adopt the features.
Prior to DX12 Ultimate, there was limited overlap between these two cycles. Even when hardware was similar, the software interfaces were quite dissimilar, discouraging aligned adoption by developers.
By unifying the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X, DX12 Ultimate serves as a force multiplier for the entire gaming ecosystem. No longer do the cycles operate independently! Instead, they now combine synergistically: when Xbox Series X releases, there will already be many millions of DX12 Ultimate PC graphics cards in the world with the same feature set, catalyzing a rapid adoption of new features, and when Xbox Series X brings a wave of new console gamers, PC will likewise benefit from this vast surge of new DX12 Ultimate capable hardware!
The result? An adrenaline shot to new feature adoption, groundbreaking graphics in the hands of gamers more quickly than ever before!