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Graphics Microsoft Games

DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the closer-to-the-metal dept.
crookedvulture writes "Microsoft formally introduced its DirectX 12 API at the Game Developers Conference yesterday. This next-gen programming interface will extend across multiple platforms, from PCs to consoles to mobile devices. Like AMD's Mantle API, it promises reduced CPU overhead and lower-level access to graphics hardware. But DirectX 12 won't be limited to one vendor's hardware. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm have all pledged to support the API, which will apparently work on a lot of existing systems. Intel's Haswell CPUs are compatible with DirectX 12, as are multiple generations of existing AMD and Nvidia GPUs. A DirectX 12 update is also coming to the Xbox One. The first games to support the API won't arrive until the holiday season of 2015, though. A preview release is scheduled for this year." Reader edxwelch adds that OpenGL 4.4 already has functionality similar to the improvements brought by DirectX 12 and Mantle: "The announcement of DirectX 12 was a big focus of attention at GDC yesterday. The new API will bring Mantle-like low level access to the hardware, reducing the CPU overhead. The OpenGL talk 'Approaching Zero Driver Overhead in OpenGL,' on the other hand, received considerably less media attention. The OpenGL camp maintains that the features to reduce CPU overhead are already present in the current version. They suggest using the extensions such as, multidraw indirect combined with bindless graphics and sparse textures, OpenGL can get the similar 'close to the metal' performance as Mantle and DirectX 12."
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DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms

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  • Let me guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k (829181) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:21AM (#46543007) Homepage

    It's Window 8 only, right?

  • SteamBox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goathumper (1284632) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:33AM (#46543119)
    This has nothing to do with competing with Mantle or even improving the DirectX technology stack. The target here is the Steam Box, and Linux+OpenGL to a lesser extent. M$ can't afford to let the Steam box become the dominant PC gaming platform (or at least a major player) as it's threatening to become. The news that Linux+OpenGL could run some Source games much faster than Windows with lesser hardware did not sit well in Redmond, and this is their response.
  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zumbs (1241138) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:36AM (#46543131) Homepage
    According to this [vg247.com]:

    The firm wouldn’t comment on whether Windows 7 would support DirectX 12

    This makes it pretty clear that MS are not planning to support Windows 7, but that they know it will be an unpopular move or that it may be possible to pressure them into supporting Windows 7. After all, why would a game developer use DX12 over DX11 (or even DX9) if it is only supported by a small subset of their market?

  • Re:A reaction? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:50AM (#46543265)
    From what I'm seeing mobile device gaming is where more consumers are focusing their money. Yes, there are still console and PC gaming but the average consumer is spending their $0.99 on mobile games not $60 games. That means almost no money/traction going to Windows mobile platforms given their tiny market share. It's all going to iOS and Android. With both platforms getting more powerful GPUs and CPUs, MS has to do something.
  • Re:Let me guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dingen (958134) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:52AM (#46543283)

    And the result is that DX9 games are still being released, even today.

  • Re:SteamBox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <(VortexCortex) ( ... -retrograde.com)> on Friday March 21, 2014 @11:50AM (#46543831)

    For me to make a game work on Steam Box, then that means I'm going to make it run on Linux without Steam Box, and that means it's a no brainer for it to run on Mac and MS Win too. I use C+OpenGL as the base of my cross platform development toolchain, and the platform abstraction layer handles all the OS / device specific windowing, input, and audio. Hey, I had to write it once, why not write it such that it'll run on as much platforms as possible if I'm starting out making the engine from scratch?

    What MS would have to do is convince me that I should just ignore Steam, Linux, and Mac to use MS's platform specific DX solution. It's an arbitrary choice in terms of technology (seriously, we're talking fucking drivers here man, it's the hardware that makes the difference). Since it will cost me the same time and energy to choose OpenGL, and as a bonus I get these other marketsegments for free (I love free money), plus free marketing via appearing on Steam and Steam Box... MS is going to have to pay developers to make MS exclusives -- Same shit goes for consoles: Why would I NOT want to make more money by selecting a cross platform engine?

    Right. That's what I thought, there's no real strong argument in MS's favor except if you've already gone with their toolset and you're firmly vendor locked to a dev environment they control (like a fool). Even Unreal4 will support Linux. No one force is going to destroy MS's monopoly, but compatibility with the Steam Box (and its controller) is actually a pretty good reason to not use DX for lots of devs considering the huge volume of folks with steam accounts who can now use them on Linux thanks to Valve getting their games running on Steam Box. MS: We have some slight improvements and you can get at a lower level API (read: better tied to the platforms we'll obsolete soon).

    Non-MS: More marketshare = Free money & No vendor lock in or planned obsolescence. Hmmm, I don't even need to think about this: Cross platform or bust.

    As for the monopoly on AAA games? See the cross platform games on consoles. Now see how Unreal and Source will both run on Linux. The battle is basically over. Going forward publishers will want more money. OpenGL also makes it far easier to port less demanding games to mobile. I just really can't find a good reason to go with DirectX unless that's what you're already shackled too. Any new engine devs would be idiots to not go cross platform. With W8 MS has demonstrated lack of ability to execution on their core competency (OS's people want to use). So, why invest in a windows only solution and bet it all on an unsure thing especially considering the fast growing mobile / tablet gaming segment?

    MS has bank. They'll be around for a while, but it's only a matter of time. Really, it's 2014. The OS should be irrelevant. Applications are what people use devices for, not OSs. MS should just save money and release their own Linux distro.

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