Microsoft Introduces DirectX 12 Graphics API at Game Developers Conference

Microsoft Introduces DirectX 12 Graphics API at Game Developers Conference

by Chris Thomas on 26 March 2014 · 1729 views

1 full Microsoft Introduces DirectX 12 Graphics API at Game Developers Conference

Last week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced the latest version of their graphics API, DirectX 12. The new API was unveiled amongst a crowd of more than 300 developers and members of the press. The main improvement that DirectX 12 offers over the previous version is that it is equipped with the latest Direct3D technology, which is said to utilize a larger number of objects and richer scenery. Developers will now be able to literally push the envelope of modern GPU capabilities when creating their games within the DirectX 12 platform.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this release is the fact that the new API is not just geared towards high-end gaming computers – it is compatible with almost all major operating systems and device types, including Windows, Windows Phone, and of course XBOX One.

So why is DirectX 12 so much better than its predecessor? First and foremost, the new API is designed to provide considerable enhancement in CPU utilization and multithread scaling. The included Direct3D 12 is also equipped with a new set of pipeline rendering features that ere expected to improve the accuracy and efficiency of various algorithms related to collision detection and geometry culling.

The goal with DirectX 12 is to allow game developers to extract and utilize every bit of hardware power that is packed into the GPUs of today's next generation gaming consoles. To create the games of the future, developers need to have access to a rendering engine and extensive toolkit that allows for the design and animation of state-of-the-art virtual realities.

Microsoft released a Forza Motorsport 5 tech demo to illustrate how the new DirectX 12 API can deliver console-level efficiency to the PC and mobile phone platforms. DirectX 12 is expected to raise the bar for graphic performance on mobile devices, and as a result we could see the advent of a next generation of realistic smartphone games that use minimal system resources.

In essence, DirectX12 will give developers greater access to the full processing power of gaming concsole hardware, thereby bringing next generation games to their true potential. Several major graphics chips manufacturers, including AMD, Intel, nVidia, and Qualcomm, have already confirmed that their chips will be compatible with DirectX 12.

According to Microsoft, the first games to use the DirectX 12 API will be released in the holiday season of 2015, at which time about 50% of all new PC games being released, 100% of all new GPUs, and about 80% of all new gaming PCs, will be DirectX 12 compatible. For now, Microsoft has set up a website where developers can sign up to apply for early access to the DirectX 12 API and related development tools.

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