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DirectX 12 is going to upgrade gaming drastically

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DirectX 12 has been lingering out in the open for a while now, and Xbox head Phil Spencer only got a moment to touch on it during the Windows 10 event that Microsoft hosted tonight. DirectX 12 is meant to usher in a new dawn for gaming on PC, Xbox and mobile – and this first look didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Using identical hardware for a benchmark demo, Spencer showed off the massive improvements DirectX 12 brings to the table through software alone. The DirectX 11 side eventually stopped running the demo on display, incapable of continuing to process more complex (and frequent) environments. The DirectX 12 side, again on the exact same hardware, did not.

Spencer emphasized the importance of DirectX 12 in games and applications that rely on CPU processing, stating that the newer framework will boost performance by up to 50% in some cases. At the same time power consumption is greatly reduced, allowing for far more expansive games on mobile platforms.

But what does this mean for the Xbox One in particular? Well it’s tough to say, and Spencer didn’t really touch on it at all. With CPU power being given a bump, one would expect open-world games to benefit the most. Large worlds will be able to be rendered better on DirectX 12, which could see a shift in the power struggle between the Xbox One and PS4. Although, gaming is still primarily a GPU focused industry, so it will be interesting to see how developers end up using the extra power.

DirectX 12 isn’t out just yet, but studios such as Unreal are already using it to power their next titles. Unity also has support for DirectX 12 already, so if you’re looking at a PC upgrade you should probably look for cards with support as well.

Last Updated: January 21, 2015

37 Comments

  1. It’s actually very easy to see what this means for the Xbox One. You will see at GDC this year when they show first hand what DX12 on the Xbox One does and what it is capable of doing.

    Ask yourself why in the Fable Legends demo he had an AlienWare super PC and the Xbox was matching it without an issue. The same way they had Forza 5 running on Windows using a Titan. DX12 is a game changer.

    Reply

    • Mossel

      January 22, 2015 at 06:52

      hehe game changer.

      Reply

    • Guest

      January 26, 2015 at 09:22

      For the same reason they had Forza 5 running on GTX Titans at E3 2013: they’re lying to keep fanboy spirits up.

      Another MS con.

      Reply

  2. Pieter Kruger

    January 21, 2015 at 22:58

    So if the game is designed primarily for PC using Direct X, won’t it be far easier (and with better results) to port to Xbox One?

    Reply

    • bob

      January 21, 2015 at 23:47

      There is no need to port.

      Windows 10 has Universal Apps, which means the same app runs on your PC and Xbox. There is no more porting between devices.

      So even things like your Steam Games (when converted or new ones that are universal) you buy once and play on your desktop, your phone or your Xbox.

      People aren’t realizing what a massive change this is. It is a complete paradigm shift.

      Reply

      • Ryan

        January 22, 2015 at 04:38

        I can’t fathom what you’re saying right now. This is too good to be true.

        Reply

        • Eric

          January 22, 2015 at 08:15

          Because it’s not

          Reply

        • Ghost In The Rift

          January 22, 2015 at 08:17

          Wont titles be made for PC or Xbox anymore, they release a game and you ask will we get a PC vesrsion and they say just stream it to your PC, no need for a PC port, but not everybody has good internet, bandwith issues and speed issues, plus a new DRM, i can guarantee on that, think this is where always online will come into play.

          Reply

          • RustedFaith

            January 22, 2015 at 08:47

            So call me a idiot but please explain how they will be streaming the game ? I am still waiting for the cloud processing that MS have been promising for over 5 years.

            So please explain how the streaming of games over the internet work. Or are we talking about farmville that “streams” from vleisbook?

            Game streaming hardly works through lan with sub 1ms latency how are you going to stream it to people at 30ms latency r more like SA’s case at over 200ms ?

            That’s a good pipe dream but I hardly think the industry will jump on board …

          • Pieter Kruger

            January 22, 2015 at 08:53

            Streaming is over home WiFi network. But Streaming is also one way at this time (Xbox One to PC) although they are looking into PC to Xbox streaming. This will open a can lf worms though as PC games tend to be cheaper than their console counterparts?

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 22, 2015 at 08:56

            Yeah, now PC games are gonna pay 750-850 for a game as well:-(

          • RustedFaith

            January 22, 2015 at 08:59

            Yarrr hoist the sails !

          • Galbedir

            January 22, 2015 at 13:32

            Exactly what I thought! If that ever happens, your going to see piracy go through the roof. No way in hell will I pay R850 for a game, unless its getting me hundreds and hundreds of hours gameplay.

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 22, 2015 at 14:03

            Yeah and never have to pay for a DLC, and not just release 1 DLC and thimk it makes us happy that my character has a new coat or the gun is gold.

          • RustedFaith

            January 22, 2015 at 08:58

            Streaming might be cool for Consoles users but like I said PC users have streaming capability for over a year now.

          • z1n

            January 22, 2015 at 09:16

            Heck even phones have had streaming like that for a while now. (Source: I could stream Real Racing over wifi to TV (720p over 802.11n), there is a small amount of lag but not enough to make a difference in a racing game)

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 22, 2015 at 08:53

            Wont it be similar to SharePlay like the PS4, or can you buy the Xbox one disc and pop it in your PC dvd drive, or do you just download it from Microsofts store or Steam for example, i dont know why i thought of streaming, its gonna be a long day at work:-(

      • RustedFaith

        January 22, 2015 at 08:36

        ROFL

        You are naive to thing that it doesnt need to be ported for PC. Although the Xbox uses the x86 instruction set it works totally different than a PC. It processes data differently ……

        Its still going to be just as hard for them to port it to pc or vice versa. What do you think that DIrectX12 all the sudden turns a Xbox into a computer magically?

        Reply

        • Pieter Kruger

          January 22, 2015 at 08:45

          I agree, but what does it mean for Xbox if Xbox have Windows 10 and Direct X 12 & the game was primarily designed for a PC with Windows 10 and Direct X 12? Cross platform out of the box? Easier ports? Better looking games? Surely there must be some advantages?

          Reply

        • Brady miaau

          January 22, 2015 at 09:48

          Does DX 12 talk to OS or hardware?

          Reply

        • Guest

          January 22, 2015 at 17:01

          There are differences, but with a Win 10 based console the porting process will be much faster than before as the core will be largely the same. They were able to port Forza5 with a 4-man team in the span of 4 weeks…not FULLY optimized, but very playable. That’s HUGE!

          Reply

      • z1n

        January 22, 2015 at 09:06

        Yeah it’s easy to develop in XNA now. I hope they don’t compromise on developing inputs. Having autoaim on COD on Master race would be really dumb, but it makes sense on a xbone. And then you add a touch screen to the mix. The developer will still have to ‘port’ certain things, just not huge things like the game models/controllers. I would demand a different ‘view’ and inputs otherwise you end up with a windows 8 scenario where the one size fits all comes at compromise.

        Reply

  3. Darren Peach

    January 22, 2015 at 00:06

    DirectX. Amazing how a new iteration of this software layer improves graphics. Almost forgot about this. The jump from 8 to 9 was crazy. Master Race, I envy thee. Looking at my consoles in utter disgust hoping that this will also improve the graphics on them. Random fact : John Carmack was always a advocate for Open GL.

    Reply

    • RustedFaith

      January 22, 2015 at 08:52

      Yeh its Amazing that AMD had to create Mantle to force MS to fix DirectX.

      Fact there was no DirectX in the Pipleline from Microsoft and that is why mantle was created. MS got a kick under their ass and started creating directx with the same low level hardware access as mantle.

      Its cool that DirectX12 is coming and as a AMD user I am looking forward to it. But you have to give credit where its due.

      Reply

      • Pieter Kruger

        January 22, 2015 at 08:55

        Well thank you AMD! Now please go and create a stable online gaming network to force Sony to fix PSN too? Pretty pleaaaaaase? ????

        Reply

      • bob

        January 22, 2015 at 08:59

        DX12 has been in development for much longer than Mantle.

        This is not something you bring out in a weekend. So think that AMD forced this is very naive.

        Reply

        • CypherGate

          January 22, 2015 at 11:08

          Or maybe just forced them to bring it out sooner?

          Reply

        • FoxOneZA

          January 22, 2015 at 11:09

          What is the latest game to support Mantle?

          Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    January 22, 2015 at 07:53

    MS is going to have an awesome year!

    Reply

  5. Pieter Kruger

    January 22, 2015 at 09:02

    LOL!

    Reply

  6. z1n

    January 22, 2015 at 09:12

    The way I see it this is for game development more than anything else. Easier and faster to develop means more attraction to developers. Cool the consumers will get the benefits (or the fails too) but that’s a given. Next year processors will do more than before, you’ll have more pixels and more shadings and over 9000 reasons to stay indoors. This is pretty big for indie developers IMO, making it much easier for them to reach a wider audience.

    Reply

  7. Raptor Rants A Lot

    January 22, 2015 at 11:12

    Just a pitty it isn’t coming to Windows 7 or 8. But luckily we get a free upgrade to windows 10. So we got that going for us which is nice

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      January 22, 2015 at 11:15

      Provided you have a legal copy of 7 or 8, which so many people don’t. Suck to be them. 😀

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants A Lot

        January 22, 2015 at 12:09

        I wonder about that one hey. Many run cracked versions that are picked up as legit by MS themselves and allow full updates etc. So when the free upgrade happens I wonder if they will really be able to tell the difference?

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          January 22, 2015 at 13:01

          Dunno. I’m sure they have something in mind though. Doubt they want to give away tons of free upgrades to “free” users.

          Reply

        • Guest

          January 22, 2015 at 17:10

          Given that it’s a free giveaway designed to re-unify the windows installation base (very fragmented between XP, 7, and 8.1 at this point) and give DX12 a massive install base, I doubt they’ll crackdown too hard.

          Reply

  8. Pops

    January 25, 2015 at 20:52

    The xbox one already got a 30 percent boost.so with dx12 it going to give xbox another 50 percent boost.so it makes xbox 30 percent more powerful than ps4

    Reply

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