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DirectX 12 to launch at GDC this month

DirectX 12 to launch at GDC this month

Microsoft has pledged to unveil its DirectX 12 API at the Gane Developers Conference this month, with hints of Mantle-like technology.

Microsoft has confirmed that it is to unveil the next generation of its DirectX application programming interface (API) at the Game Developers Conference on the 20th of March, with hints suggesting it will come with an answer to AMD's Mantle technology.

The company has sent out invitations for press to attend the launch event at GDC, with prominent logos from partners AMD, Nvidia, Intel, and - most interestingly of all - Qualcomm, an ARM licensee which is one of the companies licensed to produce tablet-oriented processors for Microsoft's Windows RT and Surface RT product families. The launch comes some six years after the launch of DirectX 11 at GameFest 2008 - although it wasn't until mid-2009 that the first DirectX 11 capable graphics cards hit the market.

Microsoft isn't sharing details on the changes due in DirectX 12 just yet, but one thing is near-certain: it will be a Windows 8 exclusive. Previous extensions to DirectX 11, DirectX 11.1 and DirectX 11.2, have been used as a carrot with which gamers are encouraged to jump to the latest Windows 8.1 release. As a result, it's vanishingly unlikely that DirectX 12 will offer support for any other platform, save for the possibility of running on the Xbox One console via a firmware update.

A confirmed Microsoft GDC session offers some insight into what the new version will bring, stating in summary: 'You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console. Come learn our plans to deliver.' In other words: vendor-agnostic overhead improvements similar to AMD's exclusive Mantle API are likely to make an appearance.

More details on DirectX 12 will follow Microsoft's formal unveiling on the 20th of March.

25 Comments

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maverik-sg1 6th March 2014, 10:21 Quote
The API everyone will want, exclusive to the OS nobody needs (allegedly).

Just bring back Voodooo GLIDE :)
Gareth Halfacree 6th March 2014, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverik-sg1
Just bring back Voodooo GLIDE :)
Some of my fondest gaming memories are GLIDE-based: Turok, MechWarrior 2 with the 3dFX patch, Tomb Raider with same... I had a look at GLIDE wrappers a while back, to see if I can bring back the glory days - but I never did manage to get any of 'em to run. Bah.
Corky42 6th March 2014, 10:55 Quote
Wouldn't it be more likely to be a Windows 9 exclusive ?
Hustler 6th March 2014, 11:06 Quote
It'll just be a re-branding exercise...just like GPU's have been for the last 12mths.
Harlequin 6th March 2014, 11:09 Quote
can see this with windows 9 not 8 to be honest
GuilleAcoustic 6th March 2014, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
can see this with windows 9 not 8 to be honest

Just as it as always been with cro$oft. Want the new Dx ? Then get then new Windows.
WarMadMax 6th March 2014, 12:04 Quote
Time to shift to Steam OS and OpenGL then game dev's?
Snips 6th March 2014, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMadMax
Time to shift to Steam OS and OpenGL then game dev's?

Why is that then? To narrow their sales potential?

I don't see a problem with this at all, it's progress that Microsoft need to be applauded for but some trolls just want to dig at the big dog.
Corky42 6th March 2014, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Why is that then?
I'm guessing some people dislike the modern OS as much as they disliked Vista, when Microsoft pulled the same thing back then it didn't tempt people to upgrade. I'm guessing making DX12 a Windows 9 exclusive won't tempt people into upgrading much the same way that DX10 couldn't save Vista.
rollo 6th March 2014, 13:17 Quote
Guarenteed for Windows 9 in truth. Might see it hacked int 8 if its not that difficult to do but would not guarentee that one.

Open GL would be great if you only game on nvidia gpus.

Steam OS needs time to mature as much as I like Valve.
dyzophoria 6th March 2014, 13:51 Quote
If it indeed can go baremetal as mantle, then it should really be something, not going on any side, but competition is always good, mantle made a point, MS plays catch up, valve does not like the new windows app store stuff, they released steamOS, though I have to be honest steamOS is not really that attractive to me atm.
wolfticket 6th March 2014, 15:16 Quote
I love competition.
schmidtbag 6th March 2014, 15:34 Quote
I'm glad to know DX12 is going to be released so soon. At least I know that whenever I do a new upgrade, it'll be DX12 compatible. But, since I mostly use Linux, I'm going to wait until the openGL equivalent is released.

I feel bad for AMD though - they wasted a good amount of time and money on something that is basically already obsoleted. They can't afford stuff like that. What I don't understand is why AMD didn't attempt to put their Mantle implementation into OpenGL. That way, nobody requires a proprietary platform, other companies can/will join in the development, it still could've been made hardware specific, and it'd be help encourage more developers to ditch DX.
Corky42 6th March 2014, 17:38 Quote
I'm not sure why AMD would be peeved that DirectX and OpenGL are following suit, after all that was one of the reasons they released Mantle. http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/177407-microsoft-hints-that-directx-12-will-imitate-and-destroy-amds-mantle
Quote:
And if Mantle is ultimately subsumed by DirectX — so what? When I first talked to AMD about the next-generation API at APU13, the developers candidly told me that the long-term goal was to get Microsoft and the Khronos Group in charge of OpenGL to adopt a Mantle-like architecture. The entire point of Mantle was to spur game development and drive the adoption of a better standard.
DriftCarl 7th March 2014, 09:44 Quote
Yes this will be for W9.
W8 has the vista stigma all over it and MS would do good to leave W8 behind to rot.
I didnt like W7 at first but it has turned out to be a great OS for me personally. So I hope the recent cycle of good OS - bad OS - good os - bad os continues, so W9 should be worth getting
GuilleAcoustic 7th March 2014, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
Yes this will be for W9.
W8 has the vista stigma all over it and MS would do good to leave W8 behind to rot.
I didnt like W7 at first but it has turned out to be a great OS for me personally. So I hope the recent cycle of good OS - bad OS - good os - bad os continues, so W9 should be worth getting

Same as you. Didn't like W7 at first but it nice now ... but that didn't prevent me to drop W7 for Arch Linux. As I do not game and only use dev tools, creative soft (writing, digital painting, modeling) and scientific tools, Linux is just perfect for me.

I agree that computer graphics need something more modern. It's time to go beyond Dx / openGL.
schmidtbag 7th March 2014, 16:25 Quote
People didn't like W7 because people have a hard time accepting change even if its better in every conceivable way. Windows 7 is probably the first MS product that impressed me since Windows 3.11 (which was the first GUI I ever used). Windows 8 I don't like, not because of the idea of the start screen interface but because of how it was so poorly executed. Windows 8 also has a knack for wasting a ton of vertical space. I don't mind the ribbon bar being added to things like Explorer but seriously, it needs to be set up vertically.
SimoomiZ 8th March 2014, 19:27 Quote
DX12 ...Let's guess, you'll need a new card and latest Windows OS to support it? Not because of any substantial architectural changes or OS specific reasons; but because of greed and proprietorial driver decisions. And before there are any games that make use of it, there'll be DX12.1.

Many will be hoping Mantle can unchain PC gamers from the scenario above.

Worth mentioning that AMD have said they intend to make the Mantle SDK widely available when it's stable and fairly final.
rollo 8th March 2014, 22:30 Quote
AMD are late to there own party 90% of the time.

If MS came out and said it will be windows 7 and you dont need a new card then they would pretty much default win.
jrs77 8th March 2014, 23:08 Quote
Win8-exclusive... M$ making stupid decisions as allways.
SimoomiZ 8th March 2014, 23:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
AMD are late to there own party 90% of the time.

If MS came out and said it will be windows 7 and you dont need a new card then they would pretty much default win.

Yeah, but since when have MS passed up on the chance to force an OS upgrade, through a new DX?

Although, I guess it depends on whether MS see Mantle as a true rival. Plus how many titles support Mantle.
Corky42 9th March 2014, 08:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
AMD are late to there own party 90% of the time.
This would be the 10% that they arrive early then.
Microsoft has been holding back gaming on the PC for over 13 years, it has taken AMD to spur game development and drive the adoption of a better standard as Microsoft's focus has been on it's beloved Xbox since Windows XP and the original Xbox way back in 2001.
AlienwareAndy 9th March 2014, 10:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Win8-exclusive... M$ making stupid decisions as allways.

If this is true then it could be for less sinister reasons.

Windows 8 has had a full and complete rewrite of the way it handles CPUs. For example, it actually works properly with the AMD FX CPUs rather than relying on a bodge that doesn't work very well (people are still using core parking 'hacks' in Windows 7 to try and fix the issue). It also has the same issue with certain Intel CPUs (mainly the I7s)

So it could be, that like DX10 with Win XP, it simply doesn't work very well or not at all in Windows 7. What I mean is there are several supposed hacks to get DX10 running in XP but apparently none of them work.

It's quite amazing just how many people think that Windows 8 is simply Windows 7 with a stupid touch screen front end bolted on. It just isn't..
Corky42 9th March 2014, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
So it could be, that like DX10 with Win XP, it simply doesn't work very well or not at all in Windows 7. What I mean is there are several supposed hacks to get DX10 running in XP but apparently none of them work.

It's quite amazing just how many people think that Windows 8 is simply Windows 7 with a stupid touch screen front end bolted on. It just isn't..
Maybe people think that because the underpinnings of 7 and 8 are very similar, the kernel's have only see point release changes, from 6.1 in Windows 7, to 6.2 and 6.3 in Windows 8 and 8.1 respectively. Where as XP to 7 saw major release changes in the kernel, from 5.1 to 6.1 so is less likely for something like DirectX to play nice across the different versions.

It's almost certain that we wont see DX12 until Windows 9 as rumors say Microsoft is at least 12-15 months away from release, that would place it around the same time rumors say Windows 9 is expected.
My guess is we will see a major release of the kernel with Windows 9, so it's likely DX12 won't work with 7 or 8.
AlienwareAndy 9th March 2014, 12:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Maybe people think that because the underpinnings of 7 and 8 are very similar, the kernel's have only see point release changes, from 6.1 in Windows 7, to 6.2 and 6.3 in Windows 8 and 8.1 respectively. Where as XP to 7 saw major release changes in the kernel, from 5.1 to 6.1 so is less likely for something like DirectX to play nice across the different versions.

It's almost certain that we wont see DX12 until Windows 9 as rumors say Microsoft is at least 12-15 months away from release, that would place it around the same time rumors say Windows 9 is expected.
My guess is we will see a major release of the kernel with Windows 9, so it's likely DX12 won't work with 7 or 8.

Yeah it's perfectly feasible really.

I just need to make sure that if and when M$ do the uber cheap offer I jump in head first. I pre ordered it for £40 or so (8) but cancelled my pre order when I saw early reviews of it. Silly really, as I have to pinch it now due to the high price.
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