Gabe Newell says DX10 for Vista was a mistake

Written by Tim Smalley

August 28, 2007 // 11:31 a.m.

Tags: #10 #2 #360 #development #directx #directx10 #dx10 #episode #gabe #gaming #half-life #hl2 #industry #microsoft #newell #pc #ps3 #sony #two #xbox

Gabe Newell, President of Valve Software, has said that Microsoft’s choice to limit DirectX 10 to Windows Vista was “a terrible mistake”.

He said that the decision has affected the industry as a whole, as there are only a small percentage of players that can use DirectX 10. At least, that’s the case according to the latest Steam Survey, which has over one million samples.

Only 2.3 percent of users have a DirectX 10 capable PC – i.e. a system with a DirectX 10 graphics card that’s running Windows Vista. In total there are around eight percent of systems in the sample with Windows Vista installed, while over 90 percent of the sampled systems are still running Windows XP.

Apparently, when developing a cross-platform title, developers look for the lowest common denominator. Because DirectX 10 isn’t supported by neither Microsoft’s nor Sony’s latest consoles, developers are apparently reluctant to take it up according to Newell.

Newell revealed that Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal, which are set to be released on Steam on October 10th, will use DirectX 10 to accelerate some mimics, but there will be virtually no visual difference between the DX9 and DX10 versions.

According to Heise, the Source Engine was expanded for Episode Two and in addition to the multi-core enhancements, there will be a new alpha blend mode that results in smoother anti-aliasing edges, along with some new distortion effects and soft shadows.

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