GDC was the stage for Microsoft’s big DirectX 12 reveal today, with Nvidia, AMD and Intel all gushing about the significant leap it will bring. Microsoft is planning to have it function across all of its platforms, once again trying to homogenize PC, mobile devices and consoles.
It will be a more efficient API, offering applications more direct control over graphics memory usage and hardware resources while allowing developers to get better performance from multi-core systems.
Anuj Gosalia, development manager of DirectX said that developers want a console-like API, more control, the elimination of overhead between apps and the GPU and broad availability; he claims DirectX 12 provides this.
Nvidia has said that it will support the DX12 API on all the DX11-class GPUs that it’s already shipped: the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families. It won’t require new hardware. By the time it ships, Nvidia says, 50 percent of gamers will be DX12 capable.
Intel claims that it’s “the most significant leap in Windows Graphics in many years,” and that it’s good for devs, their games and the gamers themselves. Intel’s 4th Generation Core processors will be will be ready with DX12 support at launch and it aims to support it across a broad range of its products.
Epic’s Tim Sweeney confirmed Epic Games’ support, saying, “Epic will be working closely with Nvidia and Microsoft to create a world-class implementation of DirectX 12 in UE4. DirectX 12 is a great step forward, exposing low-level hardware functionality through an industry-standard API to give developers more control and efficiency than ever before.”
Microsoft is targeting Holiday 2015 games, with a preview release coming later this year and early access. It plans to have it in 100 percent of new desktop GPUs, 80 percent of gaming PCs and in the hands of 50 percent of gamers upon release.