Standby for journalism. Microsoft have indicated that anybody interested in a thing named DirectX 12 ought to attend a GDC presentation on March 20, at 10am. Visit the provisional schedule on the GDC site, meanwhile, and you’ll find a description of a talk entitled DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform due to start at exactly that time.
Coincidence? Probably not. Nope.
“For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet,” write Microsoft. “However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal.”
The talk will be hosted by Windows Graphics development manager Anuj Gosalia. Microsoft plan to provide “better tools” to developers, to allow them to “squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC”.
Another presentation is scheduled for later that day. Windows Graphics development lead Max McMullen will talk about ‘Direct3D Futures’. Improvements to DirectX’s graphics API will allow next-gen games to “run faster than ever before”, claims the blurb. Developers will gain access to an “unprecedented level of hardware control” and “reduced CPU rendering overhead”.
Those keeping track or even already taking advantage of AMD’s Mantle API will have bells ringing in their ears. Mantle circumvents DirectX entirely to let games like Battlefield 4 talk straight to your GPU. The idea is that it cuts some of the overhead associated with DirectX, instead operating at a “low level”.
‘Closer to the metal’ would be one way of putting it - and it seems likely that Microsoft have something similar to announce for DirectX 12 at GDC.
With any luck, that means a more competitive graphics market and performance gains all round for us lot. Had the promise of Mantle tempted you towards making your next GPU an AMD one?