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With the releases of Windows 8.1 and Xbox One right around the corner, the Windows team took a moment Monday to recap the advances made in Direct3D for game developers as well as share a bit of insight into the ongoing work around improvement and innovation in Direct3D.
“For over 15 years, Direct3D has served as an essential ingredient to deliver cutting-edge 3D graphics in games,” writes Kam VedBrat, group program manager for Windows Graphics in a post over on the Windows App Builder Blog. “During this time, Direct3D has dramatically evolved as a result of deep investments we’ve made in development across our device platforms (Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone) and continued partnership with industry-leading GPU hardware vendors and game developers.”
With the launch of Xbox One, Microsoft can now bring the latest generation of Direct3D 11 to the new console. According to VedBrat, the Xbox One graphics API is “Direct3D 11.x” and the Xbox One hardware provides a superset of Direct3D 11.2 functionality. Other graphics APIs such as OpenGL and AMD’s Mantle are not available on Xbox One.
Developers creating content for the Xbox One are able to use the same programming constructs across Windows and Xbox, and benefit from all the improvements that have been introduced on Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft has worked hard to deliver a number of advances to Direct3D 11 on Windows. This Monday post on the Windows App Builder Blog breaks down some of the advances:
· The introduction of Tiled Resources, a new hardware feature for efficiently managing enormous volumes of data on the GPU more efficiently, enabling unprecedented levels of detail as well as more immersive open-world gameplay without making gamers sit through annoying “level loads.” · Excellent tools in Visual Studio for analyzing and debugging code built using Direct3D 11. · Improved performance when accessing memory shared between CPU and GPU when executing compute workloads. · Programming model improvements, including advances in HLSL that enable developers to write more manageable shader code, and reduce runtime cycles spent on shader compilation. · Improved performance and efficiency on mobile form factors by reducing presentation overhead and enabling hardware-accelerated overlays and scalers. This enables better game performance on high-resolution displays and improved rendering latency.
Head on over to the Windows App Builder Blog for the rest of the story.
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Jeff Meisner Microsoft News Center Staff