Microsoft has finally announced that DirectX 12 is not dead and is actually a huge improvement compared to what many have expected. The new API is similar in many ways to AMD's mantle, as it promises to bring developers closer to the metal.
What Microsoft did with DX12 is quite impressive, as the company promises to improve hardware performance by up to 50 percent, and this goes across the board for PC, Xbox One, and mobile.
"Xbox One games will see improved performance, and we'll bring the same API to all Microsoft platforms," says Microsoft's executive, Anuj Gosalia.
The plan for DX12 is for it to exist as a console-like API, which means PC developers will have the option to gain more performance by developing games close to the metal. The new API will also spread performance multiple CPU and GPU cores to minimize strain on the hardware. This will allow gaming PCs to have a lot more headroom to run graphic intensive video games.
"Direct3D 12 represents a significant departure from the Direct3D 11 programming model, allowing apps to go closer to the metal than ever before. We accomplished this by overhauling numerous areas of the API. We will provide an overview of three key areas: pipeline state representation, work submission, and resource access," says Microsoft.
Several of Microsoft partners are on-board for DirectX 12. Intel is planning to support the new API with its fourth Gen Haswell processors. AMD is also in support, not to mention the company helped Microsoft in its development of DX12, which began 4 years ago.
Epic Games and the company's Unreal 4 Engine will also put support behind DX12.
"Epic will be working closely with NVIDIA and Microsoft to create a world-class implementation of DX12 in Unreal Engine 4," said Tim Sweeney from Epic Games. "DirectX12 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."
With the new DX12 API, we could be looking at the missing link between consoles and mobile. It may be even easier now for game developers to port their wares to mobile than ever before.
Those who are expecting to see the benefits of DX12 might have to wait until holiday 2015, as that is the full release time frame. However, Microsoft will release a preview later in the year to game developers.