Following the unveiling of the Xbox Series X/ Series S back in early 2020, Microsoft announced that one of the key technologies of its new gaming consoles, which is DirectStorage API, will be coming to Windows-powered PCs. The technology, which drastically reduces the load times for games, has finally started rolling out for developers to integrate into their games. Here are the details.
Microsoft Rolls Out DirectStorage API for Windows PCs
Microsoft recently shared an official blog post to announce the rollout of the DirectStorage API for Windows games. The company says that the technology will usher “a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games by allowing developers to more fully utilize the speed of the latest storage devices.”
The DirectStorage API allows a system to stream massive amounts of data via super-fast NVMe SSDs directly onto the GPU instead of relying on the CPU to decompress it initially. This drastically reduces game load times and comprehensive virtual environments in Windows PCs and also allows for better efficiency.
Plus, aside from working on Windows 11, the technology will also work on Windows 10 PCs. Although Microsoft recommends Windows 11 for this as it has the latest storage optimizations built-in. You can check out how the technology works in the image attached below.
It is also worth mentioning that you will also need to have an NVMe 4.0 SSD drive and a compatible motherboard installed in your system to take advantage of the technology. Moreover, Microsoft has only released the API for its partner companies. Hence, it will take some time for game developers to integrate it into their titles before shipping them to end-users.
One of the first games to integrate the DirectStorage API would be Luminous Productions’ Forspoken, which was recently delayed until October 11. Luminous Productions will explain how it uses Microsoft’s new storage system at the GDC 2022 later this month.
Microsoft also mentioned that it will provide an in-depth introduction to its DirectStorage API along with some tips and tricks at the Game Developers Conference on March 22. Nonetheless, if you are a game developer, you can access the DirectStorage API via its official landing page.
It is further revealed that Microsoft will soon introduce more ways to make PC gaming delightful. Check out a list of upcoming Windows 11 features via the link attached here. GPU decompression is another feature it will introduce in the near future. Hence, stay tuned for further updates.