Microsoft releases DirectStorage: ‘a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games’

Microsoft releases DirectStorage: ‘a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games’

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18 months ago, Microsoft revealed that 1 of the astir important advancements successful its caller Xbox Series X console would beryllium coming to PC — the quality to watercourse tremendous amounts of information from a blazing accelerated NVMe coagulated authorities thrust to your GPU, alternatively of relying connected your pesky CPU to decompress it first. The alleged “DirectStorage API” would fto games load much elaborate worlds, and load them much rapidly than before.

Now, Microsoft says the DirectStorage API has arrived. “Starting today, Windows games tin vessel with DirectStorage. This nationalist SDK merchandise begins a caller epoch of accelerated load times and elaborate worlds successful PC games by allowing developers to much afloat utilize the velocity of the latest retention devices,” reads the company’s blog post.

DirectStorage reads from NVMe SSD to RAM, copies to GPU memory, past    decompresses connected  the GPU. How DirectStorage works, successful a nutshell. Image: Microsoft

More bully news: it’ll enactment with Windows 10, not conscionable Windows 11, adjacent though Microsoft says that 11 is “our recommended way for gaming.”

Before you unreserved retired to find a crippled to yet instrumentality afloat vantage of that speedy NVMe 4.0 instrumentality thrust and compatible motherboard, though, you should cognize the games aren’t disposable yet. While developers have been capable to preview the tech since July, today’s conscionable a starting weapon for galore who mightiness excavation in. In fact, the existent starting weapon mightiness not beryllium till March 23rd astatine the Game Developers Conference, erstwhile AMD and developer Luminous Productions volition explicate however they brought DirectStorage to Forspoken, 1 of the archetypal showcase games for the tech. It’ll beryllium October 11th earlier you tin effort Forspoken, by the way, since that crippled got delayed conscionable past week.

You mightiness besides person immoderate understandable doubts that developers volition truly instrumentality afloat vantage of NVMe retention each that quickly, considering that galore PC gamers inactive haven’t moved to accelerated NVMe SSDs, and due to the fact that games that talked up SSD similar Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on the PS5 were recovered to beryllium taking somewhat little than afloat advantage of their capabilities. (Heck, the Steam Deck means that immoderate games developers volition inactive request to people UHS-I microSD cards that mightiness work astatine nether 100MB/sec, alternatively than the 4,000-7,000MB/sec of a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD.)

Still, if Windows games tin theoretically propulsion the aforesaid SSD tricks arsenic the PS5 and Xbox Series X, that means there’s 1 little portion of the PC dragging down the imaginable of next-gen gaming — and we’re anxious for that mostly unrealized potential to yet beryllium fulfilled.

Here’s the latest gameplay trailer for Forspoken, arsenic it mightiness tally connected a Sony PS5, but besides connected a Windows PC and the Xbox Series X utilizing accelerated SSD techniques:

You emotion to spot the rising tide rise each the boats.