Microsoft has confirmed that the next version of its Application Programming Interface (API) DirectX 12 is in the works, and it will be discussed during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2014 on 20 March.
AMD Radeon, Intel, Nvidia have been listed as platform partners, as we’d expect. Quite interestingly, Qualcomm Snapdragon is also a listed platform, meaning that we could see DirectX support in a swathe of mobile devices in the future.
The GDC session name is “DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform” and will presented by Anuj Gosalia, development manager of Windows graphics. The session description is below:
For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet.
However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. You also asked us for better tools so that you can squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console.
Come learn our plans to deliver.
The last major version, DirectX 11 was released in October 2011 alongside Windows 7 and it added a number of important features, such as GPGPU support, hardware tessellation support, improved multi-threading support, and Shader Model 5.0.
DirectX 11.1 and 11.2 are only supported by Windows 8 and 8.1 respectively, so it will be interesting to learn what DirectX 12 brings to the party, and if it will require Windows 8 or be backwards compatible with older Microsoft OS.
DirectX is a dominant API among game developers due to the ubiquity of the Windows operating system and its foundation in the Xbox platform. However, competition is heating up from the likes of OpenGL and AMD’s own recently announced Mantle API.
We’ve previously had a good long look at what exactly it is that makes DirectX such an integral part of our gaming experience, if you’d like to learn more: Introduction to 3D graphics API – DirectX