Thursday, July 4th 2013

DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

Our recent editorial on adoption of Windows 8.1 by PC enthusiasts concluded saying "...and Microsoft isn't stopping with its innovations that will get increasingly out of reach for Windows 7 users." It looks like the first of such innovations is DirectX 11.2. Microsoft revealed that the latest version of its multimedia API will require Windows 8.1 on the PC, and comes built into its next-generation Xbox One console. With this, Microsoft established that you will need Windows 8.1 or later, to access future versions of DirectX.

Microsoft has often used the tactic of limiting DirectX versions to certain versions of Windows, often citing driver-model changes, to force PC enthusiasts to either upgrade, or lag behind in PC technology, and in the past it worked. Windows XP capped out at DirectX 9.0c, forcing gamers to upgrade to Windows Vista, to experience cutting-edge games of the time, such as "Crysis," with new visual effects that DirectX 10 brought to the scene. DirectX 11.0 had the unique distinction of spanning across Windows Vista and Windows 7. DirectX 11.1 was exclusive to Windows 8 and above, as it required WDDM 1.2 (Windows display driver model). The Direct3D component of the API didn't bring anything substantial to the scene. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft is introducing DirectX 11.2, it requires WDDM 1.3, which the operating system introduces. Since Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free upgrade to current Windows 8 users, it's effectively the Windows 7 user-base, that's being asked to take a hike.

DirectX 11.2 introduces a few new Direct3D features that could matter to games. The "D3D tiled resources" feature is analogous to OpenGL MegaTexture, implemented on id Software's "Rage." The feature offers a better alternative to the current model of streaming textures as a 3D scene is being rendered; by letting developers use larger textures that are fewer in number. Portions of these giant monolithic textures would be accessed by an application, as they become relevant to the scene being rendered. The complete texture needn't be loaded to the memory. In essence, mega-textures heralds a sort of virtual memory system to GPUs, and shifts the focus from increasingly larger video memory to faster memory.

With Windows 7 user-base being cut out from DirectX 11.2, game developers may think twice before spending time to implement D3D tiled resources, but there's also Xbox One to consider. DirectX 11.2 is at the heart of the console, and Microsoft could recommend developers to take advantage of tiled resources, to optimally use the console's limited hardware resources. That could hasten the adoption of DirectX 11.2 by developers, on the PC front.

Among the features DirectX 11.2 introduces are:
  • HLSL shader linking
  • Inbox HLSL compiler
  • GPU overlay support
  • DirectX tiled resources
  • Direct3D low-latency presentation API
  • DXGI Trim API and map default buffer
  • Frame buffer scaling
  • Multithreading with SurfaceImageSource
  • Interactive Microsoft DirectX composition of XAML visual elements
  • Direct2D batching with SurfaceImageSource
Sources: Microsoft, NextPowerUp
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192 Comments on DirectX 11.2 Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Xbox One

#1
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Easy Rhino said:
you missed my point. if devs want an open environment they should do it on linux. linux only has opengl not directx. get gamers to switch to linux and you get better opengl development.
Get gamers to buy the PS4 and you'll get better OpenGL developement.:p

Seriously though, with the PS4 using OpenGL, I see a shift towards OpenGL as the game standard, since games will be extremely easy to port from the PS4 to Windows and OSX and Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if devs start developing for the PS4 originally, in OpenGL, so they can easily porting the game to PC/OSX/Linux, and then porting the game to Xbone.
Posted on Reply
#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Easy Rhino said:
you missed my point. if devs want an open environment they should do it on linux. linux only has opengl not directx.
I think he meant that OpenGL can be had on Windows, too.

Easy Rhino said:
get gamers to switch to linux and you get better opengl development.
There was a time when most AAA games on Windows were made for OpenGL. Besides, there's nothing on OpenGL on Linux that you don't have on OpenGL on Windows. OpenGL and its ICD (client driver) are supplied by GPU makers (in their drivers), anyway.

birdie said:
Ah, journalism.

Crysis 1 had no extra effects in DirectX 10 mode - via a special hack all those things were made available in DX9.0c.
Ah, people who can't read.
Posted on Reply
#3
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
newtekie1 said:
Get gamers to buy the PS4 and you'll get better OpenGL developement.:p

Seriously though, with the PS4 using OpenGL, I see a shift towards OpenGL as the game standard, since games will be extremely easy to port from the PS4 to Windows and OSX and Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if devs start developing for the PS4 originally, in OpenGL, so they can easily porting the game to PC/OSX/Linux, and then porting the game to Xbone.
oooh, that is good news indeed!
Posted on Reply
#4
Mckertis
btarunr said:
That's what Windows 98 users said about DirectX 9.0c.
Maybe, but honestly, DX10 STILL pretty much is, as if it didnt exist at all.
Don't underestimate the power of Xbone.
Power is the least important aspect of a console. Never was important. Never will.
Posted on Reply
#5
erocker
Easy Rhino said:
you missed my point. if devs want an open environment they should do it on linux. linux only has opengl not directx. get gamers to switch to linux and you get better opengl development.
It truly makes the most sense. Thing is, things that make the most sense in this world aren't usually the things that are implemented.
Posted on Reply
#6
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
newtekie1 said:
Who says they have to code for DX 11.2? The console will still support DX11/11.1, developers don't have to use 11.2.
There's no incentive for backwards compatibility on Xbone (e.g. fewer support calls).
Posted on Reply
#7
birdie
btarunr said:
Ah, people who can't read.
Really?
such as "Crysis," with new visual effects that DirectX 10 brought to the scene
An obvious lie. DirectX indeed brought new effects, but surely that wasn't Crysis that had them.
Posted on Reply
#8
SaltyFish
The very fact that multi-platform releases have to work with the PS4 (and possibly the WiiU) means that DX11.2 will only be seen on Microsoft exclusives.

OpenGL FTW!
Posted on Reply
#9
hellrazor
MxPhenom 216 said:
Yeah, you had to use a HACK to get those effects for DX9.0c.
Bullshit, it was a small pile of boolean values, any retard with a hex editor could have figured it out.
Posted on Reply
#10
AlienIsGOD
hellrazor said:
Bullshit, it was a small pile of boolean values, any retard with a hex editor could have figured it out.
this, i know NOTHING about hex editors but was able to learn on the fly and easily modded my NHL 09 PC version to support latest rinks and jerseys
Posted on Reply
#11
ice_v
newtekie1 said:
Get gamers to buy the PS4 and you'll get better OpenGL developement.:p

Seriously though, with the PS4 using OpenGL, I see a shift towards OpenGL as the game standard, since games will be extremely easy to port from the PS4 to Windows and OSX and Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if devs start developing for the PS4 originally, in OpenGL, so they can easily porting the game to PC/OSX/Linux, and then porting the game to Xbone.
"...and then port the game to Xbone" or just middle-finger the damn thing directly in the name of competition and stick with the PS4 and/or PC with win7 64bit :nutkick: :D

Seriously though I think it's just another way to patch the fact that the hardware of the xbone is somewhat inferior to the PS4's or at least it needs more working on it just to get the goods out...and these 11.2 are just that tool the devs could use to better do that. And like someone else said it won't be used on the first games... so only time will tell how much relevance the newest APIs will actually have :)
Posted on Reply
#12
Deadlyraver
Simply put, Microsoft is in panic mode for the casual users and gamers. I mean I was fooled enough by DirectX 9 but DirectX 11 seemed to be a fairly good improvement. But now, they are just trying to get a selling point that could be any what meaningful for the industry. Its too bad that in order for the idea to really work, they gotta not only convince the gamers but the Dev community as well in one swift move.

To the gamers with half of our IQ, go ahead and purchase these products not knowing that the features are mostly pointless.
Posted on Reply
#13
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
crazyeyesreaper said:
lets see Direct X 11 launched in October 2009

first games to truly use DX11 came out in March with the majority releasing in September 2010

so thats 5 months till the first title and 11 months for the first wave of titles

nothings used DX11.1
nothing really used 10.1

DX 11.2 being Windows 8 exclusive and being an OS with only 5% of the market means no developer will make use of it since Windows 7 still holds 44% and climbing.

So in reality no developer will use DX11.2 because it makes the user base so tiny as to make the game a straight up failure. So theres no reason to even worry about it as it stands lol.
I couldn't have said it better myself, except to say 11.2 will be irrelevant for several years. The majority of games that have come out in the last several years have all been DirectX 9.0c.

It doesn't matter what is AVAILABLE, game developers will focus on the majority of the market, and like you said, windows 7 numbers are still climbing. So that means several more years of 9.0c (although in fewer numbers) and 11.0 games (not 11.1 or 11.2) are what we will continue to see.
Posted on Reply
#14
BiggieShady
rtwjunkie said:
So that means several more years of 9.0c (although in fewer numbers) and 11.0 games (not 11.1 or 11.2) are what we will continue to see.
Current mode where you have DX9 minimum and can turn "on" DX11 features in games will prevail in the future.
Posted on Reply
#15
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Also, I seem to recall making the same argument when you had to have Vista to get DX10.
Posted on Reply
#16
RejZoR
Great, now if you'll want to use latest and greatest DirectX features, you'll have to go with the bullshit GUI design from Win8, its dumb Start menu, dumb touch crap, shitty control panel design and crappy task switching in the top left corner... Microsoft, just sod off with such crap... this could easily be supplied to Windows 7 but they just want to push the Win8 crap, don't they, giving us zero alternative to all the bullshit they are doing lately with their OS. Sure it's decently fast but that's about it as far as Windows 8 goes. Everything on top of it is garbage and i hate it. And i'm not the only one. But they just keep on sticking their thick heads through new and new layers of brick walls. I just don't get their moronic logic...
Posted on Reply
#17
D007
Except we already covered that NO games are using these features and they amount to absolutely nothing in the gaming world.

No games will be using these features within the next few years either. Most people aren't even using DX11 yet to it's full potential.

In short.. Who cares?
Posted on Reply
#18
lilhasselhoffer
Help me wrap my head around this.

At the beginning of Vista MS introduced directx 10. This was supposed to move operating system sales, and be a feature integral to new games.

At the beginning of 7 MS said they'd introduce directx 11. Almost none of the newest games had feature support for directx 10, and those that did had them almost universally hidden because the consumer base had given Vista the finger.


Now people bought into 7, because it was a genuine improvement over xp. There were quibbles, but a functional 64 bit variant, better performance, and a smaller footprint had 7 beating out xp in almost every metric.

Windows 8 was introduced, with a ham-fisted attempt to unify the windows experience. People couldn't, and still can't, look past the UI for the incremental improvements. Rather than addressing the issue, MS gives people back a feature from the old UI without regards for what is actually being asked. People offer the same finger back to MS, that it offered them.

Knowing that OS sales are stagnating, MS introduces a new variant of directx just like the one packaged with Vista. They think that this time it will work, because their console will have it. Of course, the directx variant hasn't yet been released. This means that launch titles will not be able to use it, and the as yet unreleased OS won't see anything that uses it for a solid year.

So we have one of two situations here; MS hasn't talked to itself internally or they are raging idiots. The first conclusion is valid if the xbox arm hasn't been kept in the loop with the OS arm. If the struggles of the OS haven't been made clear, a person at the top could dictate the (for the sake of the Windows experience) inclusion of a new directx variant in the console to match the new OS.

This would be logical, assuming three things weren't true. MS has gone with slower RAM than Sony, so sharing that pool seems like a desperate effort to make it work better based on the aging directx standard. MS is giving away free upgrades to 8 users, basically saying that 8.1 is not bringing enough value to users to justify the cost of a new OS. Finally, the MS track record speaks volumes. They don't listen to customer feedback, crush dissenting views rather than understanding and addressing them, and developers are the ones being put in a tight place here. Who would spend valuable resources coding for 11.2 when the features can't be ported to another console, and only a small percentage of PC users might see the benefits? My money is on MS drawing a line in the sand, and telling the sea of change that they'll stab it if it crosses the line. In short, MS is being stupid.
Posted on Reply
#19
OnePostWonder
btarunr said:
That users of older Windows versions are cut out.
In the 3 minute video on that page, the speaker says, "In fact, this is only possible on a Windows 8.1 machine or on a next generation gaming console, like the Xbox One."

So isn't it more-so a case of being a bit late with the news?
Posted on Reply
#20
scoutingwraith
lilhasselhoffer said:
Help me wrap my head around this.

At the beginning of Vista MS introduced directx 10. This was supposed to move operating system sales, and be a feature integral to new games.

At the beginning of 7 MS said they'd introduce directx 11. Almost none of the newest games had feature support for directx 10, and those that did had them almost universally hidden because the consumer base had given Vista the finger.


Now people bought into 7, because it was a genuine improvement over xp. There were quibbles, but a functional 64 bit variant, better performance, and a smaller footprint had 7 beating out xp in almost every metric.

Windows 8 was introduced, with a ham-fisted attempt to unify the windows experience. People couldn't, and still can't, look past the UI for the incremental improvements. Rather than addressing the issue, MS gives people back a feature from the old UI without regards for what is actually being asked. People offer the same finger back to MS, that it offered them.

Knowing that OS sales are stagnating, MS introduces a new variant of directx just like the one packaged with Vista. They think that this time it will work, because their console will have it. Of course, the directx variant hasn't yet been released. This means that launch titles will not be able to use it, and the as yet unreleased OS won't see anything that uses it for a solid year.

So we have one of two situations here; MS hasn't talked to itself internally or they are raging idiots. The first conclusion is valid if the xbox arm hasn't been kept in the loop with the OS arm. If the struggles of the OS haven't been made clear, a person at the top could dictate the (for the sake of the Windows experience) inclusion of a new directx variant in the console to match the new OS.

This would be logical, assuming three things weren't true. MS has gone with slower RAM than Sony, so sharing that pool seems like a desperate effort to make it work better based on the aging directx standard. MS is giving away free upgrades to 8 users, basically saying that 8.1 is not bringing enough value to users to justify the cost of a new OS. Finally, the MS track record speaks volumes. They don't listen to customer feedback, crush dissenting views rather than understanding and addressing them, and developers are the ones being put in a tight place here. Who would spend valuable resources coding for 11.2 when the features can't be ported to another console, and only a small percentage of PC users might see the benefits? My money is on MS drawing a line in the sand, and telling the sea of change that they'll stab it if it crosses the line. In short, MS is being stupid.
To add to the paragraph Microsoft may say that they will introduce the new DX update but developers will not cater to the small market. They will cater to the the largest market available at the time of making the game. Essentially making the new DX tech irrelevant for a while.
Posted on Reply
#21
theoneandonlymrk
One question , so far as tiled resources, doesn't id's rage do that via software trickery?.
Anyway they should listen to some of the people and upgrade win7 instead of trying to strong arm the money off us , I paid a decent amount for win 7 ulty dont I deserve a bit of loyalty and service.
Posted on Reply
#22
KainXS
Users: Please put the start button back in Microsoft.
Microsoft: OK we will put back the start button.
Users: This start button you put sucks MS please fix it.
Microsoft: Naaa you fix it yourself but you can take this, DX11.2 for the Xbox One and 8.1.:toast:
Users: But most people don't care about that and most developers won't even use it.
Micosoft: Someone will, and thats all that matters so you can eat a ****.:cool:
Posted on Reply
#23
ViperXTR
theoneandonlymrk said:
One question , so far as tiled resources, doesn't id's rage do that via software trickery?.
Megatexture?
Posted on Reply
#24
razaron
This just in, Windows 9 (name pending) will have an exclusive version of DirectX.
Posted on Reply
#25
TheLostSwede
lilhasselhoffer said:
Help me wrap my head around this.

At the beginning of Vista MS introduced directx 10. This was supposed to move operating system sales, and be a feature integral to new games.

At the beginning of 7 MS said they'd introduce directx 11. Almost none of the newest games had feature support for directx 10, and those that did had them almost universally hidden because the consumer base had given Vista the finger.


Now people bought into 7, because it was a genuine improvement over xp. There were quibbles, but a functional 64 bit variant, better performance, and a smaller footprint had 7 beating out xp in almost every metric.

Windows 8 was introduced, with a ham-fisted attempt to unify the windows experience. People couldn't, and still can't, look past the UI for the incremental improvements. Rather than addressing the issue, MS gives people back a feature from the old UI without regards for what is actually being asked. People offer the same finger back to MS, that it offered them.

Knowing that OS sales are stagnating, MS introduces a new variant of directx just like the one packaged with Vista. They think that this time it will work, because their console will have it. Of course, the directx variant hasn't yet been released. This means that launch titles will not be able to use it, and the as yet unreleased OS won't see anything that uses it for a solid year.

So we have one of two situations here; MS hasn't talked to itself internally or they are raging idiots. The first conclusion is valid if the xbox arm hasn't been kept in the loop with the OS arm. If the struggles of the OS haven't been made clear, a person at the top could dictate the (for the sake of the Windows experience) inclusion of a new directx variant in the console to match the new OS.

This would be logical, assuming three things weren't true. MS has gone with slower RAM than Sony, so sharing that pool seems like a desperate effort to make it work better based on the aging directx standard. MS is giving away free upgrades to 8 users, basically saying that 8.1 is not bringing enough value to users to justify the cost of a new OS. Finally, the MS track record speaks volumes. They don't listen to customer feedback, crush dissenting views rather than understanding and addressing them, and developers are the ones being put in a tight place here. Who would spend valuable resources coding for 11.2 when the features can't be ported to another console, and only a small percentage of PC users might see the benefits? My money is on MS drawing a line in the sand, and telling the sea of change that they'll stab it if it crosses the line. In short, MS is being stupid.
:roll::roll::roll:
Very well written, you should apply for a job as a writer here ;)
Posted on Reply
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