DirectX 12 is coming, is it a return to the API wars?

DirectX 12 is coming, is it a return to the API wars?

DirectX 12 is coming, is it a return to the API wars?


We’ve talked about the possibility of Microsoft changing its DirectX API to be more like AMD’s new Mantle API — giving developers more access to real-world performance hardware. Now it looks like they’ll be announcing a whole new iteration of Microsoft’s API, not just an update.

A new Twitter account has appeared called DirectX12 and previewed an announcement at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco in a few weeks.

We’ve heard discussions about the future of Direct3D and the evolving Microsoft graphics platform from messages sent ahead of the conference, but so far, the only tweet in DirectX12 links to a static page, which was published on March 20 Announcement at 10AM (I’m assuming PST).

Crucial information on what DX12 means for gamers and which operating systems it will support has yet to be released. Although I doubt we’ll see Windows 7 compatibility with DirectX 12, from Microsoft passim, as software creators have historically tried to encourage OS upgrades by locking new graphics APIs to the latest OS.

Pray that it will still include Windows 8 and 8.1 and won’t wait for people to move to Windows 9 next year. But I wouldn’t let it pass Microsoft. I also hope this doesn’t mark our return to the bad old pre-DirectX days where we had competing graphics APIs that clogged the market and made PC gaming a more complex place to spend our leisure time.

The bright hope is that AMD has been supporting Microsoft in implementing the various changes they made in the Mantle API. I don’t think AMD would complain if this was just included in newer versions of DirectX. After all, their hardware and driver teams are already moving toward that goal, which may still give them an edge over the competition.

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Wilbert Wood
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