Rumor: Next DirectX API from Microsoft to allow for low-level access to hardware

In September, AMD announced Mantle, its new graphics API that was designed to offer low-level access to PC hardware. The first beta version of Mantle was released in February as a graphics driver for AMD's Radeon line of GPUs but so far only Battlefield 4 and the Star Swarm demo of the Nitrous Engine support the API.

Now there are new rumors that Microsoft wants to develop the next version of its DirectX API so it can also have low-level hardware access similar to Mantle. ExtremeTech claims, via unnamed sources, that while Microsoft's implementation will be different than the one Mantle uses, the final result will basically offer the same kinds of features for game developers.

The rumors have also been fueled by statements from the company of what it will talk about as part of the 2014 Game Developers Conference in mid-March. One of the sessions has this description:

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.

However, it may be a while before the next iteration of DirectX is made available to consumers. ExtremeTech points out that Microsoft usually releases new versions at the same time it launches a new Windows OS. The last such update was DirectX 11.2 for Windows 8.1, which means that we may have to wait until Windows 9 is launched for what may be called DirectX 12, and that's not expected until spring of 2015 at the earliest.

Source: GDC and ExtremeTech | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nokia X hacked to allow it to access Google apps and Play store, but Nokia doesn't mind

Next Story

Windows Phone 8.1 custom Start Screen backgrounds images leaked

75 Comments

View more comments

People buy new machines with new hardware and new operating systems.
Locking new features to new Operating Systems doesn't affect anyone.

DX9 is IE6 of the gaming world.

It does. Many and I mean many of those anti Windows 8 people you see here and in general will only buy Windows 7 systems.

Gamers are more technical than grandma who gets what comes with her machine from Walmart. They build their machines or order them and select the OS version.

You forget about the MBA's at gaming companies who like marketshare and targeting in pretty graph pies in boring business meetings. They see a small slice and a much bigger one by targeting an older directX.

You also have developers who are focusing on the console first aka xbox and the pc later. These 2 business elements is why directX 9 is so popular and why making a game for directX 12 will be suicide until well after 2020. Many die hards of win 7 you will need to pray the copies off their cold dead hands. Even if Win 9 is great! Fear of change is a factor hence those clinging to XP for dear life today.

And it likely wont see the light of day on win7 or win8. Where as <insert next major OGL version will with same extensions supported>

simplezz said,
We already have Mantle, we don't need to split developer attention any more than it already is.

MS is trying to compete, can't knock them for that.

That's like saying we don't need OpenGL to improve.

trooper11 said,

MS is trying to compete, can't knock them for that.

I don't see it as trying to compete. In my eyes what they are trying to do is to create a common API thats developer independent, yet provides much the same benefits as Mantle. Having a platform that's common across the board is very desirable, whether it's made by Microsoft, or not.

umm except it isn't common across the board, thats what mantle is trying to achive as it'll work on all types of hardware and software configurations. it's just nvidia being nvidia, childish goons.

I think API is the way forward. But we're still ironing out the creases and there is a lot more improvements on the way.

As with most things Microsoft these days, wait until they actually deliver and it performs as advertised.

The old tactic of stall the competition with vaporware has always been effective.

MorganX said,
As with most things Microsoft these days, wait until they actually deliver and it performs as advertised.

The old tactic of stall the competition with vaporware has always been effective.

direct X is not vaporware buddy.

neonspark said,

direct X is not vaporware buddy.

No kidding. However the next version that will do what Mantle does is ...

"rumors that Microsoft wants to develop the next version of its DirectX API so it can also have low-level hardware access similar to Mantle."

RabbitPunchies said,
I hope this means performance improvements for the Xbox One! Will they be updating DirectX on that platform though?

surely the XB1 has a much lower level much higher performing API which will evolve faster than the DX windows branch. After all they only have ONE hardware set to support and can optimize the crap out of it.

neonspark said,
..... After all they only have ONE hardware set to support .....

Today.
Wait until the next die shrink and you'll have something functionally identical but architecturally different.
Pretty sure tier 1 game devs use DX.

Commenting is disabled on this article.