Valve Software to Stick with DirectX 9 for a While

Valve Software believes that the jump to DirectX 10 is not yet worth it, and has the data to back up the claim. According to statistics from Valve's Steam software distribution system, there are about 8% of gamers who use Microsoft Windows Vista compared to 90% who have Windows XP. Meanwhile, over 11% of computers with Steam installed are equipped with a DirectX 10-compatible graphics processing unit, though only about 2.31% of users have a combination of a DirectX 10 GPU and Windows Vista. "There are far more customers with DX10 hardware running on Windows XP than Windows Vista. If you're going to try to take advantage of that hardware, your customers are telling you, make sure it works on DX9 API. Right now with the flexibility of DX9, we can take advantage of DX10 hardware functionality through DX9," said Gabe Newell, the founder and managing director of Valve Software.

News source: Xbit Laboratories

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

JkDefrag 3.20

Next Story

Sony Ericsson Speaks on Possibility of PlayStation Phone

28 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It is simple at this (for me). I can run XP and Vista on my computer.
(I dual booted - same hardware).

The same game under xp ran faster then the same game on vista with the same hardware.
Guildwars - XP = about 60 fps vs Vista = 20-30 fps.

So no vista for me till I get a new computer, and even then I supect if I do a dual boot, less the "dx10 vista" exclusive games, the XP versions should still run better.

Give vista 6 more months for MS and video card manfacture to keep fixing / updating drivers this may change.

"Right now with the flexibility of DX9, we can take advantage of DX10 hardware functionality through DX9,” said Gabe Newell"

And how, pray tell, does one do that?

WOW, sorry to say this is a real bad move steam must be smoking something i wont be looking at any valve games then.

DX10 FTW

Yeah, I'm with you, because I too want to limit the choices of my games based on nearly-transparent underlying differences in game mechanics! Screw having fun, all I care about is the new hotness!

You = FTL.

phantasmorph said,
Yeah, I'm with you, because I too want to limit the choices of my games based on nearly-transparent underlying differences in game mechanics! Screw having fun, all I care about is the new hotness!

You = FTL.


Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

Theres no reason NOT to support DX10, all DX10 games that are coming out support DX9 AND DX10, most people who have already upgraded to Vista and DX10 are the hardcore gamers and the type of people that will buy people like Valves games, way to screw over and insult the very people that are the pre-orderers of your game.

Sheppard said,
Theres no reason NOT to support DX10, all DX10 games that are coming out support DX9 AND DX10, most people who have already upgraded to Vista and DX10 are the hardcore gamers and the type of people that will buy people like Valves games, way to screw over and insult the very people that are the pre-orderers of your game.

While I see your point, did you read the article? Only 2.31% of Steam users were on Vista with a DX10-ready card... OK, so 2.31% of your customers isn't 0%, but it's a lot of work (relatively) to do now for little immediate benefit. I personally am on XP with an 8800GTS, and am perfectly happy with what DX9 can provide (why they don't give an option of OpenGL like back in the CS 1.5 days I don't know - or did I dream there being an option for OGL?)

I suspect Valve are waiting to see if Vista's going to keep crawling along like it is now, or if MSFT are going to fix enough bugs/issues for more than a minority to upgrade. I think then they'll consider DX10, when they know they won't be flogging a dead horse doing the work to support DX10...

Sheppard said,
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

So, I guess not reading the article and being absolutely wrong is a step above sarcasm, then?

Perhaps many of you have failed to read this [hardocp] in which they concluded:

"For the first time this year we are seeing DirectX 10 provide a real improvement to the gameplay experience. We noticed mostly the higher resolution textures and relief mapping along with HDR and lighting improvements. The texture difference is literally night and day. In DirectX 9 mode all mountain, rock, tree, and ground surfaces have a less detailed texture. Once you run in DirectX 10 mode these textures are replaced by a higher resolution detailed texture and better pixel shader effects such as relief mapping. That alone makes the game look very different between DX9 and DX10. However the differences did not stop there.... "

I have no proble with people bashing Vista the OS does has its share of problems but most of the people here simply have no idea what theyre talking about. All those people who said 'im waiting for SP1 before even touching it' are idiots. Most of the fixes in SP1 will be and have already begun to be seeded out via Windows Update. Vista is significantly more stable than XP was when it was first released. Go back and look at how much people bashed XP when it first came out. Things like 'I wont touch that OS till SP1' and 'XP sux -- im sticking with 2000'... sound familiar?

Like I said -- like any OS -- Vista does have its share of annoyances and problems and in some areas it deserves to be bashed (power consumption on laptops for example) but the majority of you seem to have read some rubes 'wait for SP1' opinion of the OS (probably written when vista fist came out and certain manufacturers *cough* nvidia couldn't write working drivers) with out properly trying it out yourselves.

dw2003 said,
I have no proble with people bashing Vista the OS does has its share of problems but most of the people here simply have no idea what theyre talking about. All those people who said 'im waiting for SP1 before even touching it' are idiots. Most of the fixes in SP1 will be and have already begun to be seeded out via Windows Update. Vista is significantly more stable than XP was when it was first released. Go back and look at how much people bashed XP when it first came out. Things like 'I wont touch that OS till SP1' and 'XP sux -- im sticking with 2000'... sound familiar?

So what if most of the updates are already out on Windows Update? SP1 is a reference point. Do you know what "drivers" are? Do you think these will be stable and functional for all hardware? And not just drivers, other software...

And what is your point that people did it with XP too? XP has had 6 years for development (from Microsoft and 3rd party software companies) and is fairly stable currently. Vista has had 1 year... Vista is fairly different from XP... meaning software companies have to recode their programs... this isn't done overnight

etc

So they're like, "we won't make any dx10 games so nobody has to change to vista+dx10 hardware"

I mean people aren't migrating because the are no dx10 out yet, so what's the point?

Few people using vista-dx10 ---> few sales --> no games for vista exclusive (dx10).

No games for vista exclusive (dx10) --> few people migrating from xp to vista.

few people migrating from xp to vista. --> Few people using vista-dx10 ---> and so on..

So Vista will not overpass XP for at least a couple of years, or may be never (and MS will launch a Vista 2.0)

And how many of you have used vista for at least a month lately? I guess I will never understand why people hate vista so much, I can't stand working on peoples computers that have XP on them now. Its posts like these above that drive people away from a good thing, your posts make it sound like your stating a fact. But I suppose theres haters for everything, there were haters for XP so why not vista.

DX10 proving to be a flop? How so, theres almost no DX10 games out yet, wait till some big games like call of duty 4, frontlines fuel of war, and crysis come out the end of this year.

Not sure what the hell Diaboli said, maybe I'll understand it better in your native language?

Vista a rushed product? Don't quote me on this but I thought it has been in development longer then XP was. Bioshock is the first big DX10 game, its the devs first go at it and the first time is never the best. If your going to point to Bioshock visual quality then point your finger at the game's devs, because you can obviously do more with DX10 then they did. There is a difference between a DX9 and DX10 version of it, its just not as big as a more mature game like crysis.

Anyway thats my opinion on the matter.

Bioshock isn't even a DX10 title, but a DX 9 title that requires SM 3.0 (it's not Vista-only, either); however, it *is* rather roundly castigated for the SM 3.0 requirement (it's even more roundly castigated for SecuROM). Never mind that SM 3.0 is actually *greater* than the Vista hardware requirements for Aero (which only requires SM 2.0). I run Vista (Ultimate, in fact) as sole OS (and I game a *lot* on this PC); however, the lack of DX10-only development is largely because the installed base of Vista PCs hasn't reached criticality yet (considering that Vista hasn't even been generally available in the United States for a year yet, that is far from surprising). Yes, Vista's upgrade sales have outstripped XP upgrade sales at the same point, but how long did it take for games that were XP-exclusive to appear?

Gabe... I use Vista everyday at work and I hate it. I use for work related stuff and just opening Word, or excel or open a network share it takes for ever!

Specs:

AMD Athlon 64 Socket AM2 3800+ 2.4GHz. 1GB DDR667, SATAII 160GB HD. This PC should in theory run a lot better than how it runs now. I get so aggravated when I try to save something to a network share and Windows Explorer crashes for a while with the (Not Responding) crap then it works. It's every time.

So for me to load this on my PC at home and play games??? dude I don't think so. I hate it. I have a lpatop with a dual core processor, brand new that came with vista and it takes for ever to load even though I uninstalled all the crapware that comes with it.

Vista was a rushed product, it was in development longer than XP was but that doesn't mean it was a good product when it launched. They missed the deadline twice so they had to release it.

I beta tested Vista and it wasn't ready, many ppl said that too but MS had to realease because they had to. Ppl were getting inpatient.

and I don't see a reason why DX10 is supperted on Vista only and not XP... as I see it Vista has the same file system, it's still a memory hog, and it's just a pretty version of XP. besides that there is no difference with XP and Vista as far as not being able to support DX10. It's just MS' way to get ppl to move to Vista to play the latest games...

Gabe3 said,
And how many of you have used vista for at least a month lately?

I'm not touching it again until SP1. It's very easy to see how little progress there has been from all the problems users continue to report about one thing or another. Either it is something with the DRM/WGA/UAC, or drivers, or slow performance, or good 'ol BSODs, and even corrupted installations.

I guess I will never understand why people hate vista so much, I can't stand working on peoples computers that have XP on them now.

Why is that? XP is faster and easier to deal with. There are not nearly as many unexplained or unexpected problems with XP as with Vista.

Its posts like these above that drive people away from a good thing.

Most people don't like being paying beta testers for MS. Even if more people did upgrade to Vista, it doesn't mean that they would automatically buy $300+ DX10 graphics cards.

DX10 proving to be a flop? How so, theres almost no DX10 games out yet, wait till some big games like call of duty 4, frontlines fuel of war, and crysis come out the end of this year.

What difference will that make? They are available for DX9 and will have better performance in DX9 at a minor cost to image quality. For DX10 not to be a flop, there has to be a DX10 game that has something that can't be done with DX9. Or OpenGL for that matter.

Vista a rushed product? Don't quote me on this but I thought it has been in development longer then XP was.

So why is it still full of bugs? This is going back to what I said earlier, most people don't want to be paying betatesters for Microsoft. If it was obvious that Vista had problems MS should have extended the beta another six months or more.

Bioshock is the first big DX10 game, its the devs first go at it and the first time is never the best. If your going to point to Bioshock visual quality then point your finger at the game's devs, because you can obviously do more with DX10 then they did. There is a difference between a DX9 and DX10 version of it, its just not as big as a more mature game like crysis.

There isn't a major difference in Crysis either. Sure, you could do more with DX10, but not while you still have to support DX9. MS making DX10 Vista-only doesn't help.

I'm not touching it again until SP1. It's very easy to see how little progress there has been from all the problems users continue to report about one thing or another. Either it is something with the DRM/WGA/UAC, or drivers, or slow performance, or good 'ol BSODs, and even corrupted installations.

Not sure what to say, I guess I just got lucky. My last BSOD was back in the public beta and I was using it on my main computer, I've been running the final version since November. And my backup computer which also has vista has not BSOD and its been running vista for about 4 months. My dads computer also has not BSOD and its been running vista for about 4 months too. My main computer runs x64 and the other two x32. I almost never get application crashes.

Why is that? XP is faster and easier to deal with. There are not nearly as many unexplained or unexpected problems with XP as with Vista.

I always have had less problems with vista then I did with XP. heres a story, my dads computer is a HP media center, it came with the TV tuner card and he watches TV on it all the time, on XP media center 2004 he started getting a problem where media center would just freeze, he could end the process and restart media center, but a few minutes later it would freeze again. We reformatted and put a XP media center on and still the same problem, so I was thinking it must be his crappy pre-made computer not getting efficient cooling or his TV tuner card going bad. So I decided to put vista on it since it has been working well for me on my computer, and poof his problem is gone, he has not had media center freeze since we put vista on, and it makes no sense, I don't know why its not freezing with vista but anyway.

Most people don't like being paying beta testers for MS. Even if more people did upgrade to Vista, it doesn't mean that they would automatically buy $300+ DX10 graphics cards.

A 8800gts 320mb card is $250 now. I don't consider vista to be a beta because it works just as well and better then XP did for my computers.

What difference will that make? They are available for DX9 and will have better performance in DX9 at a minor cost to image quality. For DX10 not to be a flop, there has to be a DX10 game that has something that can't be done with DX9. Or OpenGL for that matter.

I might have mis-understood what you said. But theres many things that DX10 can do over DX9, visual and physics.

So why is it still full of bugs? This is going back to what I said earlier, most people don't want to be paying betatesters for Microsoft. If it was obvious that Vista had problems MS should have extended the beta another six months or more.

Any new OS is going to have problems, vista was shipped with less confirmed bugs then XP was.

There isn't a major difference in Crysis either. Sure, you could do more with DX10, but not while you still have to support DX9. MS making DX10 Vista-only doesn't help.

Theres a huge difference from what I see:
http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/955/Crys...-vs-DX10-Videos

Gabe3 said,
Any new OS is going to have problems, vista was shipped with less confirmed bugs then XP was.

Maybe so, but imo we should be comparing the merits of XP and Vista as they are now. That's the reason I'm not switching - Vista is slower, despite numbers of confirmed bugs there are still far too many "oddities" in Vista, the driver support in some areas is still sketchy, and a clued-up user can hold down an XP installation forever, or near enough. My laptop (which I just sold, sadly) still had the same version of XP as when I first installed it, even through one nasty virus infection that was my own stupid fault (and, just for the record, UAC wouldn't have stopped).

I'm not saying Vista's awful, it's just too much trouble for me to try and work out the new oddities when I'm happy with the few left in XP. Oh, and it really isn't the OS it should have been.

I'll leave the DX10 argument in general alone, since I do think DX10 has its merits and will at some point be useful. However, this much is true:

MS making DX10 Vista-only doesn't help.

Hopefully the Alky Project can do what Microsoft couldn't be bothered to...

chisss said,
Gabe... I use Vista everyday at work and I hate it. I use for work related stuff and just opening Word, or excel or open a network share it takes for ever!

Specs:

AMD Athlon 64 Socket AM2 3800+ 2.4GHz. 1GB DDR667, SATAII 160GB HD. This PC should in theory run a lot better than how it runs now. I get so aggravated when I try to save something to a network share and Windows Explorer crashes for a while with the (Not Responding) crap then it works. It's every time.

So for me to load this on my PC at home and play games??? dude I don't think so. I hate it. I have a lpatop with a dual core processor, brand new that came with vista and it takes for ever to load even though I uninstalled all the crapware that comes with it.

Vista was a rushed product, it was in development longer than XP was but that doesn't mean it was a good product when it launched. They missed the deadline twice so they had to release it.

I beta tested Vista and it wasn't ready, many ppl said that too but MS had to realease because they had to. Ppl were getting inpatient.

and I don't see a reason why DX10 is supperted on Vista only and not XP... as I see it Vista has the same file system, it's still a memory hog, and it's just a pretty version of XP. besides that there is no difference with XP and Vista as far as not being able to support DX10. It's just MS' way to get ppl to move to Vista to play the latest games...

The problem isn't the operating system; it's the 160 GB hard drive and 1 GB of RAM that's holding you back. Let's be honest; Vista is a decidedly heavier (in terms of code) operating system than Windows XP (which is one reason why it's slower on the same hardware). However, I remember the same criticism being laid at the door of Windows XP compared to Windows 2000 (and even Windows 2000 compared to Windows NT 4 Workstation). Adding memory is a cheap upgrade, no matter what OS you're running. One gigabyte was my floor recommendation for Windows 2000 seven years ago; however, due not just to additional features, but falling memory prices, I have increased my recommendation for Windows Vista to a recommended 1.5 gigabytes of RAM, if not two gigabytes, with a minimum 200 GB hard drive (if not an even 500 gigabytes; again, falling prices drive the recommendation, not to mention faster performance of large drives today).

I won't move to Vista for years to come because it was such a rushed product. I saw DX9 vs DX10 comparison screenshots for Bioshock and didn't notice any significant visual difference that your typical gamer would notice during intense gameplay.
I honestly don't know why there is such a "push" to get with the *latest* of an OS and components, it's just BS.
Image and FPS are not as important as storyline, character development and pure content in a game.
I swear people are putting the wrong aspects at too high of value... but we all know it's been that way for years...

As much as I hate to hear that the newest Valve games wont have DirectX 10 features, I can definitely understand their point of view. Why waste time trying to make a game look really nice in DirectX 10 when only 2.31% of your customers will be able to appreciate it. Also, from what I have seen so far, DirectX 10 does not add very much to graphics quality that cannot be done in DirectX 9 (Hopefully, Crysis will fix that ).

Actually i hope it doesn't.

The more DX10 proves to be a flop, the more we can have support for DX9/XP happening for us.

Just proves that the whole "oh noes u need vista w/dx10" crap was a load of bs. (atm)

12Iceman said,
As much as I hate to hear that the newest Valve games wont have DirectX 10 features, I can definitely understand their point of view. Why waste time trying to make a game look really nice in DirectX 10 when only 2.31% of your customers will be able to appreciate it. Also, from what I have seen so far, DirectX 10 does not add very much to graphics quality that cannot be done in DirectX 9 (Hopefully, Crysis will fix that ).

it will be a very long time b4 ppl get vista just for gaming..cuz ur sacrificing alot to get it like stability and stuff
Im sure if microsoft wanted to, thered be DX10 for XP
XP support for gaming will last prolly till the OS after vista
Theres no benefit in vista at all

Diaboli said,

it will be a very long time b4 ppl get vista just for gaming..cuz ur sacrificing alot to get it like stability and stuff
Im sure if microsoft wanted to, thered be DX10 for XP
XP support for gaming will last prolly till the OS after vista
Theres no benefit in vista at all

Agreed. Maybe with a service pack release, and the continuation of people buying new PCs with Vista on them, it will work out better, but right now, it's just so not worth it.

Hmmm ... 11% of people have a DX10 card ... but only 2.31% of Vista users have a DX10 card.
That means that the other 8.69% of people who have DX10 cards are still using XP ... which says something about Vista.

BrainDedd said,
Hmmm ... 11% of people have a DX10 card ... but only 2.31% of Vista users have a DX10 card.
That means that the other 8.69% of people who have DX10 cards are still using XP ... which says something about Vista.

Interesting observation.

Hmm, I wonder why those numbers are like that? Maybe its because theres hardly any DX10 games out. Re-take those surveys at the end of this year, maybe you'll sound a little more professional.