Microsoft's DirectStorage API is showing great potential as per demonstrations which showcase the technology having a clear performance lead over older Win32. In the case of Forspoken, which is the first title to announce support for the next-gen storage API, there is up to 70% performance improvement in certain scenarios. However, the game has been delayed, once again, and as such, the wait for DirectStorage's arrival gets a little longer.
However, there has also been some positive news surrounding the technology. Recently, in an "Ask Unreal Anything" Q&A session, Brian Karis, the Engineering Fellow of Graphics
at Epic Games, confirmed that Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) will gain Microsoft DirectStorage support.
Although no ETA was given during this, Karis did provide an idea about how the technology could help shape UE5 and next gen games based on it. He explained that DirectStorage can help with Virtual Textures (VT) once the next-gen storage API gets proper support from Nanite, which is Unreal Engine 5's virtualized geometry system. Although not a requirement, the UE5 documentation on Nanite also recommends the use of VT with this next-gen geometry implementation.
Question: Any plans to integrate DirectStorage directly into the engine?
Response: Yes, although I can’t comment on when. When DirectStorage is well supported by the UE file system Nanite and VT will be first in line to make use of it.
From the demos available, Unreal Engine 5 looks mighty impressive and combined with DirectStorage's greatly improved I/O throughput among others, the two could go on to become a match made it heaven.
Thanks for the tip, yakumo!