Last year in September, Microsoft announced that it was bringing DirectStorage to Windows PCs. The DirectStorage API is a part of what the company refers to as the Xbox Velocity Architecture, and today the API's SDK is finally generally available. As such, PC games on Windows can finally ship with the feature so games can take advantage of the DirectStorage API.
The company says:
Starting today, Windows games can ship with DirectStorage. This public SDK release begins a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games by allowing developers to more fully utilize the speed of the latest storage devices. In September 2020, we announced DirectStorage would be coming to Windows, and after collecting feedback throughout our developer preview, we are making this API available to all of our partners to ship with their games.
According to Microsoft, DirectStorage can help to greatly reduce the volume of I/O operations on a device's storage using parallelization. This will essentially help to reduce load times among other related benefits.
With the GA of DirectStorage, the company also reiterated on how Windows 11 is the best OS available for gaming as DirectStorage will only be available on it. Here's a part of an earlier blog post the company was referring to:
With DirectStorage, which will only be available with Windows 11, games can quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. This means you’ll get to experience incredibly detailed game worlds rendered at lightning speeds, without long load times. “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to enable this amazing experience.
If you are a developer, you can find all resources related to DirectStorage here.