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Microsoft will announce DirectSR super resolution for Windows in March at GDC

Windows 11 default wallpaper transitioning from pixelated to high-res variant

A few weeks ago, users discovered that Microsoft is working on a native resolution upscaler for Windows 11. Although you can already turn on its bits and pieces in the recent Windows 11 preview builds, the official announcement is nowhere to be found. Now, it appears that Microsoft plans to showcase Windows 11's native upscaler next month at the GDC conference in San Francisco.

The official schedule on the GDC website spills the beans at "DirectSR," or super resolution for Windows 11 apps and games. It should be demoed during the "DirectX Start of the Union" session scheduled for March 21, 2024. Here is its description (via The Verge):

The DirectX team will showcase the latest updates, demos, and best practices for game development with key partners from AMD and NVIDIA. Work graphs are the newest way to take full advantage of GPU hardware and parallelize workloads. Microsoft will provide a preview into DirectSR, making it easier than ever for game devs to scale super resolution support across Windows devices. Finally, dive into the latest tooling updates for PIX.

Gamers can already benefit from different resolution upscalers made by Nvidia, AMD, and Intel. Some of them (looking at you, Nvidia) require the latest and greatest hardware, while options from AMD and Intel work with older hardware, even from other manufacturers. It remains to be seen which approach Microsoft will take.

Microsoft plans to ship a big feature update for Windows 11 in the second half of this year. It will be packed with plenty of AI features, one of which could be DirectSR. Although we do not have official confirmation regarding hardware requirements, reports say that some capabilities will require dedicated hardware with neural processing units. You can already find system files hinting at that, such as the NPUDetect.dll library in Microsoft Paint files.

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