PC gaming is about to get faster, offer stunning detailed worlds, and have the ability for quick resumes thanks to Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology. In 2020, the company said this feature would come to PCs, and now the API is finally available for game developers.
DirectStorage promises to offer massive performance and load-time improvements on the PC for those unaware. The software allows games to stream data from a solid-state drive (SSD) to the GPU, rather than slowing down and getting decompressed by the CPU.
The technology debuted on the Xbox Series X and S consoles and made a huge difference. And while fast load times are great, we’re more excited about “Quick Resume,” which is also part of the API. Quick Resume on the Xbox lets players enter game saves almost instantly, directly from the dashboard, without reloading the game. It’s one of the best Xbox features and will soon be available to PC gamers.
According to Microsoft, “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.” Again, we knew this was coming, and devs have had access for several months, but now it’s official and on the way.
In the announcement, Microsoft mentions that DirectStorage games are compatible with both Windows 10 and Windows 11. However, Microsoft’s latest operating system has it built-in and is what the company recommends for gamers. So while you don’t need to upgrade from Windows 10, it’s still not a bad idea.
It’s important to remember that no PC games support the feature as of right now. Additionally, many PC gamers haven’t upgraded to NVMe SSDs, so we don’t expect every game developer to jump aboard instantly. That said, this will likely be a large part of game development in the future.
Those with a fast and capable PC ready to take advantage of DirectStorage will want to watch out for the recently delayed Forspoken by Square Enix and Luminous Productions. It’s the first title to support DirectStorage when the game arrives on October 11th for Windows.
via The Verge