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Microsoft - Announcing DirectX 12 Ultimate


It is time for DirectX to evolve once again.

From the team that has brought PC and Console gamers the latest ingraphics innovation for nearly 25 years, we are beyond pleased tobring gamers DirectX 12 Ultimate, the culmination of the best graphicstechnology we've ever introduced in an unprecedented alignment betweenPC and Xbox Series X.

When gamers purchase PC graphics hardware with the DX12 Ultimatelogo or an Xbox Series X, they can do so with the confidence thattheir hardware is guaranteed to support ALL next generation graphicshardware features, including DirectX Raytracing, Variable RateShading, Mesh Shaders and Sampler Feedback. This mark of qualityensures stellar “future-proof†feature support for next generationgames!

Ultimate Graphics Innovation

Microsoft’s Game Stack exists to bring developers the tools theyneed to create bold, immersive game experiences, and DX12 Ultimate isthe ideal tool to amplify gaming graphics. DX12 Ultimate is the resultof continual investment in the DirectX 12 platform made over the lastfive years to ensure that Xbox and Windows 10 remain at the verypinnacle of graphics technology. To further empower game developers tocreate games with stunning visuals, we enhanced features that arealready beginning to transform gaming such as DirectX Raytracing andVariable Rate Shading, and have added new major features such as MeshShaders and Sampler Feedback.

Together, these features represent many years of innovation fromMicrosoft and our partners in the hardware industry. DX12 Ultimatebrings them all together in one common bundle, providing developerswith a single key to unlock next generation graphics on PC and XboxSeries X.

Of course, even the most powerful features are of limited usewithout the tools necessary to fully exploit them, so we are pleasedto announce that our industry-leading PIX graphics optimization tooland our open-source HLSL compiler will provide game developers withthe ability to squeeze every last drop of performance out of an entireecosystem of DX12 Ultimate hardware.

An Additive Benefit

DirectX12 Ultimate is fundamentally an additive initiative thatprovides gamers with assurance that their hardware meets the highestbar for feature support in next-generation games.

It is very important to note that DX12 Ultimate will not impactgame compatibility with existing hardware which does not support theentire breath of DX12 Ultimate features. In fact, next-generationgames which use DX12 Ultimate features will continue to run onnon-DX12 Ultimate hardware. Though such hardware won’t provide thevisual benefits of the new features, it can still provide a verycompelling gaming experience on next generation games, depending onthe specifics of the hardware.

The PC ecosystem encompasses a broad variety of hardware and DX12Ultimate makes that ecosystem strictly better with no adverse effecton hardware which does not support DX12 Ultimate!

Amplifying a Virtuous Cycle

As any gamer would attest, there are few higher virtues than theappreciation of a well-crafted and beautiful game. DX12 Ultimatecreates unprecedented opportunities for the entire gaming ecosystem,creating a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle that results in bettergaming experiences!

The cycle below describes the general graphics improvement processin games that has occurred for many years. As new hardware (or a newconsole generation) slowly reaches market saturation, the number ofaddressable sockets with next-generation capable graphics featuresincreases. As the number of sockets with these features increases, thenumber of game studios willing to adopt the new features likewiseincreases, until finally, market saturation of hardware occurs, andmost game studios adopt the features.

By unifying the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X, DX12Ultimate serves as a force multiplier for the entire gamingecosystem. No longer do the cycles operate independently! Instead,they now combine synergistically: when Xbox Series X releases, therewill already be many millions of DX12 Ultimate PC graphics cards inthe world with the same feature set, catalyzing a rapid adoption ofnew features, and when Xbox Series X brings a wave of new consolegamers, PC will likewise benefit from this vast surge of new DX12Ultimate capable hardware!

The result? An adrenaline shot to new feature adoption,groundbreaking graphics in the hands of gamers more quickly than everbefore!


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