Microsoft: Working to bring low level capabilities of Xbox One Direct3D to Windows.

#1
http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/10/14/raising-the-bar-with-direct3d.aspx

We’re also working with our ISV and IHV partners on future efforts, including bringing the lightweight runtime and tooling capabilities of the Xbox One Direct3D implementation to Windows, and identifying the next generation of advanced 3D graphics technologies.
With Xbox One we have also made significant enhancements to the implementation of Direct3D 11, especially in the area of runtime overhead. The result is a very streamlined, “close to metal” level of runtime performance. In conjunction with the third generation PIX performance tool for Xbox One, developers can use Direct3D 11 to unlock the full performance potential of the console.
Also, they point out that other graphics APIs such as OpenGL and Mantle aren't available on Xbox One,

We are very excited that with the launch of Xbox One, we can now bring the latest generation of Direct3D 11 to console. The Xbox One graphics API is “Direct3D 11.x” and the Xbox One hardware provides a superset of Direct3D 11.2 functionality. Other graphics APIs such as OpenGL and AMD’s Mantle are not available on Xbox One.
which should have been obvious from the start, but they seem to have wanted to point out that they are using their own streamlined Direct3D implementation, which they apparently plan to bring to Windows, similar to what Mantle will do on Windows. That sounds pretty exciting. We could be dealing with a much lower level version of DirectX similar to Mantle that is optimized to take full advantage of both AMD and Nvidia GPUs on Windows. Competition is awesome.
 
#2
It's cool that all those low level APIs are now popping up, the big question is how graphics card manufacturers will adapt. Will Nvidia use Mantle? Probably not. Will games developers optimize their games for more than one API? Probably not. Also, the more low-level, the more you have to change when going to another API or platform.
 
#3
Anything that allows the developers to get access to lower level hardware without more overhead and API's getting in the way of maximizing performance is always a good thing.

Hopefully this becomes something that reduces hardware requirements overall. I'll be looking forward to see how this develops.

But I've said pretty much the same thing in the Mantle discussion.
 

gofreak

GAF's Bob Woodward
#6
I guess that'll primarily mean reduced draw call overhead. But if Mantle and other APIs give something closer to 1:1 mapping with a specific architecture's ISA, I don't know if Microsoft can go quite so far. They still have to support a wide range of cards. Or maybe this lib will only work on specific gpus or types of gpu?

It's cool that all those low level APIs are now popping up, the big question is how graphics card manufacturers will adapt. Will Nvidia use Mantle? Probably not. Will games developers optimize their games for more than one API? Probably not.
I think a lot of devs will leave that optimisation up to the middleware their game is running on. And it should definitely be within the remit of middleware devs to optimise for multiple APIs, they already do.
 
#20
I'll believe it when I see it. MS has been spouting off BS about support for Windows gaming for more than a decade, and they never follow through on any of it.
 
#23
Thats a very big news, at least if they are not bullshiting. Lower access Directx would be very big thing for PC, especially if it was cross-IHV.

I love competition, it is always good for consumers.
 
#25
Anyone getting the feeling the PC market is about to get a lot more fragmented.

Mantle? Directx 9.c? Directx 10? Directx 11? OpenGL? Now Microsoft's new low level API?

This can't be good for Nvidia and AMD? They now have to support so many API's?

It can't be good. We need to be heading towards open unification of drivers. Not fragmentation.
 
#26
Stop bringing up facts! We need more app store hate!! ARG!
haha? Yeah, all those brilliant microsoft products on steam.

I forgot about them, their vast catalogue of products.

I mean, they almost have as many games on steam as I have fingers on my hands!

Not to mention all the fun for users when they shut down their abortion known as gwfl. Should be a great time to be a pc gamer who wants to play one of those games.
 
#27
Anyone getting the feeling the PC market is about to get a lot more fragmented.

Mantle? Directx 9.c? Directx 10? Directx 11? OpenGL? Now Microsoft's new low level API?

This can't be good for Nvidia and AMD? They now have to support so many API's?

It can't be good. We need to be heading towards open unification of drivers. Not fragmentation.
Nope, its Mantle, OpenGL and Directx. Nothing more, nothing less.
Actually low level Directx will prevent fragmentation, by killing Mantle.
 
#28
haha? Yeah, all those brilliant microsoft products on steam.

I forgot about them, their vast catalogue of products.

I mean, they almost have as many games on steam as I have fingers on my hands!

Not to mention all the fun for users when they shut down their abortion known as gwfl. Should be a great time to be a pc gamer who wants to play one of those games.
You've got State of Decay, ITSP, Fable, Ms Splosion man, Toy Soldiers, Iron Brigade, Age of Epires II HD, Mark of the Ninja, Age of Empires III, Fable 3, Dust and Deadlight.

Would you trade that for Shuffle Party, Gunpowder and Wordament?
 
#29
So the Mantle stuff gets shut down at the source. As expected.
Well, there may be some confusion. The consoles never needed Mantle, because they already have their own low level solutions. Anandtech's speculation is that Mantle's roots are heavily rooted in the low level API of the Xbox One, which certainly can't be entirely disproven based on this because it was always known the Xbox One was using a more streamlined version of DirectX, and as such it obviously wouldn't be using 'Mantle.'

Mantle may still be remarkably similar or even deeply rooted in the Xbox One API all things considered, but unless it's being released and supported by Microsoft themselves, it will never actually be Microsoft's API, or the Xbox One's API for that matter. And this would still be the case even if 100% of what Anandtech speculated in their Mantle article turns out to, in fact, be accurate. Microsoft's 'Mantle,' or whatever they decide to ultimately call it when they bring it to Windows, will presumably share a whole host of similarities with Mantle. Common sense implies it should, but this won't actually mean that Microsoft copied Mantle, since it actually already existed on the Xbox One. And Mantle being what it is doesn't necessarily have to mean that it's in anyway tied to what Microsoft did with the Xbox One API either. That's what makes it so damn complex. We will honestly never know until AMD or others working on Mantle, or anyone with deep knowledge of Mantle's development, say otherwise. So, going back to what Anandtech said, the idea that Mantle is the Xbox One's low level API brought to the PC is speculation, and AMD will probably never acknowledge it even if it is true.

Personally, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. There's even a good chance it's related to the PS4's API. It's just easier to assume, due to the Windows connection, that there may be more in common with the console built by the Windows developers than the one that isn't. So, in conclusion what are we left with? We still have absolutely no idea. Let's just be happy that Mantle exists and that a DirectX equivalent is on the way. Everybody wins.
 
#30
haha? Yeah, all those brilliant microsoft products on steam.

I forgot about them, their vast catalogue of products.

I mean, they almost have as many games on steam as I have fingers on my hands!

Not to mention all the fun for users when they shut down their abortion known as gwfl. Should be a great time to be a pc gamer who wants to play one of those games.
Wait, how many fingers do you have!!! :p

They have 13 Games published on Steam
7 of them use Steamworks
4 use GFWL (Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet is currently switching to Steamworks, so 3 titles will use GFWL and 8 will take advantage of Steamworks)
1 with Steamplay for Windows, Mac, Linux (although Klei Entertainment may have full publishing rights for Mark of the Ninja or just for Mac and Linux)
 
#31
Anyone getting the feeling the PC market is about to get a lot more fragmented.

Mantle? Directx 9.c? Directx 10? Directx 11? OpenGL? Now Microsoft's new low level API?

This can't be good for Nvidia and AMD? They now have to support so many API's?

It can't be good. We need to be heading towards open unification of drivers. Not fragmentation.
In the end it's all going the same direction, which is better performance for your hardware compared to now. Something (or a couple of things) will win out and the market will be better for it.
 
#32
It appears that PS4 + PC is the ideal combo for next gen... with a sprinkling of Wii U for Ninty fun. Seems that this way to get pretty much all the worthwhile exclusives in the best possible way.

If.. and that is a big IF... MS follow through on this in a meaningful way then the exclusiveness of the XB1 games starts to wane. And perhaps the XB1 as a platform for exclusive content.

I feel MS may feel backed into a corner here and and will get behind this initiative in order to counter the SteamBox threat. They can't sit back on their laurels as the defacto standard for PC games any more. In trying to support Windows as the gaming standard on PC hardware they will be forced to release "XBox exclusives" as "Microsoft exclusives" on XB1 & Win as they are now battling on two fronts and need to maximise their development efforts and IP.

Once most XB1 games are on PC too... along with XBLive and so on... is there any reason to buy an XB1? Unless you want a cheap Kinect based system?
 
#34
There are 6 microsoft 'published' games on the steam store in Australia anyways.

1 is dlc...
I'm in AUS too.

Microsoft must have been f***** up when adding their games to Steam because there are 4 variations of them.

lol they have:
Microsoft
Microsoft Game Studio
Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Games Studios

AND

Microsoft Studios

I hope that explains your earlier answer. lol
 
#35
I don't really want my games to be tied to Windows long-term, so hopefully this will either be easily interchangeable with other graphics APIs or go be shunned by devs.
 
#37
I'll believe it when I see it. MS has been spouting off BS about support for Windows gaming for more than a decade, and they never follow through on any of it.
There's at least one thing MS managed to do: scare away developers to other platforms. Without Windows 8, Valve wouldn't be working on SteamOS right now.
 
#39
There's at least one thing MS managed to do: scare away developers to other platforms. Without Windows 8, Valve wouldn't be working on SteamOS right now.
I doubt so, the first mention of Steamboxes was March previous year, at the same time the consumer preview of Windows 8 was released I think, and I imagine Valve started working on the concept a lot earlier. Then you'd also have the Linux stuff and Big Picture mode, and this was just a progression of things that were already way longer in development.

It might have motivated them more, but what you saying I imagine is untrue.
 
#41
I doubt so, the first mention of Steamboxes was March previous year, at the same time the consumer preview of Windows 8 was released I think, and I imagine Valve started working on the concept a lot earlier. Then you'd also have the Linux stuff and Big Picture mode, and this was just a progression of things that were already way longer in development.

It might have motivated them more, but what you saying I imagine is untrue.
I think it's safe to say Windows 8 was the tipping point for Valve though, especially with how outspoken Gabe was about the OS.