updated 03:10 pm EDT, Thu March 20, 2014
New API aimed at PC, Xbox One, tablets, smartphones
Microsoft today introduced DirectX 12 at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. DirectX 12 is Microsoft's latest version of the graphics API, a leader in the $25 billion PC gaming industry. Nvidia will support the DX12 API on the DX11-class GPUs it has shipped. Compatible cards belong to the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell architectural families, but cards not strictly adhering to the reference may not be compatible.
DX12's focus is on enabling an increase in visual richness through a decrease in API-related CPU overhead. DX12 gives the application the ability to directly manage resources and state, and perform necessary synchronization. As a result, developers of applications utilizing the new API can efficiently control the GPU. The DirectX 12 API will span the Xbox One, some tablets, and smartphones for universality.
Anuj Gosalia, development manager of DirectX at Microsoft, described DX12 as the joint effort of hardware vendors, game developers, and his team. Gosalia showed off the new API with a practical demonstration of the Xbox One racing game Forza Motorsport 5 running on a PC powered by a high-end Nvidia GeForce Titan Black GPU. In addition, Microsoft's software team has provided a driver to game studios to facilitate further design feedback as well as actual game development.