Microsoft has today been heaping praise on Half-Life 2, using Valve's upcoming first-person shooter as an example of the type of game that's now possible on the PC--thanks in no small way, of course, to the arrival of DirectX 9.0. The latest version of Microsoft's DirectX API offers developers easy access to a number of specialized hardware features that allow for improved graphics through effects such as bump-mapping, soft shadows, and different lighting techniques.
"We see Half-Life 2 as a new benchmark for the type of amazing experiences that can be delivered on the Windows platform, and DirectX 9.0 is clearly serving as the catalyst for the development of these state-of-the-art games," said Dean Lester, general manager of Windows gaming and graphics at Microsoft. "Half-Life 2 emphasizes the trend we are already seeing: Games for Windows now deliver the most cutting-edge technology and immersive entertainment available anywhere."
"DirectX 9.0 has been crucial in helping us create a worthy sequel to Half-Life, one that gives Windows gamers everything they've been waiting for, a truly unequaled experience," said Gabe Newell, cofounder of Valve. "We are thrilled that our relationship with Microsoft has produced a title that all of us can be proud of."
Half-Life 2 is currently scheduled for release later this year. For more information, check out our previous coverage of the game.