Faster Load Times Are Now Possible For Windows PC Games, Sort Of
DirectStorage is finally coming to Windows PCs, but it may not be in practice for a while yet.
DirectStorage, one of the Xbox Series X's biggest tech advancements, has now arrived on PC--well, sort of. Microsoft has announced in a blog post that the Xbox's DirectStorage API is now available on PC, but it may be a while until players can get their hands on PC games that actually use the tech, The Verge reports.
Microsoft's DirectStorage technology cuts down on game load times and gives developers the potential to build even more detailed game worlds, by streaming data straight from a NVMe solid state drive to the GPU, without the CPU needing to decompress it first.
While DirectStorage for PC was first touted as a benefit for gamers thinking about upgrading to Windows 11, the most recent blog post says DirectStorage will in fact be compatible with Windows 10 after all--though Microsoft still strongly recommends the newest version of Windows for keen gamers. The blog even says that gamers don't necessarily need to have an NVMe SSD installed to see improvements from DirectStorage, but that "installing games to an NVMe SSD will maximize your IO performance and help you more fully experience the benefits of DirectStorage."
Unfortunately for gamers looking to take advantage of DirectStorage, the API release means developers are only now getting their hands on the technology, so it will still be a while before we see it widely implemented in PC games. Microsoft added in the blog post that it'll be presenting an intro to DirectStorage at this year's GDC, so it's possible many devs won't start working with the tech until after the industry event.
The first PC game to make use of DirectStorage technology is Forspoken, which will be used as a showcase for the tech at this year's GDC. Sadly the game has just been delayed, with the developers announcing earlier in March that Forspoken now won't see release until October 11, 2022.
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