Forspoken Loads In Two Seconds On PC When Using DirectStorage
Forspoken isn't just a good-looking RPG, but one that will get you stuck into its action very quickly.
Microsoft recently released its DirectStorage API to game developers, giving them access to the same technology that has made Quick Resume one of the best features on the Xbox Series X|S consoles. Theoretically, DirectStorage promises lightning-fast speed for loading a PC game, and in practice, it looks like it could be a massive upgrade on that platform.
As spotted by PC Gamer, footage of upcoming RPG Forspoken showed the game being loaded in an astonishing 1.9 seconds from an M.2 SSD. Using a SATA SSD, that time increased to a still-impressive 3.7 seconds, and on a regular SATA SSD the game was ready to play in 21.5 seconds. The scenes used to show off these speeds were made up of around 20,000 files weighing in at 4.5GB in total, with the DirectStorage API boasting a file IO speed of 4,839MB/s against the Win32 API on the same drive which was clocked at 2,826MB/s.
There is a caveat to this though, as the technology isn't exactly plug-and-play software. Developer Luminous Productions had to optimize it for Forspoken, and the studio did note that improvements could be made to prevent data bottlenecks with graphics decompression. Microsoft is working on fine-tuning the technology and refining it in the future.
As for how it works, DirectStorage allows the GPU to communicate directly with an SSD so that games and textures can be loaded without needing to check in first with the CPU and main memory. This potentially allows for near-instantaneous loading of a game, something which has become a hallmark for the current generation of console gaming with titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Doom Eternal showcasing blistering speeds on the respective SSDs of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles.
Forspoken is shaping up to be a good-looking showcase of new technologies, as it also incorporates AMD's new FidelityFX Super Resolution tech into its design. The game does have a story for its protagonist Frey Holland though, which was revealed in more detail this week ahead of its upcoming launch on PC and PS5 this May.
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