Microsoft reveals Direct X12, promises major improvements for Xbox One and PC developers

Latest version of graphics API aiming to launch holiday 2015.

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Today during a presentation at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Microsoft officially announced Direct X12, the latest version of the graphics API. Microsoft is targeting it to launch for developers in holiday 2015.

During the event, Microsoft showed off a tech demo of Xbox One racing game Forza Motorsport 5 running on a PC rig powered by a NVIDIA GeForce Titan Black graphics card.

Direct X12 will introduce the next version of Direct3D, which Microsoft says has been redesigned to be "faster and more efficient than ever before."

"Direct3D 12 enables richer scenes, more objects, and full utilization of modern GPU hardware. And it isn't just for high-end gaming PCs either--Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices you care about," Microsoft said. "From phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, of course, Xbox One, Direct3D 12 is the API you've been waiting for."

In addition to providing a lower level of hardware abstraction, Direct X12 also introduces a new set of rendering pipeline features that Microsoft claims will "dramatically improvde the efficiency of algorithms" like order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling.

In a statement of its own today, NVIDIA said it has "worked closely" with the DirectX team at Microsoft to deliver DX12. On top of that, NVIDIA says it has already provided drivers and a DX12 development kit to more than 15 developers.

For a deeply technical breakdown of Direct X12's advancements, be sure to read this post on Microsoft's developer website.

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