Microsft confirms DirectStorge is also coming to Windows 10
Last Friday, Microsoft revealed that DirectStorage preview will be compatible with Windows 10 version 1909 and up.
The Microsoft DirectStorage will greatly improve load times on PCs by invoking much fewer I/O requests between the processor and the storing device. The current storage APIs are not optimized for a high number of I/O requests, which leads to games not performing much faster on high-speed NVMe drivers compared to conventional SATA SSD drives.
This fundamental problem has already been resolved on the XBOX Series X|S series, but it is now being brought to Windows 11 and Windows 10 PCs by introducing DirectStorage API to the software developers under its preview program. The documentation is now available to developers who have signed NDA, but Microsoft promises to increase the number of developers with access to DirectStorage soon.
Microsoft is committed to ensuring that when game developers adopt a new API, they can reach as many gamers as possible. As such, games built against the DirectStorage SDK will be compatible with Windows 10, version 1909 and up; the same as the DirectX 12 Agility SDK.
DirectStorage features can be broken down into:
- The new DirectStorage API programming model that provides a DX12-style batched submission/completion calling pattern, relieving apps from the need to individually manage thousands of IO requests/completion notifications per second
- GPU decompression providing super-fast asset decompression for load time and streaming scenarios (coming in a later preview)
- Storage stack optimizations: On Windows 11, this consists of an upgraded OS storage stack that unlocks the full potential of DirectStorage, and on Windows 10, games will still benefit from the more efficient use of the legacy OS storage stack
This means that any game built on DirectStorage will benefit from the new programming model and GPU decompression technology on Windows 10, version 1909 and up. Additionally, because Windows 11 was built with DirectStorage in mind, games running on Windows 11 benefit further from new storage stack optimizations. The API runtime implementation and the GPU decompression technology is delivered via the DirectStorage SDK, and ships with your game. As a game developer, you need only implement DirectStorage once into your engine, and all the applicable benefits will be automatically applied and scaled appropriately for gamers.