Windows 10 to Get DirectStorage API support

Windows 10 to Get DirectStorage API support

In Sarah Bond’s article about the new operating system being the ‘best Windows ever for gaming,’ Microsoft’s gaming corporate VP explicitly states that DirectStorage “will only be available with Windows 11.” But a new DirectX Developer Blog post has announced the availability of a developer preview of the DirectStorage API, and in that Hassan Uraizee explains that the SDK will be compatible with Windows 10 from version 1909 and up.

DirectStorage is one of the big three new PC gaming features coming to Windows 11, but despite calling it an OS exclusive around the announcement of the upcoming OS, Microsoft has now confirmed it will be supported in Windows 10 too.

“Microsoft is committed to ensuring that when game developers adopt a new API, they can reach as many gamers as possible,” writes Uraizee. “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.”

The promise of DirectStorage is that it streamlines the way game data gets processed, taking advantage of the modern storage hardware in our gaming PCs. Using NVMe SSDs, the DirectStorage API aims to reduce game load times and support the huge open-world games of our dreams, ensuring texture data et al gets streamed into the world way beyond your vision rather than popping up in front of your face.

It plans to do this by largely circumventing the processor and quickly loading assets into your graphics card, lowering CPU usage and hopefully improving system performance along the way.

Uraizee breaks down the features of DirectStorage into these bullet points:

The new DirectStorage API programming model 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

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