Microsoft assures faster PC game load times with direct storage release

Microsoft assures faster PC game load times with direct storage release

PC games can now use DirectStorage, a DirectX 12 Ultimate API that Microsoft announced in 2020. This feature is supposed to bring faster loading times and improved texture and bridge gaps.

The Xbox Series X / S already uses DirectStorage, and in June Microsoft announced that it would bring a feature to Windows 11. The Storage Acceleration API should improve gameplay by quickly introducing assets and enabling more vivid virtual landscapes. It works system-dependent, sending data directly from the NVMe SSD to the graphics card, leaving the CPU and taking advantage of PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0 speeds.

In a developer blog post today, Microsoft stated that it is moving DirectStorage out of the developer preview and making it available through the public SDK.

Microsoft initially said that Windows 10 would not support direct storage but later backtracked. In today’s post, Microsoft sought to take PC gamers to Windows 11, saying the operating system had “the latest storage optimization built-in” and the company’s “recommended route for gaming”.

No games on PC yet support DirectStorage, but AMD and game developer Luminous Productions have recently made a FourSpoken demo using the feature. The game is expected to release on October 11. Microsoft’s blog states that the company wants to talk more about PC games that support “direct storage” in the “future.”

We can expect to see more game features implemented. PlayStation 5’s Ratchet and Clank: Sony has already announced what it can do for fast NVMe SSD gaming through fast-loading universe-hopping in Rift Apartments. However, not all PC gamers have moved from SATA to NVMe PCIe 3.0 or later SSD. Microsoft had previously stated that NVMe is necessary because such SSDs “can have more than one queue and each queue can contain multiple requests at a time, making it suitable for today’s gaming workloads with [they] parallel and batch.”

DirectStorage also requires a Nvidia RTX 2000 or AMD RX 6000 series or later graphics card.

Sneha Mali

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