Picking up from where we left off with last week’s discussion of GDC presentations, Microsoft has released a short teaser regarding their GDC presentation. The previously mentioned “DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform” session isn’t just a session on low-level APIs, as we first surmised, but will in fact be the formal unveiling of DirectX 12.

Just what DirectX 12 will contain remains to be seen. Given the session descriptions for this and other sessions, low-level (ish) interfaces for Direct3D seems likely. But it’s not clear if there are updates in store for any of the other components of DirectX.

Historically speaking, Microsoft has been overdue for a new DirectX announcement. Other than the various point updates over the last couple of years, Microsoft hasn’t had a major DirectX announcement since DirectX 11 in 2009, with DirectX 10 coming 3 years before that in 2006.

In the meantime it’s interesting to note who’s listed as a participating partner in Microsoft’s tease. The big 3 – AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA – are included, but so is Qualcomm. Qualcomm of course is not a player in the traditional dGPU or x86 iGPU spaces, but they are a significant vendor in the Windows on ARM space, having their SoCs in products such as the Nokia Lumia tablets. Consequently, with Microsoft continuing to push into the tablet space with Windows RT, it stands to reason that some of DirectX 12's functionality will be tuned for tablets too.

Anyhow, we’ll have more details on March 20th when Microsoft makes their formal presentation.

Source: Microsoft

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  • anandreader106 - Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - link

    Well that's just silly. Please don't put words in people's mouths. Nobody said they made a new API in three months.

    First of all it's being announced which in not in the same realm of having a finished API.

    Secondly, nowhere did I suggest Microsoft was starting from scratch. In an earlier post I suggested that Mantle may have expedited development in reaction to Mantle.
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - link

    It makes sense when you consider that NVIDIAs new architecture isn't even fully DirectX 11.2 compliant.
  • anandreader106 - Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - link

    That's actually a good point Gigaplex.
  • MrPoletski - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    Haven't they been saying that about directx since DX5?
  • Th-z - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    If DX 12 has been developed for over 3 years, and it is a major improvement over current 11.x, there would be no reason for AMD to develop Mantle as a lone IHV. Microsoft doesn't develop these standards without partnership with those companies, so there is no way AMD wouldn't know it's has been developed for long time. Johan Andersson of Frostbite, Oxide Games, et al. would have already worked with Microsoft (and more) and not just AMD. These game developers wouldn't have said they have been wanting a low level API on PC for long time but no one seemed to care until AMD took the opportunity to work with them to develop Mantle.
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    If anything, Microsoft is more concerned that OpenGL will become dominant again as various Linux-derived OS's begin to take over all the spaces of computing that were once expected to be just Microsoft's. That includes Android, ChromeOS (aka cheapo laptops), SteamOS (cheapo gaming PC's). OpenGL is also important to everything Apple, including iOS devices and OSX computers. Certainly, it doesn't hurt for PS3, PS Vita, and PS4 development, either. Then remember that Windows PC's can run OpenGL just fine.

    It used to be 360 was dominant and porting from 360 to PC was easy enough via DirectX. Other platforms didn't matter much, if at all, so most of the porting was focused on Sony Playstation devices alone.

    But today that's vastly different. Android and iOS are very important markets for publishers now. Being able to support OSX and SteamOS is gravy, but knowing you can support all these PLUS Windows PC's makes it seem much more attractive.

    Or they can go DirectX and be locked into 360 (being replaced by PS4), Xbone (sales are tanking), Windows RT device (failures by all measures), Windows Phones (the tiniest of fractions of what Android and/or iOS devices are doing), and Windows PC's. So, really, just Microsoft platforms.

    Which would you choose? Especially if OpenGL gets out in front of this thing with low level access before DirectX is improved? Suddenly, OpenGL looks alive again and Microsoft loses control of the API. Microsoft has enjoyed DirectX's popularity because it helped keep ports exclusive to Microsoft platforms.

    If OpenGL looks attractive again all of the sudden, Microsoft is going to lose its lock on PC gaming and Linux ports are going to become a LOT easier and a LOT more prevalent. This is not something Microsoft wants to see, so they need to get DirectX 12 out to counter that.

    I suspect that AMD caught wind of it after their little tantrum last year about no DirectX 12, so they invented Mantle and tried to force it down Microsoft's and Sony's throats. Naturally, they both laughed in AMD's face and ignored them. AMD took it to Intel and nVidia to try and get them to support it, but Intel and nVidia had no reason to do that. They pointed and laughed.

    So AMD took it to the press in a rush. That explains why they've handled it so haphazardly. They weren't close to getting it done and if HardOCP latest article about Mantle is to be believed, it's very, very rushed overall. They couldn't even get the planning on when it was to be released right, missing it by months.

    But they had to announce it ahead of DirectX 12 and any changes to OpenGL. Otherwise, no one would care, right? No spin would be able to be done. They wouldn't be able to ride new sales off it.

    The thing is, you just know AMD knew this was coming. They must have found out right before they did their reveal on the R9 290X. That's why they were flopping around like a chicken with its head cut off. Couldn't get dates right, couldn't get releases right, couldn't even get list prices or preorders done.

    Lots of things make more sense now.
  • Harag - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    Do you wear tinfoil hats too? All that was great but you actually don't have a shred of credible evidence past your own opinion.
  • YazX_ - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    OMG, what an idiot, so over night microsoft saw Mantle and they were like, OH we need to counter mantle, lets create DX 12 within the next 2 months.

    mantle is dead before it even started, not first to come and go and wont be last, seems DX 12 will bring new great things on the table and many low level APIs, then i can actually say RIP mantle.
  • Wreckage - Thursday, March 6, 2014 - link

    The OpenGL 4.4 spec came out before Mantle. So no...Mantle did nothing there. DirectX 12 has likely been in development for awhile as well. Mantle just jumped the gun with a buggy product in order to get some press.
  • dwade123 - Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - link

    AMD and nVidia's highends became obsolete less than a year.

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