Page 1 of 6
What's next for DirectX? A DirectX 11 overview
As usual in this ever-changing world of progressing hardware and software, it seems like only yesterday that we were starting to discuss what DirectX 10 would bring to table of Microsoft's graphics API. Indeed, it was only yesterday in relative terms that we first sat down and discussed the additions to this API in DirectX 10.1, a revision which finally saw the light of day alongside the release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and a move which hasn't even been taken up by all of the major graphics IHVs yet (NVIDIA, we're looking at you).
Despite all this, Microsoft's DirectX team haven't been resting on their laurels - In fact, anything but. Even before DirectX 10.1 was out the door, consultations were beginning regarding the next full release of the API, DirectX 11. This feature set is now set in stone, allowing both Microsoft and the graphics IHVs to begin both evangelising and discussing this latest iteration of DirectX with the masses, most notably with developers, who are of course the front line in making use of any new functionality and leveraging it in the latest game titles.
Nowhere has this remit been more apparent than at the recent Gamefest 2008 event, aka the Microsoft Game Technology Conference, which has already help numerous talks in a two-day event in Seattle in July, followed by a date in London in early August. The event rolls into Tokyo in the start of September, but thanks to the events that have already taken place we've managed to glean a huge amount of information about what DirectX 11 will bring to the table, and what it will being to gamers and graphics enthusiasts upon its release.
Although Gamefest is entirely developer-centric, there's still plenty to interest those aforementioned groups, and thus our plan with this article is to sift through the mass of information now available regarding DirectX 11, pick out the big-hitting changes worthy of discussion, and bring them to you at a relatively high level to give you all an early understanding of what the API is setting out to do, and the kind of features and functionality you can expect in the next couple of years from both your games and graphics boards. Sound interesting? You bet it does, so let's dive straight in.