Just after announcing Windows 11 last year, Microsoft said it would bring its DirectStorage API to the platform. Part of the company's Xbox Velocity Architecture, the API provides specific features to enhance gaming. Those benefits are now available on Windows 11 as Microsoft has finally made the DirectStorage API SDK generally available.
Microsoft explains the release in a Windows Blog post:
“Starting today, Windows games can ship with DirectStorage. This public SDK release begins a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games by allowing developers to more fully utilize the speed of the latest storage devices. In September 2020, we announced DirectStorage would be coming to Windows, and after collecting feedback throughout our developer preview, we are making this API available to all of our partners to ship with their games.”
It is worth noting Microsoft originally said Windows 10 is also getting the API, but Windows 11 is now getting it exclusively. One of the main abilities of DirectStorage is significantly reducing I/O operations on a storage drive by using parallelization. In other words, load times and other similar benefits are available in games.
Improving PC Gaming
Microsoft points out that the inclusion of DirectStorage simply enhances Windows 11 as the best OS for PC gaming. It is a claim that is hard to refute, even if only by default because of gaming across other computing platforms.
Because the API helps overall performance, the GPU on a machine can focus on graphics and game world details instead of overworking the CPU.
“With DirectStorage, which will only be available with Windows 11, games can quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. This means you'll get to experience incredibly detailed game worlds rendered at lightning speeds, without long load times. “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to enable this amazing experience.”
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