Microsoft: Apps and games with DirectX 12 interface support due by holiday 2015

Microsoft: Apps and games with DirectX 12 interface support due by holiday 2015

Summary: Microsoft has taken the covers off its latest gaming/graphics programming interface, known as DirectX 12, that will be supported across Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox One OS by next year.


Early last year, some developers were worried Microsoft planned to retire its DirectX -- the gaming/graphics programming interfaces that the company has baked into Windows for years. Given the company had only delivered minor point releases to DirectX since 2009 and was backing away from XNA support with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, many feared the worst.

But on March 20, 2014, Microsoft officially took the wraps off DirectX 12 at the Game Developers Conference.

DirectX 12 will be supported across phones, tablets/PCs and Xbox One. The Direct3D 12 piece, which is what Microsoft disclosed today, will be supported in "Holiday 2015 games," meaning games delivered in the Q4 2015 timeframe.

Microsoft is advising users that if they have PCs with "supported graphics hardware," which they claim encompasses more than 80 percent of "gamer PCs" currently sold, they will be able to run thesee games. DirectX 12 also includes graphics tools for developers and other technologies which Microsoft is going to make available "at a later date" once DirectX 12 3D is made available.

A new Microsoft blog post notes DirectX 12 supports, as had been rumored, a lower-level of hardware abstraction than DirectX had previously, which will allow games and other graphic-intensive applications to better utilize CPU and multithreaded scaling. Significant performance and rendering improvements are the result, officials said.

Microsoft officials said during a press conference that the company is aware of requests for Windows 7 support with DirectX 12 but didn't commit to delivering it. Given the "holiday 2015" timing discussed today, I'm assuming the Windows 9 (a k "Threshold") and Windows Phone 9 operating systems will include the DirectX 12 application-programming interfaces.

For a blow-by-blow account of what Microsoft and its hardware partners said at GDC today, PC Perspective did a live blog of the announcement. Microsoft did not allow live streaming of the DirectX 12 unveil.

Topics: Software Development, Windows, Windows 8, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Directx 12

    Hmmm Directx 12 should be on windows 9 only.. Will it be a difference maker ? That depends on whether windows 9 will be h.s.a (Heterogeneous System Architecture) ready from day one.. As for xbox one, i expect microsoft to offer the ability to play xbox one games on a laptop,desktop,tinypc,etc..That alone could make windows 9 somehow special/different..also it would help if they make the operating system not require a intel/amd processor..can u say ARM? Also if it could be lightweight like android...i know im asking for alot but its okay to dream every now and
  • DirectX is the last hope of a dying dream

    and that would be to keep people, in this case, gamers, using Windows. It had better produce some fabulous results, because many in the 15-25 age group are tiring of hollow promises, and forced OS upgrades, to achieve so little gain in gaming, while taking huge steps backwards in every other area.