Microsoft is bringing its next-gen DirectStorage Xbox API to PCs

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Yesterday was a big day for PC gamers, with NVIDIA announcing its brand new GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs that will ship ahead of the less powerful PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X next-gen consoles. Nvidia has been pioneering features like ray-tracing and Deep learning super sampling (DLSS) on PC, but next-gen consoles may still have an edge on storage speeds thanks to new I/O system designed specifically for gaming.

That’s what Microsoft has been working on with the Xbox Velocity Architecture for the Xbox Series X, which will leverage a new DirectStorage API to unlock the full performance of the console’s NVMe SSD. Well, the good news is that Microsoft is now working to bring this next-gen DirectStorage Xbox API to PCs with NVMe drives. After Microsoft announced that DirectX 12 Ultimate would unify the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X, DirectStorage coming to PC should be another important milestone in simplifying game development on these two platforms.

“DirectStorage will bring best-in-class IO tech to both PC and console just as DirectX 12 Ultimate does with rendering tech. With a DirectStorage capable PC and a DirectStorage enabled game, you can look forward to vastly reduced load times and virtual worlds that are more expansive and detailed than ever,” the company explained yesterday. However, it’s important to note that PCs that won’t support DirectStorage will still be able to play the same games, though performance won’t be optimal. Having an NVMe drive that can bring data to the GPU as fast as possible should be a transformative experience, though it will be up to developers to take advantage of these new capabilities in their games.

“For every DirectX family feature, Microsoft brings together the best of the PC gaming industry players to standardize new gaming features, make them available to game developers, and eventually get them into your gaming machines. This process has already begun for DirectStorage and we’re working with our industry partners right now to finish designing/building the API and its supporting components,” Microsoft said yesterday. There’s still no precise ETA on the general availability of the DirectStorage API on PC, but Microsoft is currently planning to release it in preview for game developers next year.