Since the beginning of modern gaming, Microsoft’s DirectX API has guided the development of new graphics technology. Sure, there have been alternatives such as OpenGL but Microsoft’s clout in the PC – and for the last decade console – gaming business meant that it has worked closely with the likes of NVIDIA and AMD to determine what the next generation of graphics processing will entail.
This relationship between Microsoft and graphics card makers may be coming to an end, according to AMD’s VP of global channel sales Roy Taylor. Speaking with Heise, a German publication, he said with some certainty DirectX’s renewal may end at 11.
“There will be no DirectX 12. That was it. As far as we know there are no plans for DirectX 12,” he said to Heise. “If this should not be, and someone wants to correct me – wonderful.”
If the obituary of DirectX were to be written before the versatile API saw its twelfth iteration, what would drive forward GPU innovation many probably wondered. More importantly, if Microsoft was hesitant to continue updating DirectX was it because console manufacturers had refused to take the great leap forward with their next generation of products (therefore causing a good enough revolution)?
When Hardware Canucks followed up with Mr. Taylor, he seemed to back off his assertion that DirectX 12 wasn’t it the works and instead pivoted towards explaining AMD’s plans for the future should DirectX not be extended.
Should DirectX not be extended – and in the interim he said AMD will continue to work with it — AMD would push hard into OpenCL, OpenGL, and other technologies.
“[AMD’s] investment in Open CL, and in pushing what’s possible with Direct X 11.1 – and our commitment to 4K resolutions and to gaming in general means that gamers can expect us to keep delivering new cutting edge gaming experiences,” he said. “What we did in supporting the team behind TressFX [an AMD-developed tessellation technology that makes hair look really nice], and let’s remember that it’s the fine team at Crystal Dynamics that delivered this, is just the beginning. There are abundant opportunities in pushing what we can do inside of the sandbox and between sandboxes.”
He also pointed out that AMD is working to develop other aspects of gaming – like physics and artificial intelligence – in order to increase realism overall.
Microsoft, for its part, denies Mr. Taylor’s earlier claim that DirectX is ending anytime soon.
“DirectX is the world’s leading low-level interface for gaming and graphics. Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms,” the company said in a statement. “DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.”
Microsoft’s statement seems to be as bland and perfunctory as any denial-of-rumour release. But as Mr. Taylor is far from an uninformed outsider (he stressed in e-mails that he wasn’t authorized to speak on Microsoft’s behalf), one has to wonder what he knows that brought him to make his claim that the end of DirectX was nigh.