DirectStorage on Windows 11: Next-gen gaming performance, with PC requirements

Enlarge / Xbox interface on Windows 11. (credit: Microsoft)
Like many of Microsoft’s PC-specific announcements over the years, Thursday’s sprawling Windows 11 unveiling included some gaming-specific elements—and at least one with major, next-gen performance in mind.
Arguably the biggest component is DirectStorage, a DirectX 12 Ultimate API previously announced (and then launched) as part of the Xbox Series X/S consoles. This API requires a higher-speed SSD drive, as it redirects I/O calls for 3D graphical assets directly to the GPU, leveraging the higher average throughput of PCI 3.0 speeds to do so at a rate that demanding software like games can take advantage of. This isn’t just a matter of faster loading times. Visual elements like draw distances, texture variety, and instant asset introduction become possible, letting us get away from 3D worlds being interrupted by narrow hallways, elevators, and other in-game trickery. With that boost, game makers can reimagine the scope

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