Microsoft to unveil DirectX 12 at GDC 2014

It looks like this year’s Game Developers Conference will be high noon for graphics card news.

Microsoft has announced that they will unveil DirectX 12, the next major iteration of their graphics API, at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this month.

A teaser on Microsoft’s blog invites GDC attendees to check the out the future of DirectX at an event that will be held on March 20, where Windows graphics development manager Anuj Gosalia will host the first of two DirectX-centric talks at the event, aptly titled; “DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform.” The second talk, which will be held later that day, will feature the Windows Graphics Development Lead Max McMullen discussing “DirectX Direct3D futures.”

The announcement comes only a few weeks after AMD released Mantle, their own graphics API update. Not looking to be shoved out of the spotlight, AMD responded to the slew of DirectX 12 rumors with a reminder that they too will be showing off their next-gen API at GDC as well:

“Yesterday several articles were published that reported that DirectX and OpenGL are being extended to include closer-to-metal functionality and reduced CPU overhead,” AMD told PC World. “AMD supports and celebrates a direction for game development that is aligned with AMD’s vision of lower-level, ‘closer to the metal’ graphics APIs for PC gaming. While industry experts expect this to take some time, developers can immediately leverage efficient API design using Mantle, and AMD is very excited to share the future of our own API with developers at this year’s Game Developers Conference.”

As PC World points out, the last two DirectX updates have also upgraded the software’s OS requirements: DirectX 11.1 shipped with Windows 8, and version 11.2 launched alongside Windows 8.1. With that in mind, one might guess that Microsoft will shoot to launch Direct X12 and pair it with Windows 9, which could hit the market next year.

Considering that details are scant at the moment, it remains to be seen what DirectX 12 can bring to the table and how it’ll stack up with Mantle. We’ll just have to see what Microsoft has in store once GDC begins March 17.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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