Microsoft introduces its DirectStorage API

Microsoft reveals its DirectStorage API, which aims to improve game storage

Microsoft has now made its DirectStorage API available to third-party game developers. This means that one of the most exciting aspects of the Xbox Series X will be made available on the PC platform as well.

Because of enhanced NVMe SSD accesses, DirectStorage promises to deliver faster loading times for applications. At the time of writing, a game could only do one in/out access operation at a time. This wasn’t a problem when hard drives were the norm, but now that most gaming PCs are equipped with SSDs that can transfer gigabytes per second while doing hundreds of thousands of in and out operations per second (IOPS), it’s evident that a more efficient way was required to keep up. This is where DirectStorage comes in.

DirectStorage enables an NVMe SSD to achieve its maximum speed by allowing several I/O operations to be performed at the same time on the SSD. It enables assets to be sent directly to the GPU, resulting in increased efficiency.

The majority of game assets are compressed, which implies that the CPU must be accessed before the asset can be loaded. DirectStorage will soon include support for GPU file compression and decompression activities, which will take advantage of the GPU’s huge processing power and memory bandwidth to perform jobs that it is natively equipped for.

DirectStorage with DirectX should result in faster game loading and level transition times, more detailed textures, and fewer in-game popups when used in conjunction. We’ll take it all, thank you very much!

There have been no announcements on which games will make use of the technology from Microsoft, which is a little surprising given the company’s history. Games created by Microsoft studios or Xbox exclusives, on the other hand, are almost certain to come first.

As a result, third-party developers will be required to devote development resources, and considering that no supporting games have been announced, it may be some time before we see it in action on the PC.

The Nvidia RTX I/O technology, which is developed on top of DirectStorage, was previously announced. A lot of the same features are promised by Nvidia, including rapid file decompression and fast load times, which are ideal for games that have large open areas or highly detailed textures, according to the company.

DirectStorage will be made available to users of both Windows 10 and Windows 11, while Microsoft advises that Windows 11 be used for the best performance, which is understandable. On March 22, the company will discuss DirectStorage in greater detail at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.