Microsoft knows how to throw a good party.
September 13, 2005
I was in Seattle a few weeks ago for Microsoft's DirectX Meltdown conference, and the party they threw was just about exactly my speed. If there's one pet peeve I have about most conferences, it's the kind of party where the music is pumped up so loud that you can't hear yourself think, let alone try to make out what the person you're standing next to is trying to say. No quantity of hor d'oeuvres, gimmicky ways to serve drinks, dwarf wrestling, or cool swag can make up for having to shout constantly at the top of your lungs while simultaneously pretending that you understood what someone else was yelling at you. No, the DirectX Meltdown party was more of a laid back affair, with pool tables, bowling, good food, and a relaxed atmosphere. Plus random people dressed up as superheroes. [COLOR=Red]While they may have gotten their party right, the real reason I was there was to find out whether they were going to get DirectX 10 right and how that would impact TransGaming's portability work. After listening to some great speakers describe Microsoft's plans for DirectX 10 (you can check out the slides on their site here), it would appear that the answer to the first question is both yes and no, while the answer to the latter is not much, but for all the wrong reasons.[/COLOR] [COLOR=Red]DirectX 10 is, in many respects, a brand new API. Microsoft has done a great job in choosing the core feature set of the API, creating an entirely new point in the graphics pipeline for programmatically generated geometry data (think particle systems and customized surface tessellation), removing much of the crustier portions of the older APIs like the fixed-function pipeline, adding virtual texture memory, and eliminating the caps system for determining graphics hardware capabilities. Unfortunately, part of the way in which they've accomplished this was by declaring that DirectX 10 would be available only on Windows Vista, and that it would only work with entirely new graphics cards that won't even be released until 2006![/COLOR] [COLOR=Red]This means that any game developer who wants to write a game using DirectX 10 has no choice other then to also write another version of their game for DirectX 9. No game developer will be willing to forgo the existing 500 million PCs out there, many of which won't be upgraded. As a result, I predict that it will be at least three or four years before any game is built as a DirectX 10 only title[/COLOR]. The implications of this for TransGaming are rather good. It means that most of the games that we will be working to bring to new platforms will continue to be based on the same stable DirectX 9 APIs that game developers have used for the past three years. It also means that those developers who do decide to support both DirectX 10 and DirectX 9 will be thinking more about portability and separation of their graphics code from the rest of their engine. That kind of portability practice is a good one for developers who want to work with TransGaming to help bring their game to more platforms; the better separated the graphics code is from the rest of then engine, the more easily the title can be optimized for a different platform. But for Microsoft, it means that DirectX 10 may prove to be irrelevant for their developer community. At the same time as the implications of DirectX 10 are being considered, many people in the graphics development community are up in arms over Microsoft's announcement that in Windows Vista, OpenGL will be implemented on top of the DirectX 9 APIs. There are some good technical reasons for Microsoft to take this approach, given that the Windows Vista next generation Avalon GUI will be based entirely on DirectX. It's rather amusing for us at TransGaming, though, as we spend quite a bit of effort doing the exact opposite: implementing the DirectX APIs on top of OpenGL for non-Windows platforms. OpenGL developers are right to be concerned, but for the most part they are concerned about the wrong thing. Many worry that performance will be affected significantly, but based on TransGaming's experience with portability in the other direction, there is little reason to believe that has to be the case. For the most part, the DirectX and OpenGL APIs map rather well to one another, and there's little reason to expect a big performance drop. What is of concern though is the fact that unlike OpenGL, DirectX exposes a fixed set of hardware capabilities through the API. Microsoft has said that DirectX 10 will eliminate the variability of hardware features by eliminating the caps bits, but they have not said whether they will provide a mechanism for making use of new hardware features in future cards. With OpenGL, vendor-specific extensions are available which can be queried for individually. Without a similar ability in the next version of DirectX, both it and the Windows Vista OpenGL API will be indefinitely stuck with the feature set of the graphics cards of 2006. All told though, TransGaming is very pleased to see industry giants such as Microsoft beginning to embrace the idea of API level portability with an approach that is similar to our own. As the next generation of consoles and PC graphics standards are launched, TransGaming will continue to work to extend our API portability efforts and help developers, publishers, and customers to bridge the gaps and make that transition easier. Until next time, -Gav
For people who want DX10 must go to Vista because it will only be made for Vista...
But this is good for Linux with Cedega :)
Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Hmm well It's not like I will run to the store now to buy Vista just for DirectX10 and buiya state of the art graphicscard while on it. No for me it means I will stick to a DX9 grahpicscard for some "extra" years. Muhahaha less money for them! Only by the time a good number of awesome games start to be DX10 competibel will i Look into upgrading my graphicscard and windows version.
Vista is just another overrated mal-coded "wonder product" from Microsoft.
As long as companies like TransGaming exist to help port games to other operating systems, there's no reason for me to move to Vista.
Well once Dx 10 games start comming out I am going to linux since XP won't run Dx10 games. So MS is shooting themslefes in the butt this time. Gamers won't want windows vista because of it privacy intrusions and its price.
Well I hope to get a linux partition this winter, better start messing with it;)
Oh well, good thing I'm already on my way to being able to use Linux as my nearly full time OS.
Smitty025Oh well, good thing I'm already on my way to being able to use Linux as my nearly full time OS.
Hows Suse 10 going for ya?
If someone is serious enough about gaming to seek out DX10 whether it be through Vista or Linux, then they are probably going to take the easiest route to that. If someone is already using Linux, then they are all set, but I just don't see too many people switching to Linux specifically for DX10. If anything, this will definitely help M$ boost Vista sales for gamers (well, for those who don't pirate it instead). It always seems stupid when M$ announces something like this, but I think this is a smart move for them. People have hung on to Windows 98 and Windows 2000 for much longer than M$ wanted them to. They definitely don't want that to happen with XP, and are finding any way possible to force upgrades. Again, all of this just makes me even more content with my XBOX and OS X.
Shizzle my nizzle
28th July 2004
Again, Microsoft are shooting themselves in the foot. What idiots. In their absolute drive to rid the world of non-Microsoft products, they've gone and forced game developers to do double the work for a tiny minority of the computers just to run games on it.
And, of course, DX9 supplies good enough graphics with a decent card for most people anyway.
Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander
26th April 2004
I don't understand.. Since you would need a new DX 10 graphics gard; which must be very good that means you need to have good processor RAM, etc too. So what's the big deal buying Vista then too..
Well maybe bit lame.. But you need to take steps forward.
RikupsoniI don't understand.. Since you would need a new DX 10 graphics gard; which must be very good that means you need to have good processor RAM, etc too. So what's the big deal buying Vista then too..
Well maybe bit lame.. But you need to take steps forward.
It's a form of social engineering, for one. For two, it's a blatant move to push OpenGL (the only other credible major graphics API) out of the market. It may possibly severely accentuate the ATI-nVIDIA differences that we already see today, as well.