DirectStorage, a feature of the Xbox Series X which allows for fast load times and more detailed worlds, is now available for PC developers to take advantage of in their games.
Starting today, Windows games can ship with DirectStorage. DirectStorage essentially allows for massive amounts of data to be streamed from a solid-state directly to the GPU, without forcing the CPU to decompress it first.
“This public SDK release begins a new era of fast load times and detailed worlds in PC games by allowing developers to more fully utilize the speed of the latest storage devices,” according to Microsoft.
Microsoft recommends that players upgrade to Windows 11, as although DirectStorage is compatible with Windows 10, “Windows 11 has the latest storage optimizations built-in and is our recommended path for gaming.” according to Microsoft.
Forspoken - The Game Awards 2021 trailer
One of the first games that will take advantage of the technology is the recently delayed Forspoken.
At the Game Developers Conference later in March, developer Luminous Productions is scheduled to host a talk about how they plan to implement the technology into the game, however, it’ll be some time before players will be able to see it in practice now that the game won’t launch until October.
Hyperfast loading has been a hallmark of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, with games like Insomniac‘s superhero epic Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales boasting fast-travel load times of only a few seconds.
On the Microsoft side, Quick Resume, which allows players to instantly jump back into saved states of multiple games from the dashboard without having to completely reload the game, also takes advantage of this technology.
While fast loading times on PC have been a feature for a long time, developers can now incorporate this tech into game design, something seen in Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart which saw the players soaring through multiple dimensions with no visible loading.