DirectX12 allows for better use between multiple CPU cores – Xbox One already has an API for implementing DX12

Xbox One Console 2 controllers

Since Microsoft first revealed DirectX 12 at GDC way back in March, there has been quite the kerfuffle in regards to whether or not the Xbox One would be the primary beneficiary, or whether it would even see the benefits of the new API, as its hardware is already set in stone. And for the most part, those who remain skeptical (whether for sensible or malicious reasonings) can make a reasonable argument… Or so it was assumed. After the DX12 announcement, we learned that the API wouldn’t be seeing a public release until late 2015, and combining that “release date” with the fact that the Xbox One’s hardware specs are already locked down for the entirety of its life cycle, it made sense for someone on the outside to question how an API that’s releasing 2 years after the console will lead to any sort of benefit for said console.

Well, Wolfgang Engel, former lead graphics programmer for Rockstar’s RAGE group turned CEO and co-founder of Confetti (a middleware company that specializes in developing solutions for global illumination, Sky dome and Post FX systems) recently gave his thoughts on DX12 and how it will affect the Xbox One’s capabilities.

I like it. It’s great and it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise the bar again. It works with the same piece of hardware, so it’s the same CPU and the same GPU, and certainly we have much more CPU time to spend.

The workload on the CPU decreases substantially, because you can utilize better the cores of the CPU. In this way you are less likely to be CPU limited. One of the cool features of modern games is that we have physics, and they have been traditionally implemented on the CPU and as a game developer you have to go back and ask ‘do I have to spend 40% of my CPU time’ on rendering or ‘can I reduce this so that I can use it for physics’ and this is one of the things that DirectX 12 allows you. This makes sure that the developers can get more out of the existing hardware.

AMD’s Mantle is also going in the same direction and has the same structural idea, reducing CPU time so that it can be free up for other tasks. One CPU usage case is multiple GPU set ups which is kind of an interesting development because when you have multiple GPUs, say two GPUs, you would not expect to be actually CPU limited. But now the CPU has to feed two GPUs which are really fast, suddenly your CPU becomes the bottleneck. DirectX 12 and Mantle are resolving that situation.

We already know that DX 12 will have a fairly strong impact on PC gaming when it launches late next year, but will it have the same technical impact on the Xbox One? Interestingly, Engel revealed that, “The Xbox One already has an API which is similar to DirectX 12. So Microsoft implemented a driver that is similar to DirectX 12 already on the Xbox One.”

Is it a straight yes/no answer? No. But it does back up what I, and many others, have stated multiple times in the past – that Microsoft built their console around an API that they weren’t ready to release. Was that their best decision? Probably not, but both the market and competition demanded that they release new hardware, and in order to remain relevant, Microsoft answered the call for new hardware, but left room to later implement the API they’ve spent the past 8 years developing.

We won’t truly see what this means for the Xbox One until next year, but with several of Microsoft’s first-party developers launching their first 8th-gen. titles in 2015, it’s a safe assumption to expect those titles to be the first real testaments to whether or not the newest installment of the API that Xbox is named after will actually affect the console’s performance.

My take? Expect Halo 5: Guardians to be the demonstration that everyone has been clamoring for. It’s still a ways off, but when you consider what developers are achieving without the Xbox One’s intended API, I believe that we’re fine for the time being. If it takes another year for Microsoft to finish polishing their interface, I say let them. You can’t rush perfection.

What are your thoughts on the same? Let us know in the comments.

[via, GaminBolt]

  • Slickst3r

    So Halo 5 is being released at the end of 2015 does this mean it will take advantage of DX 12?

    • TomDobo

      More than likely. They probably get their hands on it first as it’s the main franchise. Halo 5: Guardians will more than likely run 1080p/900p 60fps. And will be a benchmark in graphics.

      • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

        I see with DX12 it could be in 1080p

        • TomDobo

          Either way I’m not bothered about resolution. I just hope they reach 60fps with graphics that will wow us all.

          • Jackassassin

            I concur.

      • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

        Bonnie Ross has already said it’d be in 1080p/60fps with dedicated servers. :D

        • TomDobo

          I’ve just jizzed all over my controller hearing that. Can’t wait to play a Halo game this year (Not spartan assault).

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            Picks or you’re a filthy casual!!!!
















































            /s

          • TomDobo

            Haha my controller has sticky buttons.

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            ;D Now it does

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE
    • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

      Microsoft’s first-party developers/programmers will have access to DX12′s benefits long before anyone else. Picture it like a development kit for any console. The Xbox One had software built for it the day it released, and that software was in development for years before the product actually reached retail shelves.

      Same thing for DX12. This is one of the many reasons why I’ve been wanting Halo 5 to come out in 2015 instead of 2014. Not only would it give 343i a window to get H2A (or The Master Chief Collection) out, but it will also give them multiple years of DX12 dev time.

      If I were a betting man, I’d put money on 343i being the first to get DX12 assets, with Lionhead and Black Tusk coming in 2nd/3rd.

      • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

        Pretty much. I also expect to see something from Rare

        • bizzy gie

          They just wrapped up Rivals. They probably won’t have anything until E3 2015.

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

      • bizzy gie

        DX12 launches AFTER Halo 5, a game that’s already been in development for years.

        • Jackassassin

          I’m pretty sure Microsoft said something about being able to easily port DX11 titles to DX12, using Forza 5 as an example at the Build conference.

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

            Yup! Forgot about that!

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

          Yeah. Just like people can’t develop for the Xbox One and PS4 until after the console releases. Nobody on the planet has the API before it’s on retail shelves.

          Must be nice being that blissfully ignorant.

          • bizzy gie

            That doesn’t make sense. The launch date of PS4 and Xbox One are for us, the consumers.

            Pretty much only developers will be using DX12. It’s not like when it launches, the common Joe can go pick it up from a Best Buy.

            Only devs will use it. If most devs get it early, what’s the point of saying it launches in late 2015?

            And if they do have it early, they don’t have the finalized version because it still has a long way to go before it’s finished.

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            You’re misunderstanding. Microsoft’s first/second-party developers will have access to this way before anyone else (probably already do to some extent). Then, like general consumers, everyone else will have access to it for general application.

            The product will launch in late 2015 for everyone. Anyone will be able to code for it at that point. But Microsoft is first in line to its own party, and gets in early because it is its own party.

            Do you really not understand how this works? That’s like saying a musician won’t be at the concert venue until he’s on stage. Like saying a movie isn’t viewable until it’s in theaters or on BluRay.

            - _ – Come on bro…

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

            You expect to much.

          • bizzy gie

            Like I stated (and you COMPLETELY missed), an API launch date isn’t like a PS4 or movie or concert date.

            While it will be open a broader public, only big developers will use it.

            I don’t see 2D sidescrolling indie devs needing DX12.

            But okay. Ignore EVERYTHING you just read. That means nothing.

            Let’s say you’re right. MS’ own devs get the API a year or two earlier.
            Then what is MS doing? They can’t be working on the API because that means devs don’t have the full version of it. It’s not as developed as it will be when late 2015 gets here.

            That’s like giving someone The Division now. It’d probably be full of bugs and glitches and undeveloped parts.

            DX12 isn’t complete. If it is, what is MS waiting for? Launch the API.

        • Bugboymike

          Seriously? Are you pretending to be this stupid?

      • Bugboymike

        I agree, it would be ridiculous to think developers can only start developing games for dx12 after it gets released. Anyone who thinks that really has no brain cells at all.

  • Delfy Nunez

    Good, 343i will most likely use this with Halo 5.
    Off topic: Will I be able to watch Microsoft’s E3 presentation on my Xbox one?
    I know I could on the 360.

    • TomDobo

      I asked this question the other week. You will be able to as it’s Xbox related. Maybe not through a live event player but twitch has rights to stream E3 so you’ll be able to watch it through the app on your Xbone :D

      • Delfy Nunez

        I see, hopefully it is in HD on Twitter.

    • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

      I’m going to watch all three on my Wii U :)

    • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

      You should be able to. Twitch has signed some deal to become one of the official outlets to stream the stuff, and since Twitch is on Xbox One, I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.

    • Jackassassin

      Maybe they’ll come out with a sort of “Live Event Player” app for the XO a few days in advance.

      • Bugboymike

        I do wish there was an app on the xbone that just showed live gaming events of the best players on the planet….

  • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

    Nice, so 1080p games from the Xbox One in the future? Cool, also I want to show you guys something I’ve been working on EXCLUSIVELY for the Xbox One, so far I’ve only been working on this for a week so not much has been done and I’m helping my older brother with his work so I’ll be updating somewhere in August. But here is some box art (Note: It’s not final yet, neither is my company name/logo)

    • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

      So you’re an aspiring indie dev too? Nice! Me/my brother/roommate are just beginning the work on what we’re calling our “tech demo.”

      We recently figured out that the codename we were running with is “already taken” so we’re in the process of rebranding all the secret social networks that we’ve got scattered around. ;D

      What engine are you guys working in? (if you don’t mind my asking)

      • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

        Cryengine 4 (Or 3.5 to be correct) and it will hopefully be running in 1080p at at least 30 fps. I’m keeping it a close secret for now but its basically a mix of two different eras mixed together with some Open World and TPS elements mixed in as well. Think of The Order 1886 but for the Xbox One and is set in an open world.

        • Remi82

          Hey I wish you the best with that. I hope it turns out awesome

          • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

            Thank you.

          • Jackassassin

            Didn’t know you had it in ya! Guarantee you have my support, friendly!

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

          Badass! Cryengine was one of the finalists for what we were deciding to look into, but we opted for Unreal 4. My roommate has a few contacts within Microsoft who hooked us up, so that was really the deciding factor.

          You should definitely keep me/us up to date. Always interested in other indies’ work. :)

          • Remi82

            Same goes for you red! Keep us in the loop

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            I will whenever I’ve got anything to announce. It’ll be a while though. We’re still in the prototyping stages. We only just now got the engine sorted out. lol :)

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

            . _. well…

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            I know…

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

            #supersecret ;D

          • Dylan Oelke

            Wait. U know how to code?

          • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

            I don’t. I’m an artist. Roommate is the programmer. :)

          • RadApples

            Programmer checking in. You summoned me?

          • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

            Since it’s only me actually doing the game for now, I’ll probably contact Microsoft later on when I finally get the models and environment sorted.

    • Captain Destruction93

      Hey you should definately shoot a message to Francis at Playeressence.com when you feel like revealing more, he can probably give your game an article/shout out.

    • TomDobo

      Day one purchase for me (I have too much money haha). Like to show support to fellow indie devs.

    • Delfy Nunez

      Awesome, I’ll make sure to support you guys. Can’t wait to see gameplay of it :D

  • Jackassassin

    Call me an ass***e hypocrite for completely going off-topic, but I’m too much of a TotalBiscuit fan to let this go unnoticed.

    • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

      Call me an asshole, but I really hate strongly dislike that brit. I love his Used Games video, but everything else? No, he’s a fucking dick.

      Sucks that he has cancer, but he’s still a royal cunt.

      • Dylan Oelke

        Damn dude. Idk who tht is but dude. The c word is a.bit too far

      • Jackassassin

        How so? I always thought acting like a royal c*** was part of his act, acknowledging himself as “the cynical brit”, but it sounds like you’re referring to something rather specific.

        I’m not as much of a TotalBiscuit fan as I said I was, so I’m not sure what it was exactly that he did to make you feel that way…

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

          I just have a problem with the way he presents himself, as well as his cock-wavy PC Elitism.

          I mean, when you run with 2 Nvidia Geforce GTX TITANs and 32GBs of 2133MHz GSkill RipjawsX… That’s you asking me to dislike you.

          • Jackassassin

            xD

      • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

        Yeah… Kind of totally agree. Doesn’t mean I want him to have cancer, but he’s still kind of a douche.

    • https://www.imthegoddamnbatman.com Gamer Mania

      I never really liked TotalBiscuit because of my mixed opinions about him but doesn’t mean I can’t feel bad about how the guy got cancer. I hope he does well.

    • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

      Call me a total asshole, but am I the only one who finds it kind of ironic that he has cancer? . _. I mean, he feeds a lot of people who are cancerous to this industry…

  • bizzy gie

    Halo 5 won’t utilize DX12. It’s generally close to being done and launches before DX12 does.

    Engel’s comments give us nothing more than what we’ve had before.

    Will DX12 benefit Xbox One?

    Xbox One’s API is close to DX12.

    That’s not an answer by any means.

    Let’s hope Mantle and DX12 help these consoles. I’m so sick of PC elitists especially with the close release of Watch_Dogs. They’re EVERYWHERE.

    • Slickst3r

      Both the DX 12 and Halo 5 are going to be released at the end of 2015 so what makes you think that Halo 5 wont utilize the DX 12?

      • bizzy gie

        No. DX12 is releasing at the end of 2015 in the holiday season.

        Halo 5 launches in Fall.

        • Slickst3r

          LMAO!!! Halo always gets released in November they could push the release date a little you know?

    • TomDobo

      343i will have microsofts latest tech. Got my watchdogs almost 3 hours ago and it’s awesome.

      • bizzy gie

        I don’t get it until a few weeks from now. I’ve never been excited for a game for so long.

        Then everybody started to hate it or not care anymore while I still remained excited. And now it’s turning out to be a very fun game for people (even though they still want to cry about the graphics).

        Did you get it on your PS4 for that exclusive content?

        • TomDobo

          Got it on Xbox one so I could play with friends. Also if this article is true I might be able to get my hands on the exclusive missions. http://www.videogamer.com/ps4/watch_dogs/news/playstation-exclusive_watch_dogs_missions_are_only_timed_exclusive_2.html

          • bizzy gie

            That article isn’t true. The content will be permanently exclusive like the AC4 exclusive content.

            Oh well.

            I should know that you buy all your games on Xbox One and only play PS4 for exclusives since you’re an Xbox guy. :p

          • Bugboymike

            I saw some steaming of watchdogs on twitch, it looks ok to me? Getting 7 or 8′s on the major review sites. I’ll pick it up when it gets cheaper!

          • TomDobo

            In fact I’m buying a PS4 next month because I live with my girlfriend and I only get to play my brothers ps4 a few times a week so I’ll be mixing the 3rd party’s up. But I’ll keep getting CoD and BF for Xbox. To play with friends.

    • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

      Only you (well, not only you… Extreme Derp/PS4lol/whatever account he decides to use today is also a candidate) could believe that Microsoft wouldn’t let their own studios work with their API before it goes public.

      Stay classy bro!

      • bizzy gie

        We’ll see, but Halo 5 is almost done. I’d like to believe it has been in development for at least 3 years now. Maybe more.

        I think wave 3 games will utilize DX12, but no wave 2 games.

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly

          Almost done? It’s releasing in 1.5 years. I wouldn’t call that “almost done.”

          And if it was in development for 3 years, that would put it at development before Halo 4 launched… Come on dude.

          • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

            Well, technically Halo 5 was in development before Halo 4 launched, but it was just a little over a month, so it’s not like they got much of anything done except maybe the planning the development agenda, story arch, concept art … stuff like that.

          • bizzy gie

            Games have been developed along side each other. This is an old practice.

            Come on dude.

            It also looked like they thought they’d be done this year which means they can’t have THAT much more to do.

            More game is finished than is not. I doubt DX12 will be utilized by Guardians.

      • ps4lol

        I’ve never said that. Good job making up strawmen though.

        Considering you believe in misterxturd’s nonsense anything you say about tech is safe to ignore. You can’t even keep straight who said what.

        Btw, according to bkilian on direct3d, an MS employee who worked on the audio design of the Xbox One, Xbox One wasn’t designed with DX12 in mind.

        Microsoft has never claimed Xbox One was “designed with DX12 in mind”, it’s conspiracy theories by fanboys.

        • https://www.youtube.com/ButtonBros TheRedButterfly
          • ps4lol

            That has NOTHING to do with Xbox One was “designed with DX12 in mind”.

        • Jackassassin

          Nope. Dumb, wrong, malicious, fanboy shill. Go eat your crow. You’re constantly wrong, as usual.

          • ps4lol

            Sorry, the “no u” response doesn’t work past kindergarten, apparently your level.

          • Jackassassin

            Least I got a bit of an education – something you lack.

            I’m sorry, I can’t help but laugh at the thought of your reaction to that comment of mine. I’m still cracking up! Gotta admit, it made you smile a little.

        • Bugboymike

          According to bob, who know robs second cousin jack who is the cousin of someone who knows someone who knows someone at Microsoft ……

    • Jackassassin

      “Let’s hope Mantle and DX12 help these consoles. I’m so sick of PC elitists especially with the close release of Watch_Dogs. They’re EVERYWHERE.”

      Made me think of this:

      • http://youtube.com/bluSPECTRE bluSPECTRE

        not gonna lie, that immediately made me think of this

  • jfelts

    Anyone else having this issue with the Android app? Some of the text goes black, making it hard to read.