Cyberpunk 2077 confirmed to be a DirectX 12 exclusive on PC

midian182

Posts: 5,854   +48
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Why it matters: What we’ve seen of Cyberpunk 2077 looks amazing, with gorgeous graphics and real-time ray tracing, but the prettiness comes at a cost: the PC version will be a DirectX 12-only title. That spells bad news for those with old graphics cards or who still use Windows 8.

The news came from CD Projekt Red’s lead graphics programmer, Marcin Gollent, during an interview with German tech site PC Games Hardware.

Support for DirectX 12, which enables the likes of ray tracing and variable rate shading, was added to Windows 7 last year—despite the venerable OS reaching its end of extended support date in January. Gollent said the company continues to test Cyberpunk 2077 on Windows 7 to hunt down and fix any bugs. The operating system is found on 27 percent of PCs, whereas Windows 8, which does not support DirectX 12, has a 3.5 percent market share.

The other potential problem with DirectX 12 exclusivity is that those with aging graphics cards are out of luck. Anyone with a card from within the last five years or so should be okay, and most of those older than that would struggle to play Cyberpunk 2077, anyway.

Gollent said there were two reasons why the game was made a DirectX 12 exclusive: “Firstly, it is the standard API for the Xbox platforms, and with the game also coming to Xbox One, we naturally wanted to have it implemented as soon as possible. Secondly, it is the birthplace of DXR, and given we had plans to invest in DXR very early on, that made the choice to go with DX12 a pretty straightforward one.”

Focusing on a single graphics API sounds like it could be a good idea, and should allow CD Projekt Red to push DirectX 12 to its limits. But we have seen games ship with DirectX 12 issues in the past, and with no DirectX 11 or Vulkan API support, let’s hope the launch goes smoothly. But given the extra time put into its development, and the fact this will be one of the biggest games in years, it would be surprising if there were any major DirectX 12-related issues.

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neeyik

Posts: 1,117   +1,099
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Considering CD Projekt are making this for Stadia (which uses Vulkan), and the PlayStation 4 (which uses neither DX12 nor Vulkan), they can't really say it's a DX12 exclusive :)
 
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sorten

Posts: 23   +29
TechSpot Elite
For gamers, the OS share is quite a bit different. The latest Steam survey shows 91% on Windows 10 64-bit and 6% on Windows 7 64-bit. I think they've made a good decision to focus on one API for the PC platform.
 
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poohbear

Posts: 455   +334
FINALLY! DX12 was released in 2015 and despite all its promises we never really got a game that lived up to all those promises... 5 years later and it's finally happening!
 

Aryassen

Posts: 35   +43
I also think it is a good move: someone somewhere must have drawn a line. DX12 is here for 5 years, it's about damn time to take it seriously. Having a single API should lead to better utilisation of said API, and easier support...hopefully...fingers crossed!
 

gamerk2

Posts: 398   +275
FINALLY! DX12 was released in 2015 and despite all its promises we never really got a game that lived up to all those promises... 5 years later and it's finally happening!
Because DX12 is a PITA to program for versus DX11; having to manually deal with the graphics pipeline and memory management is a pain to do, and very hard to do well (hence all the games with lousy DX12 performance).

We'll see if CDPR breaks the trend of crap DX12 releases.,
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,759   +1,625
Because DX12 is a PITA to program for versus DX11; having to manually deal with the graphics pipeline and memory management is a pain to do, and very hard to do well (hence all the games with lousy DX12 performance).

We'll see if CDPR breaks the trend of crap DX12 releases.,
But it was developers asking for that access! They cannot complain when they specifically wanted that access so they could get more out of hardware...
 

Lounds

Posts: 488   +367
Obviously Vulkan is better for CPU load and multitasking but DX12 is definitely a massive improvement over DX11, so 6 core+ CPUs should definitely benefit from this move.
 
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gamerk2

Posts: 398   +275
Obviously Vulkan is better for CPU load and multitasking but DX12 is definitely a massive improvement over DX11, so 6 core+ CPUs should definitely benefit from this move.
Technically, both are just as good when used correctly. It's just a general pain to manage the GPU pipeline in a way that's better then the automatic management that's been done for literally over a decade prior. DX12 also has *much* more support tools then Vulkan does, which is why Vulkan hasn't really taken off (aside from the few studios who were previously using OGL).
 

deemon

Posts: 310   +98
FINALLY! DX12 was released in 2015 and despite all its promises we never really got a game that lived up to all those promises... 5 years later and it's finally happening!
DX12 is redundant legacy crap and there is no reason whatsoever to ever use that, now when we have Vulkan.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,902   +2,271
But it was developers asking for that access! They cannot complain when they specifically wanted that access so they could get more out of hardware...
There is a differenc between having access and having to code in that access constantly. Like, I can use command prompt on windows 10, but I dont have to use it all the time.

DX12 would be like using command prompt all the time because its "closer to the software" or whatever. It takes years before good tools to use the API are ready, I dont know why so many people are surprised it took 5 years, DX 11 sat around for longer then that before getting widespread game adoption, and that was built on the already existing DX10.
 

Burty117

Posts: 3,759   +1,625
There is a differenc between having access and having to code in that access constantly. Like, I can use command prompt on windows 10, but I dont have to use it all the time.
That's exactly what they wanted and that's exactly the same level of Hardware access they've had to consoles since the start of time.
DX12 would be like using command prompt all the time because its "closer to the software" or whatever. It takes years before good tools to use the API are ready, I dont know why so many people are surprised it took 5 years, DX 11 sat around for longer then that before getting widespread game adoption, and that was built on the already existing DX10.
No doubt, just like consoles where they get the most out of it towards the end of the consoles life span as they've mastered the hardware. In this case it's mastering the API.

I'm honestly quite excited to see more games being DX12 or Vulkan only. The developers have far less excuses now for bad performance, I remember quite a few interviews with Devs back in the Xbox 360/PS3 days and it was always "the driver overhead stops us from doing blah blah blah" or "the DX API doesn't allow for this kind of workload"...