Microsoft's DirectX 12 Ultimate graphics API seeks to unify Xbox and PC gaming visuals

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

According to Microsoft, DirectX 12 Ultimate hardware, whether it comes in the form of a standalone PC video card or an onboard Xbox Series X GPU, is "guaranteed" to support all next-gen graphics features such as DXR 1.1, Variable Rate Shading, Mesh Shaders, and Sampler Feedback (more details on each of these additions can be found here).

So, that's the future-proofing part of Microsoft's announcement out of the way -- consumers won't have to worry about their DX12 Ultimate hardware becoming outdated (in terms of features; performance is another beast) anytime soon. What about unifying the Xbox and PC ecosystems, though? What does that mean, exactly?

That's where developers come in. Microsoft says DX12 Ultimate will give devs the tools they need to develop great visual experiences for both the Xbox Series X and PC with more ease than before. Ultimate brings all of DX12's upcoming features together in "one common bundle," allowing for more seamless cross-platform content creation. If a graphical leap forward happens on the Xbox Series X, it's likely to make its way to PC fairly quickly, and vice versa.

Microsoft breaks it down as follows:

By unifying the graphics platform across PC and Xbox Series X, DX12 Ultimate serves as a force multiplier for the entire gaming ecosystem. No longer do the cycles operate independently! Instead, they now combine synergistically: when Xbox Series X releases, there will already be many millions of DX12 Ultimate PC graphics cards in the world with the same feature set, catalyzing a rapid adoption of new features, and when Xbox Series X brings a wave of new console gamers, PC will likewise benefit from this vast surge of new DX12 Ultimate capable hardware!

The result? An adrenaline shot to new feature adoption, groundbreaking graphics in the hands of gamers more quickly than ever before!

Whether or not DX12 Ultimate will truly spell the end of the PC's inherent graphical feature superiority remains to be seen. High-end desktops will probably always have the edge over their console counterparts where pure graphical fidelity is concerned, but maybe we'll start to see fewer platform-specific visual features as Microsoft continues to push for parity between its two customer bases.

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erickmendes

TS Evangelist
Nothing can stop the PC Master Race.
Seriously, a custom built gaming rig will always be more powerful then a console, while consoles use similary powered GPUs, simply because you can always spend stupid sums of cash on a better CPU and GPU (or even more than one GPU)... The only way an XBOX could steal some meanningful share from PC gamers would be if it became almost a Windows 10 PC, letting you run Win32 native apps on it, with a keyboard and mouse combo, so you could in theory run any PC game on a XBOX. It got the hardware, it just need the right OS... Then and only then I would give up on my PC to buy a console.

That and a decent NVMe SSD on it.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Nothing can stop the PC Master Race.
Seriously, a custom built gaming rig will always be more powerful then a console, while consoles use similary powered GPUs, simply because you can always spend stupid sums of cash on a better CPU and GPU (or even more than one GPU)... The only way an XBOX could steal some meanningful share from PC gamers would be if it became almost a Windows 10 PC, letting you run Win32 native apps on it, with a keyboard and mouse combo, so you could in theory run any PC game on a XBOX. It got the hardware, it just need the right OS... Then and only then I would give up on my PC to buy a console.

That and a decent NVMe SSD on it.
Can we stop with the PC master race thing. Throwing money at the problem is the least desirable thing about the platform. A majority of PC Gamers have less than mid range rigs. The platform is great because the game library is massive, the platform is customizable, you can do a ton more then just gaming, and so much more then just being faster at the top end.
 

erickmendes

TS Evangelist
Can we stop with the PC master race thing. Throwing money at the problem is the least desirable thing about the platform. A majority of PC Gamers have less than mid range rigs. The platform is great because the game library is massive, the platform is customizable, you can do a ton more then just gaming, and so much more then just being faster at the top end.
Agree with you, my point is that they are trying to sell the new xbox as "more powerful than a gaming PC", when we now it may be more powerful than a mid range gaming PC, but in a couple of years it won't be, also all the benefits you said.
 
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Puiu

TS Evangelist
Can we stop with the PC master race thing. Throwing money at the problem is the least desirable thing about the platform. A majority of PC Gamers have less than mid range rigs. The platform is great because the game library is massive, the platform is customizable, you can do a ton more then just gaming, and so much more then just being faster at the top end.
PC master race will always be a thing.
 
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Nobina

RTX 2080 Ti and iPhone XS MAX 512GB
Can we stop with the PC master race thing. Throwing money at the problem is the least desirable thing about the platform. A majority of PC Gamers have less than mid range rigs. The platform is great because the game library is massive, the platform is customizable, you can do a ton more then just gaming, and so much more then just being faster at the top end.
It can be more expensive but you can upgrade hardware piece by piece and sell old hardware to make it much much easier to afford. You can't upgrade console hardware that way.
 
PC graphics are unpinnable.

By the time Xbox One launches, many PC gamers will be stepping into Nvidia 3000 series GPU.
You mean the majority that is still on < 2000 series GPU ?

Personally, I opted for the minimum current gen GPU when I built my PC recently (4 GB RX 5500) because I plan to upgrade to the next gen GPU next year (RDNA2 or 3000 series), but we‘ll have to see what prices are.

May be a tough sell if mid range GPU cost more than an entire next gen console.

In my case, I‘d have to get the GPU and a new monitor so that‘s even more money.

Console wise I am fine since I already have a 4k hdr tv.
 
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apneaIT

TS Rookie
Nothing can stop the PC Master Race.
Seriously, a custom built gaming rig will always be more powerful then a console, while consoles use similary powered GPUs, simply because you can always spend stupid sums of cash on a better CPU and GPU (or even more than one GPU)... The only way an XBOX could steal some meanningful share from PC gamers would be if it became almost a Windows 10 PC, letting you run Win32 native apps on it, with a keyboard and mouse combo, so you could in theory run any PC game on a XBOX. It got the hardware, it just need the right OS... Then and only then I would give up on my PC to buy a console.

That and a decent NVMe SSD on it.
Well XBOX games basically share same codebase with PC. There is this thing Microsoft pushed which is called UWP some time ago. The idea behind this is that you can run **** on Windows 8 (then) , Whindows phone and XBOX using same code. So whatever you have on XBOX you should be able to play on Win10 , vice-versa works only if the game is done in UWP.
 

Porkous

TS Member
People embark on the old topics the internet has on the matter and are not seeing the new, that is if you actually look, and don't buy hardware just to bring it up nonsensically and off topic across the internet

This is what is interesting "Mesh shaders change this by making geometry processing behave more like compute shaders. Rather than a single function that shades one vertex or one primitive, mesh shaders operate across an entire compute thread group, with access to group shared memory and advanced compute features such as cross-lane wave intrinsics that provide even more fine grained control over actual hardware execution."

How will this cope with AMD's usual prowess
 

Digitalzone

TS Addict
LoL.
PC master race = retard alert
This only means there will be unified API, that is all. The performance will be different and the features shared between both platforms. While there is unified API, it does not mean that API feature used in PC version of game will also be used in console version. Features used on consoles, like upscaling, which are not used on PC cause higher performance, will be in the same API as features not applied on consoles like antialiasing.
 
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NightAntilli

TS Evangelist
Are we somehow forgetting that the XSX is at least as capable as a PC with a Ryzen 7 Zen2 cpu, and at least an RTX 2080? The majority of PC gamers do not have this hardware, and the console will most likely come at a lower price than the RTX 2080 alone. It will be quite a good deal. It is a good thing to have unification between the Xbox and the PC. Consoles are generally the limit of how games are developed. That they have currently been upgraded to modern PC standards is a great thing.
 
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Porkous

TS Member
Are we somehow forgetting that the XSX is at least as capable as a PC with a Ryzen 7 Zen2 cpu, and at least an RTX 2080? The majority of PC gamers do not have this hardware
Yes, the PS4 had graphics of something as AMD 7850-7870, when something in the line of R9 290 (in line with xbox one x performance) was on market, and a cpu as powerful as something of intel atom, or a Q6600 from 2007.

We are about to get the top stack directly, instead of having performance of something like RX5600/Nv1660, we go straight to 2080 and more, with CPU between Ryzen 3600 or intel 9600 with lot more MT performance and a SSD that can act like an actual ram stick. This is unprecedented.

There are new 4k TV's that are also at an unprecedented levels, so the new trends follow up nicely.

edit. Well, the new consoles get something of a beefy GPU, as rx 5700 have 10.3b transistors, consoles have 15b only on the APU itself? not to mention the other tech goodies.
 
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Rdmetz

TS Rookie
Agree with you, my point is that they are trying to sell the new xbox as "more powerful than a gaming PC", when we now it may be more powerful than a mid range gaming PC, but in a couple of years it won't be, also all the benefits you said.
The problem is that the people who tend to go around yelling "master race!!" are the ones with pc barley considered even "mid range" today.

I absolutely believe in the superiority of pc gaming but that's also because I have the superior hardware (2080 ti 9900k nmve 2tb etc) and but I never go around acting like all the kids with their sub 1000 rigs from 4 years ago.

The Xbox is superior hardware to 98% of pc gamers right now and even at launch it will be superior than 90% if not more.

The vast majority of pc gamers are using a gpu from 4 years ago and not all of them will be upgrading as soon as a new gpu comes out.

For many when the time comes up again the Xbox could in fact ofera much better value if your only goal was to be able to game at proper 60+ fps levels and not compromise like the old consoles required you to.

Beating the power of this for the same or less money will take quite some time and I think this generation is going to make the difference ever so much closer to not existing.
 

kira setsu

TS Maniac
I dont play on pc for the graphical edge, I play on pc for the freedom.

*equips shield*
I'm a busy person, and I love single player games but dont have time now as an adult to burn, so I use trainers, judge me all you want but thats my way, I dont deal in multi so im hurting no one, I play for the story and power fantasy now, its my escape.

I'll always own a console cause of friends and exclusives(uncharted anyone) but I'll never be able to use one as my primary gaming machine again cause I've dealt with the freedom of pc.
 
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Wow a lot of Turing features are becoming industry standards, bravo to Nvidia. Just hoping the gaming industry will advance quickly in this time of social distancing and house confinements. Looks like I will have a lot of time off in the next few months to play all the games I wanted to play lol.
 

Privery

TS Rookie
I feel like the case for the xsx is to small to fit beefy cooling for that fast of a gpu and cpu even if they were l liquid cooled.
It must have a lot of fan noise.
 
I feel like the case for the xsx is to small to fit beefy cooling for that fast of a gpu and cpu even if they were l liquid cooled.
It must have a lot of fan noise.
The way everything ist stacked plus a larger vapor change cooler and a large fan could do the job.

There are rather small cases with an upgright orientation (including the mainboard, I.e. the GPU connector us on top) that do a very good job cooling even high end hardware. Forgot the name but I was looking at reviews before building my PC.

So clever design does help, but we‘ll have to wait for reviews.
 
The way everything ist stacked plus a larger vapor change cooler and a large fan could do the job.

There are rather small cases with an upgright orientation (including the mainboard, I.e. the GPU connector us on top) that do a very good job cooling even high end hardware. Forgot the name but I was looking at reviews before building my PC.

So clever design does help, but we‘ll have to wait for reviews.
Probably a copy of the Corsair One design,in which both CPU and GPU AIO radiators being cooled by a single exhaust fan.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Vulkan, I can do anything you can do better then yoooou. Browser spell check, you don't exist. erm I mean playful, no you can't!
 

m3tavision

TS Evangelist
Agree with you, my point is that they are trying to sell the new xbox as "more powerful than a gaming PC", when we now it may be more powerful than a mid range gaming PC, but in a couple of years it won't be, also all the benefits you said.
No, I think that is where the distinction ends.

Nobody is saying they are better than the BEST PC on earth, only that these new rdna2 consoles will better than 90% of people's PCs...
 

bandit8623

TS Addict
Nothing can stop the PC Master Race.
Seriously, a custom built gaming rig will always be more powerful then a console, while consoles use similary powered GPUs, simply because you can always spend stupid sums of cash on a better CPU and GPU (or even more than one GPU)... The only way an XBOX could steal some meanningful share from PC gamers would be if it became almost a Windows 10 PC, letting you run Win32 native apps on it, with a keyboard and mouse combo, so you could in theory run any PC game on a XBOX. It got the hardware, it just need the right OS... Then and only then I would give up on my PC to buy a console.

That and a decent NVMe SSD on it.
this actually just slows pc gaming down more though. sure us pc gamers can run at higher frames, but if they limit pc to the same specs that consoles have, then we wont have ports of games(better graphics). it will just be the same game with same graphics as the console. we wont notice much at first because the specs on the new consoles are decent. but next year and the year after pc gaming will suffer.

the only positive? more games for pc likely since they dont really need to port the games.
 
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erickmendes

TS Evangelist
this actually just slows pc gaming down more though. sure us pc gamers can run at higher frames, but if they limit pc to the same specs that consoles have, then we wont have ports of games(better graphics). it will just be the same game with same graphics as the console. we wont notice much at first because the specs on the new consoles are decent. but next year and the year after pc gaming will suffer.

the only positive? more games for pc likely since they dont really need to port the games.
I agree with you to some degree, since I mainly play Heroes of The Storm, and currently I'm also playing Darksiders Genesis... My point is I have a RTX 2060, still I don't need that graphic power.
 

Rdmetz

TS Rookie
I dont play on pc for the graphical edge, I play on pc for the freedom.

*equips shield*
I'm a busy person, and I love single player games but dont have time now as an adult to burn, so I use trainers, judge me all you want but thats my way, I dont deal in multi so im hurting no one, I play for the story and power fantasy now, its my escape.

I'll always own a console cause of friends and exclusives(uncharted anyone) but I'll never be able to use one as my primary gaming machine again cause I've dealt with the freedom of pc.
No I completely feel you and I too am an older gamer who finds very little enjoyment in getting stomped on by 14 year Olds in pvp focused games.

I also don't have time for the do whatever you want but there's nothing you're hear to accomplish "sandbox" types like ARK and what have you.

They bore me to bits almost immediately.

I love single player action focused games or a open world but heavily focused game like witcher 3 or GTA V.

But my got I is the one and done story driven linear-ish single player games.

I am not above using trainers here either and find it especially nice when a specific feature of a game just isn't worth my time.

I played re2 remake through one time without any help but my 3 other playthrough for all the story angles was done with trainers in hand. Not usually God mode but things like knives that don't wear out or a quick refill of ammo when I'm in a bad spot.

I think they are great for a game where you want to find YOUR level of accomplishment without bending to the will of the devs who are just trying to stretch out a game to justify its price.

That's fine for them to do but so is me cheating my way around all that.
 
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