DirectX 12 was revealed last night promising low-level hardware access previously unavailable to PC development, but Microsoft was vague when talking about what improvements the new API could bring to Xbox One.
Matt Sandy, program manager on the Direct3D team wrote a blog explaining what DX12 hopes to deliver.
"First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization," he explained. "In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects. And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling."
During yesterday's GDC reveal a version of Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 5 was shown running on an Nvidia-powered PC. Turn 10 spent four man-months converting the Xbox One's DX11.x API to an early version of DX12 which could run on a PC.
Sandy explains that this kind of gaming efficiency wasn't possible with earlier versions of DX, and suggests that many of its features are already present in Xbox One.
"Forza Motorsport 5 is an example of a game that pushes the Xbox One to the limit with its fast-paced photorealistic racing experience," wrote Sandy. "Under the hood, Forza achieves this by using the efficient low-level APIs already available on Xbox One today. Traditionally this level of efficiency was only available on console – now, Direct3D 12, even in an alpha state, brings this efficiency to PC and Phone as well. By porting their Xbox One Direct3D 11.X core rendering engine to use Direct3D 12 on PC, Turn 10 was able to bring that console-level efficiency to their PC tech demo."
What exactly DX12 can therefore offer to improve Xbox One titles remains to be seen, although slides during yesterday's presentation noted "benefits of Direct3D 12 will extend to Xbox One".
PC gamers excited by the prospect of Forza 5 will also be disappointed to hear that Microsoft has "no plans to release Forza Motorsport 5, or any other Microsoft Studios Xbox One title on PC", however.
The first DirectX 12 games are being targeted for holiday 2015.
Source: DirectX Developer Blog