On the Xe architecture in the 12th generation Core processors, as well as on the Arc A-series discrete graphics cards on the Arc Alchemist architecture, there will be no built-in support for DirectX 9 (DX9), instead the company plans to implement emulation thanks to DirectX 12.

The support page on the Intel website now notifies that emulation will be implemented via Microsoft’s open source D3D9On12 library. DirectX 9 graphics commands in Windows 10 and 11 will be routed to D3D9On12, whereas previously they were routed to the Intel graphics driver.

So while modern Intel GPUs won’t have dedicated drivers for older DX9-only games like Unreal Tournament, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Team Fortress 2, users will be able to run them. Although no one guarantees that there will be no errors during the game.

However, Intel points out that there are very few games that still work exclusively on DX9, and it is unlikely that anyone will decide to develop new ones based on such an old API.

On the other hand, ditching the DX9 drivers should help Intel focus on optimizing the drivers for DirectX 11. The company admits that its Arc GPUs perform slower in games with DX11, noting that this is due to their poor optimization, since they were developed under old APIs with AMD and NVIDIA hardware in mind.