DirectStorage 1.1, the technology for decompressing game resources with the help of a video card, which Microsoft introduced back in 2020 for Xbox Series X (and promised to bring it to PC a little later in the same year), should soon finally appear on Windows 10 / 11, according to company representative.
First version of DirectStorage API on PC as Developer Preview appeared back in the summer, and it focused on improving data transfer so that the API could properly use the much higher bandwidth of NVMe drives — but resource decompression was still performed on the CPU.
In turn, the DirectStorage 1.1 update finally introduces the long-awaited GPU decompression feature to the API. In this way, you can significantly speed up the process of loading games – in its blog, Microsoft gives an example of loading a scene, which is performed three times faster on the GPU than on the CPU.
For decompression on the GPU, the GDeflate format is used, developed by NVIDIA, with which Microsoft cooperated in the creation of DirectStorage 1.1. However, this method will not be “exclusive” to NVIDIA video cards. It will also work on GPUs from other vendors after they add support for it to their drivers. AMD and Intel have already released relevant statements.
Microsoft assures that it is already completing development and plans to release DirectStorage 1.1 to developers by the end of this year. After that, the question is only about its support in games, and the developers are not in a hurry with this yet. Yes, it was previously reported that support for this API will appear in Forspoken, but the game was pushed to the beginning of 2023. Also, Scorn developers announced support for DirectStorage – the game just came out on Steam, but it turns out they only meant the Xbox Series S|X version.
There was a misunderstanding on my behalf and I made an error on my response here. To confirm, Direct Storage is only available via Xbox! I apologise for the confusion.
— Scorn (@scorn_game) October 12, 2022