Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will be releasing DirectX 11.2 in time for the release of the Xbox One and Windows 8.1. Now for the bad news: The release will only be for Xbox One and Windows 8.1. At the BUILD conference running this week, Microsoft has confirmed that it is continuing to work on DirectX with plans to launch DirectX 11.2 in the near future - and promises of new technology to boot. During a keynote session at the conference, Microsoft's Antoine Leblond showed off a new feature to attendees that promises to increase the amount of detail that can be shown on-screen: tiled resources.
Designed to allow a game to use both system RAM and graphics RAM to store textures, Leblond claimed that tiled resources will enable DirectX 11.2 games to vastly improve the resolution of textures displayed in-game. By way of proof, Leblond showed off a demonstration that used a claimed 9GB of texture data - the majority of which was held in system RAM, rather than graphics RAM. It's a clever trick, and one that could help boost the quality of future PC games - but it's one that will require those who have yet to take the plunge to upgrade their operating systems.
Leblond confirmed that Direct3D 11.2 will be the first version of the API to support tiled resources, and that it will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 on the PC as well as featuring in Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One console. That Microsoft is using an updated version of DirectX as a carrot to encourage those still on Windows 7 or earlier to upgrade should come as no surprise: its predecessor, DirectX 11.1, is a Windows 8 exclusive. The only real surprise is that DirectX 11.2 won't be coming to Windows 8, either, with Microsoft reserving the update for its bleeding-edge Windows 8.1 release due in the autumn.