When Microsoft first announced the Xbox Series X/S consoles, DirectStorage technology was also announced, paving the way for speedier loading times and better game performance. Now roughly 18 months later, DirectStorage has officially come to PC following months of testing.
Microsoft announced that DirectStorage would come to PC last year – the feature won't be limited to Windows 11 either, as the API also works on Windows 10. As of today, the API is available to game developers, so we should see the first games supporting it on both console and PC later this year.
In most PC systems, when a game is loaded from the storage drive where it’s installed, the CPU and RAM are responsible for decompressing the data. Once it finishes, the data is sent to the GPU. With DirectStorage, things work differently. Instead, the system moves game data directly from the storage drive to the GPU, moving the decompression step from the CPU to the GPU.
Microsoft has yet to announce any PC games supporting DirectStorage, but we would anticipate some first-party titles will be updated with it. At the very least, we should see Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite get this update sometime this year. It should become more common for newly released titles from the second half of 2022 onwards.
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KitGuru Says: It will be interesting to see some before/after comparisons once DirectStorage becomes more widely supported on PC.