With the new DirectStorage technology taken from the Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, Windows 11 promises faster game loading times.
Windows 11 is already available, and there are a slew of new features to look forward to. With Windows 11, PC gaming received a huge boost in addition to a slew of productivity enhancements. The main highlights are the Xbox Game Pass app, which is incorporated into the system, and Microsoft’s efforts to bring more games to PC gamers. However, Windows 11 has cleverly copied some brilliant features from Xbox platforms.
Sarah Bond, CVP of Xbox, disclosed during the Windows 11 presentation that Windows 11 has borrowed certain technology from the Xbox Series X/S that allows it to enhance game loading times. It’s known as DirectStorage technology, and it’s a feature included on the most recent Xbox consoles.
DirectStorage in Windows 11 improves game loading times.
DirectStorage is built on the Xbox Velocity Architecture, which intelligently allocates specific game assets to the GPU. As a result, when you launch a game that supports this technology, the most detailed maps in any game will load faster, according to Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft claims that players can expect “lightning fast” loading times, a claim that gamers must verify.
However, existing PCs will not always be able to use DirectStorage technology as soon as Windows 11 is released. Microsoft has stated that your PC will require appropriate hardware and drivers in order to support the technology. According to the official blog, ““DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to allow this wonderful experience.”
Microsoft did state that some of this specialized hardware requires high-speed NVMe SSD storage on PCs, among other things. As a result, gamers who want to take use of this technology may have to wait months for it to be released. Microsoft makes no mention of whether games must be DirectStorage optimized. It also doesn’t specify whether this technology would be limited to Microsoft Store games.
We’ve seen these technologies in work on the Xbox Series X, and as a gamer, I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a difference this makes to PC gaming. To improve the playing experience, Windows 11 will render old DirectX 11 games in HDR rather as SDR. As a result, players can expect a “much larger range of brightness values and colors, giving the image an added sense of richness and depth,” according to the press release.