Why it matters: DirectStorage is one of several attractive features destined for Windows 11. Up until this point, we’d been led to believe that the tech, which was originally created for the Xbox Series X/S, would be a Windows 11 exclusive. As it turns out, that isn’t the case at all. It might not be as speedy as the Windows 11 implementation, but at least Microsoft is catering to its existing user base and developer partners.
Microsoft program manager Hassan Uraizee said the company is committed to ensuring that when developers adopt a new API, they can reach as many gamers as possible with it. As such, games built to utilize the DirectStorage SDK will also be compatible with Windows 10, version 1901 and newer, just like with the DirectX 12 Agility SDK.
Microsoft’s DirectStorage tech is all about maximizing the performance of local storage by providing an enhanced link between storage and the GPU. Specifically, it provides a batched-style submission / completion calling pattern, “relieving apps from the need to individually manage thousands of IO requests/completion notifications per second.” A later preview will also enable GPU decompression to improve load times.
One notable difference between the implementation on Windows 10 and Windows 11 has to do with the storage stack. With Windows 11, DirectStorage will have access to an upgraded OS storage stack to unlock the tech’s full potential but on Windows 10, it’ll have to make use of the legacy OS storage stack.