Microsoft unveiled that the DirectStorage API featured in the Xbox Series X is coming to Windows, which could theoretically eliminate load times if paired with an NVMe SSD.
Microsoft is attempting to get the development preview of DirectStorage to developers next year. Here's what we know about it so far.
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What we know about DirectStorage
In a developer blog (opens in new tab), Microsoft explains that while current NVMe SSDs are able to load chunks relatively fast, they're still bottlenecked by current APIs. Meanwhile, the DirectStorage API would maximize the performance of NVMe SSDs. There's a lot of jargon here, but this is how Microsoft explains it:
"It does this in several ways: by reducing per-request NVMe overhead, enabling batched many-at-a-time parallel IO requests which can be efficiently fed to the GPU, and giving games finer grain control over when they get notified of IO request completion instead of having to react to every tiny IO completion."
To translate, this process would allow for minimal load times and bring larger and more detailed worlds that are designed to load as fast as your character can move. Thus, Microsoft has stated that NVMe is the "storage technology of choice" for next-gen games.
This is meant to roll out to developers sometime next year, so PC games will soon eventually benefit from the fruits of Xbox Series X's labor.