Microsoft has announced that Windows Games may soon implement support for the DIrectStorage API. The API, which first appeared on Xbox Series X/S consoles, will allow Windows PC games to utilize the full speed of modern NVMe SSDs and dramatically reduce load times.
Microsoft had announced the API in September 2020, but it’s only now being made available for developers to add to games. Previous APIs allowed games to load resources from your PC’s drive by making a single I/O request at a time, each of which had to be completed before another could be serviced.
It didn’t really make the most of the new NVMe SSDs capable of multi-gigabyte read speeds, meaning game load times didn’t really see much of an improvement. In addition, the games we play often contain compressed data in the resources, which must be decompressed before loading.
Microsoft’s DirectStorage API solves this problem by allowing multiple I/O processes to be used concurrently and by using decompression technologies. This, as you probably guessed, allows games to load much faster. It also allows developers to load larger resources for games as gamers won’t wait due to the faster speeds.
According to a report by XDA Developersthe benefits of the new API will benefit anyone using NVMe SSD storage, and will be even greater if you are using Windows 11.
Microsoft has yet to reveal which games will support the feature, but it’s safe to assume that any title that uses DirectStorage on Xbox will do the same on Windows, albeit after an update the developers will likely release soon.