DX12 Adoption For Xbox One Is A Risk For Large Scale Production, Cross Support With PS4 Is A Factor

If a developer pursues DX12 they’re making a calculated decision to not release their game on the PS4, says Aaron Pollack from Circle 5 Studios.

Posted By | On 19th, Mar. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


dx12

Microsoft’s next iteration of its proprietary graphics API, DirectX 12 has been vastly praised for the improvements it will bring to PC and possibly Xbox One games development. But there is some uncertainty whether developers will adopt it for mass scale production for Xbox One games.

Aaron Pollack from Circle 5 Studios, who is currently working on Primal Carnage: Extinction has shared his thoughts on the potential of DirectX 12 with GamingBolt. He believes that the new iteration is exciting but the big question is whether developers will develop games using it, and while doing so will it mean that they need to take a calculated risk of not launching their game on the PS4, a console that has already sold over 20 million units?

“DirectX is always improving and it’s exciting to see how far it’s come. The biggest catch with it right now is the support fragmentation with PS4. There are around 20 million PS4s on the market right now and if a developer pursues DX they’re making a calculated decision to not release to that user base. Sure, there’s a lot of crossover in the userbase but it’s still a pretty big risk for a large scale production,” he said to GamingBolt.

He then goes to explain the benefits of the new API. “I think the new versions will bring a pretty good benefit provided that the companies like Epic and Unity take advantage of them and developers are willing to either split their visual pipelines or develop with exclusivity in mind. Of course, this issue isn’t just tied to Direct X. This is an issue for developing for a specific set piece of hardware too. If you look at the Uncharted series in the previous generation you can see just how much developers were able to squeeze out of the hardware.”

Pollack’s statements makes a lot of sense. Games development isn’t exactly cheaper and for a multiplatform game, it would require more work to support DX12 for the Xbox One version as well a different code structure for the PS4 version. This may give rise to cross platform code compatibility issues and other nuisances that come along with multiplatform games development. Whether it’s worth is something we cannot comment at the moment since Microsoft hasn’t revealed any Xbox One/DX12 benchmarks yet.

But we will know soon enough as DX12 is scheduled for a launch later this year.


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  • Daniel Lawson

    Are they not already doing this? Only with DX11.3? I fail to see how supporting DX12 is some how going to cause issues with the PS4 they have tools to port code so my guess is porting using DX12 will be even better the only down side for Sony is that developers move from the PS4 as the base platform to Xbox One/PC which is probably going to be good for PS4 in the long run… it is running the same hardware type that the One is running.

    • GHz

      Good point, thats what I was saying cept, I don’t think they are running the same hardware sort of speak. What is crucial here are new features that DX12 supports that most likely wont be supported by the PS4s via hardware. Same reason why AMD and Nvidia need to bring out new graphic cards just to support DX12 in full. Otherwise your hardware will come up short. XB1 on the other hand already full DX12. I spoke about this months ago. I dubbed it the lockout.

  • Daniel Lawson

    Everyone needs to remember that dispite the small differences (GDDR5, ESRAM, More pipes) the two consoles are the same base pieces of technology both are running the same APU with the same GPU… Microsoft simply made a choice of using up space with ESRAM rather then on the GPU and went with DDR3 because DDR4 had issues at launch

    • GHz

      Except that it aint that simple. Everything changes. Even how games are rendered. Software have to evolve to to better exploit hardware. If this wasn’t the case, MSFT, AMD, Nvidia wouldn’t be making a big deal over features and new paradigms in graphic technologies. Going forward some rendering techniques like deferred rendering will be thrown out to make way for more advanced rendering techniques. Thats where hardware support for API’s features come in. Its all about hardware support. That alone can give you the edge if you anticipated the changes to come.

    • Daniel Lawson

      AMD’s 77xx and better all are DX12 hardware… the hardware was made for DX12

    • GHz

      Yes AMD sits on the board that that oversees DX12 development, but AMD themselves don’t control how MSFT modified and implemented it. That is MSFT’s job because it’s their tech. There were features that DX12 supported that was hidden from AMD. That’s what AMD themselves said. That means that it mustve been true that MS was more than a customer to AMD in that they were were given permission to modify AMD tech to fit their needs for the XB1 and DX12. Meaning MSFT have their own labs within AMD, that operate independent from AMD. That is the only way you can have an AMD GPU inside XB1 and still have features HIDDEN from AMD themselves. You follow? MS paid big money to AMD so that they(MSFT) can implement their tech with AMD GPU’s to better fit their needs and goals.

      if AMD themselves came forward and said that they don’t know all of DX12s hidden features a few months back, that means those GPU’s you mention above aren’t full DX12 compatible. With XB1 being MSFT’s own creation, they most likely had implemented hardware that will support DX12 in full and so keep it competitive feature wise, to the upcoming NEW GPUs from AMD and Nvidia. MSFT said from the get go, that DX12 was exclusive to XB1 and PC, and its for a reason. Its all about supported features via hardware.

    • Boilrig

      Uh what?

      AMD simply supplied a custom chip for Microsoft to use in their Xbox, like they did for the Xbox 360. There isn’t any hidden features within the chip they use. Microsoft simply made the Xbox One and has it powered by a custom AMD chip. DirectX12 is reliant on the graphic card of PC and the custom AMD chip. Thats all.

      The thing is, we already know DirectX 12 won’t actually help XB1 as much as people think, but most likely see around 20-50% performance increase on PC, as pointed out by the articles over the last month.

    • GHz

      Youre half right. AMD supplied the chips NOT the modifications. How we know? Because AMD admitted to not knowing the additional features DX12 would unlock via hardware. That knowledge was timed to be revealed on a later date. Only then, AMD and Nvidia would know how to go forward in implementing the necessary hardware changes in their NEW line of GPU’s to fully exploit all features in DX12. In other words, you can make a GPU card that fully compatible with DX12 IF you don’t know all of DX12 features. MS withheld that info. Those features were not discussed, they were hidden from view.To withhold something is to hide something. Hidden features. Plain english.

      As far as how DX12 will help XB1, leave that up to the games to show. Anyway you look at it, we’re going to be looking at some pretty advanced looking games. We dont need a % count on that. And that goes for what’s in store for PS4 too when Sony opens the lid on how they will compete with DX12. I cannot wait see. Competition is sweet.

  • Failz

    Let gaming become one while let those who choose to game else miss out. Enjoy there greatness waiting.

  • Matt

    OpenGl and DX are the only APIs devs have to code for to become universal over PC and consoles. It’s really a non-issue… if they want those revenue channels then they will have to plan accordingly.

    OpenGL = Linux/PS4/Windows PC
    DX = XB1/Windows PC

    Notice how coding for both APIs nets 4 potential platforms they could release on… and thats not even mentioning mobile.

  • Gaikai

    10 millions.. fine let’s say 15 millions xbox ones and 10 million PC’s that are up to date and can run high end DX12 games and 30 million PS4 sold by the time DX12 comes out so It’s 30 millions PS4’s vs 25 million PC’s and xbox ones combined, which platform will developers choose? again this isn’t accurate it’s just a theory

    • Failz

      Except DX12 allows for less powerful PCs to run high end games. Lets change that PC number to atleast 50 million add another 15+ million X1s and there my little fanboy you have domination.

    • Gaikai

      50 millions? You are very delusional and crazy to think that 50 millions steam users have gaming rigs or even mid end computers most of them have low end PC’s or laptops, and you still need a decent PC to run new games even with DX12 is not magic you know…

    • Boilrig

      Not every PC gamer uses Steam, but even going off the hardware survey that Steam provides, it states that only around 5% of Steam runs off IntelHD Graphics and that 33% of Steam users have 1GB of Graphics, and 22% have 2GB. You are looking at around 50% of Steam users with proper graphic cards or laptops with proper graphics.

      So more like 40+ Million having an above console computer. DX12 is all about lower overhead and communication, so those subpar PCs or average PCs will operate better on DX12 optimized games.

    • Axe99

      Unless something’s changed a heap, they’re ridiculous numbers. I had a look at the actual data (by individual graphics cards) about 6 months ago, and at that stage around a third of Steam users had machines at around the same level as the current-gen consoles, and around a quarter had machines that were clearly above. A substantial proportion had machines that were comparable in power/performance (from a gaming perspective) the the PS3/360!

      That said, on this issue, most publishers and devs don’t go “do we pick this stack of 50 million or that stack of 30 million” – they do both! If they’re using an engine that’ll compile to both then it won’t be a problem at all – it’s not like all the major engines won’t support games being compiled to suit the PS4’s OS and the XB1s. It’d be only those studios making their own engines for DX12, that really pushed the tech, that’d have to worry, and that’s not going to be too many.

    • Boilrig

      You have to take in account that hardware prices are dropping and we are seeing an increase in PC sales and building. The whole PS4/XboxOne thing won’t actually matter, as games will be developed for both anyway.

    • Axe99

      Oh aye, but it’s the drop in hardware prices that matters for numbers – the number of PC builders is tiny relative to the installed base of Steam, GOG or any of the recent consoles. It’s a very ‘loud on the internet’ group, but they’re the elite but small vanguard of PC gaming, not the minority.

      But as you say, and as I said, very few engines are only going to compile for DX12 and not for PS4, so the whole article is a bit silly.

    • Failz

      DX12 also benefits older Hardware and a company will be foolish not to include PCs as one of there primary choices of gaming, and with X1 selling well its a no brainer. 2 for the price of 1 plus DX12 is going to be the better choice for APIs. Expect games design around it and PS4 getting the ports.

    • Failz

      Guinness Book of Records 2013
      You try to hard fanboy.

    • trfe

      50 million steam users sounds low considering there are 1 billion PCs in the world.

    • Failz
    • ♔King_Sims♔

      50m pcs? No. There isn’t really a way of calculating the number of people that play on pc.

    • RadApples

      What you are forgetting in your argument is that PCs also utilize OpenGL/Vulcan so that can account for either camp. Not to mention Linux and Mac gamers require OpenGL and although they are the minority it still has to be considered especially with Valve pushing Linux.

    • GHz

      How you got 50 upvotes on something so inaccurate is beyond me. You missed the point of this tech completely. The goal is the support for a wealth of form factors, devices that are yet to be released = adaption rate fresh out the factory. Thats where the money is. We’re talking about all those new devices from phones to a top end rig that will be DX12 compatible. The idea here is about scalability in how you develop games/apps w/o having to worry about what kind of graphic card is in your device. That is the inevitable end goal. One code for all. That is a very lucrative place to be if MSFT can pull it off. Not only do you have access to a larger audience but the value of dvlpmnt cost skyrockets because of the time you save.That is the reward for going full DX12. This guy is talking about the risk which is alienating a 20m PS4 install base if you decide to go FULL DX12. The alternative is not to support FULL dx12 and just keep doing things the old way to support cross platform games as is. I personally dont think that is going to be a problem because parity can be achieved in that space. So devs will going to be living in that DX11.3 space for a good minute. DX12 will be for the more ambitious 3rd party Devs, and of course the 1st party devs. + high game sales depends on a wealth of factors not just high install base. There is such a thing where a game sells more on a platform that have a lower install base. The idea here is not wanting to alienate to better maximise sales goal.

    • trfe

      You think there are 10 million pc users? Wow. Way off.

      I just googled it and there are… 1 BILLION pc users.

    • Gaikai

      Learn to read please, I said 10 miilon ‘steam’ user with ‘high end gaming rigs’ There are only 100 million steam user and probably only 10% of them have a super computer to run the lates games

    • trfe

      Nope. You did not. See your post below. How about you get a clue. You don’t even know what you wrote in your own post. Show me where it says “steam users”?

      “10 millions.. fine let’s say 15 millions xbox ones and 10 million PC’s that are up to date and can run high end DX12 games and 30 million PS4 sold by the time DX12 comes out so It’s 30 millions PS4’s vs 25 million PC’s and xbox ones combined, which platform will developers choose? again this isn’t accurate it’s just a theory”

    • Triton

      Even a mediocre PC is better than a PS4 already and DX12 will make an even bigger difference on every Windows 10 PC.

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      More like 50 million PC’s, moron.

      Do the math :^)

  • JerkDaNERD7

    I really don’t care, as long as XOne exclusives get those innovative rendering features to good use I’m a happy gamer. Either way Microsoft put so much money into it’s design that major publishers don’t need to code their game for those feature sets. Hardware in itself is more than capable for most developers. If anything I doubt Rise of The Tomb Raider is going to be the last game for Microsoft to take advantage of and have em’ support it for XOne.

  • Raj Sanghera

    will dx12 make the new esram api and ddr3 stronger than ps4’s gddr5? And will multiplat devs adopt dx12? Does the x1 have future proof gpu in it? When will the nda be lifted from microsoft? They spent 3 billion for a reason right? PLEASE ANSWER

    • Triton

      Yes, yes, we dont know yet, in June, yes.

  • OMGitsSexyChase

    Are you guys retarded? The Xbox one and PC currently use Dx while the Ps4 uses opengl….literally nothing will change. Dx12 isn’t going to magically take more time to develop for, and neither is the Ps4. They will keep on keeping on just as they have been doing.

    • Failz

      It means any game using DX12 will run better on PC and X1 since they have dedicated hardware to utilize it. Expect PS4 ports to still run the games but with less efficiency. Just like how titles today run better on PS4. Definitely a game changing.

  • Raj Sanghera

    will dx12 make the new esram api and ddr3 stronger than ps4’s gddr5? And will multiplat devs adopt dx12? Also does x1 have a future gpu? When will nda be lifted? PLEASE ANSWER

  • Jeremy Jez Welton

    I think third parties will have to either look at an exclusivity deal with Microsoft, or Microsoft are going to have to really utilise their in-house developers to show just how beneficial DX12 is to gain more interest in their console. Regardless, DX12 is actually making this generation of gaming a little bit more interesting.

  • DLConspiracy//

    I am curious to see how gamers are going to react when they can purchase a PC for about the same price or a little bit more only it will run games way better than current gen consoles. Will this mean PC will eventually outgrow consoles? I mean if people are arguing over graphics and frames. It may just be around the corner.

    • Lennox

      Hard to say. If it wasn’t for consoles, gaming would still be a niche hobby. But consoles allow for affordable gaming. If you could possibly run the latest games on a $600 PC better than consoles then it could be an attractive proposition.

    • DLConspiracy//

      Oh I love consoles. There is a lot of nostalgia with them. That’s why I still play them, but if people are tearing their hair out over resolution and frames.. it could get interesting. I never thought I would like PC gaming as much till I started doing it though.

  • This Guy

    Ok forgive me as I’m not as knowledgeable of game development as all the arm-chair Kojima’s on these boards, but doesn’t the X1 already use DX? As for PC gaming, aren’t the majority of PC games written in DX? So what would be the big commitment with DX12 adoption? I don’t remember a big developer’s conference being held to universally decide to use DX11 when it was released. Personally since it’s supposed to make cross development between X1 and PC easier then it sounds like a no-brainer for those that use DX already. Also if the claims are true that it will be able to allow lesser hardware to run the games, than that sounds like a larger install base for the devs to sell to.

    Am I looking at this the wrong way?

  • Sheldon Prescott

    I’ll just assume that DX12 wont be used on multiplat games and MAINLY on MS exclusives games, cause you know…parity smh.

    • Lennox

      Huh? Its most likely going to be used on muliplats. All or most multiplats go to PC also. So since its that easy to port from PC to X1 to many other windows 10 devices, they would be stupid not to use it. In some cases games have taken a day to port. It takes weeks and months off of development time.

    • Failz

      Its the best API coming to the market so expect heaps of companies to utilize it.

  • trfe

    How many users do the Xbox one and PC have? A few more than 20 million I’d say…

    • Failz

      More like over 100million+

  • Failz

    There is no risk. Games will still come out on PS4 only catch is they wont have the slightly better version anymore since its hardware isnt compatible with DX12 meaning more pressure on its hardware will be needed to achieve the same visual quality of its Rival which is built around it.

    And of the day, those who brought there console for hardware advantages are just stupid and this is an easy lesson to learn. DO NOT LISTEN TO MARKETING especially since the same company last gen try to do the same thing and failed.

    DX12 is the best API coming to the market so expect companies to jump on board especially since Engines like UNITY and UNREAL 4 utilize it and the fact you have 2 big gaming markets to take advantage of.

  • GHz

    @talreyami @AMDRadeon There is a time and a place for everything….— DirectX 12 (@DirectX12) March 5, 2015

    @Blight7 Oh, we know. :)— DirectX 12 (@DirectX12) March 11, 2015

    Just released slides!!! 😀

    • Boilrig

      And what are you trying to point out? Just the fact that the slide puts Consoles below laptops and above tablets is saying a lot.

    • Triton

      Its just a list and it only states what devices are DX12 ready, not in what grade DX12 will boost performance.
      If your stupid assumption were correct, cheap gaming rigs would benefit more than extreme gaming rigs.

    • GHz

      Thanks for explaining it to him. 🙂

  • MaddogPepper

    Complete and utter rhubarb – developers already use DX11 and release on PS4 so why would using DX12 exclude PS4?

    • kma99

      They dont use direct x on ps4 they use a rendition of it.

    • MaddogPepper

      They use a version of OpenGL on PS4 I believe, DirectX is an MS only technology. I meant that devs are already developing in two different technologies so why would switching from DX11 to DX 12 make any difference?

  • NaughtyOttsel

    Cry Xbots cry.

    • kma99

      Cry sheep.

    • NaughtyOttsel

      Why would I cry?

      Have all 4.

    • kma99

      You came in here to troll instead of playing with your consoles. You’re crying about something.

    • NaughtyOttsel

      Nope, I’m laughing 😀

    • kma99

      no you’re not you’re crying

    • NaughtyOttsel

      Oh trust me, I can’t stop laughing.

    • NaughtyOttsel22

      Sounds like you’re crying.

    • kma99

      To grown to cry i just like pushing you idiots button’s

  • nashathedog

    The blokes an idiot, There’s already different code structures for X-box and PS4. The difference is they’ll have to learn the differences between DX 12 and DX11 which there already using and therefore any differences for going cross platform. But there won’t be a big difference to how much has to be done when going cross platform once they know the tech. Sure it’s use will gradually increase, It won’t suddenly be all they use, But they will slowly cross over to using the newer api, Think about it, They still make games on the DX9 api even now, Don’t they ?

  • Pops

    They are going to adapt in a heart beat.build it on PC then just simple port to xbox.ps4 is the one that’ll have to be optimized


 

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