The developer team behind *text muted* 4 has announced that they are working to bring the technology DirectStorage to PC. Specifically, as of today, PC users with an SSD are not taking advantage of this technology to improve the gaming experience, but that will change in the near future.
Although when Diablo 4 arrived in beta at the end of March, “data miners” discovered clear references to the DirectStorage API from Microsoft in the Blizzard game files. Interestingly, this game has been out almost three months after this beta, but no such technology has been included. Now, a Blizzard spokesperson has finally responded to PC Gamer, telling them that this technology is coming to Diablo IV in the future.
Diablo 4 would become the second game to integrate Microsoft DirectStorage technology
Microsoft DirectStorage originally debuted under the name of Xbox Velocity Architecture on Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. In essence, this technology leverages existing hardware and software to “reinvent the traditional I/O system“. We could summarize it in further reducing load times. Specifically, the function of this API is to allow precise control of I/O queues. All this with optimal prioritization and low latency.
The hardware requirements are very simple. It is simply required to have a PCI-Express 3.0 NVMe SSD forward. Everything else is at the software level. So far, the only game that has integrated this technology has been Forspoken. Game that was a flop in every way, so this technology went under the radar at every level. What’s more, its performance wasn’t even good.
The goal of DirectStorage is that games really use the power and performance of SSDs, especially those that work with the NVMe protocol. These SSDs boast a large bandwidth, width that they want to take advantage of 100%. The benefits are obvious: access time to the game is reduced, games load much faster, and popping is avoided (the loading of textures, especially in very demanding open world games). This technology has started to become popular thanks the consoles Xbox Series X, Series S and PlayStation 5. In essence, the first consoles that have replaced an HDD with an SSD, and on top of that, with an NVMe SSD.
Another section of technology, which is hardware accelerated decompressionwhere the GPU is involved, has not yet been implemented in any game.
The SSD has started to become a mandatory requirement in games
Despite the fact that almost no games include DirectStorage, they all benefit from significant performance improvements when using an SSD. Due to this, several games are already adding the SSD as a mandatory requirement. One of the examples is the first expansion for Cyberpunk 2077, Phantom Liberty. Its requirements change with respect to the original game, leaving support for mechanical hard drives.
On the other hand, perhaps the most anticipated game of this year, Starfield, also requires the use of an SSD. Something that makes a lot of sense when we talk about an open world, with 1,000 visitable planets, and all of this being able to travel from one side of the universe to the other. no waiting load times. Using an HDD would make all this difficult, generating a bottleneck in the system.