The AMD-Powered PS4 Is Taking Benefit, As Well As The PC
Surprisingly, the PlayStation 4 is already taking benefit of asynchronous shaders, thanks to the AMD APU powering it. Battlefield 4, Infamous: Second Son, and The Tomorrow Children all use this new technology, as well as the Mantle-powered version of Thief on the PC.
DirectX 12 - Again
Welcome back, DX12. AMD reiterated at the end of its event the importance of DirectX 12, as there is so much render time saved thanks to the new API. The saved render time can increase both the FPS and reduce the latency in one fell swoop.
But it's not only DirectX 12 that should get all of the credit, as we also have APIs like Vulkan and Mantle to look forward to in the future. All of these will benefit gamers, as we move toward a much more powerful future for PC and VR gaming.
Overall, I was impressed with what AMD had on show for us in Sydney. I was hoping for some Fiji-based Radeon R9 390X action, but I knew it wouldn't be happening - a man can dream, can't he? AMD really impressed me with the announcement of asynchronous shaders, which should do some really great things for the PC and VR markets as they continue to grow.
The PC market has been in quicksand ever since the control of game development shifted over to the consoles, and game developers should be ashamed of themselves because of it. NVIDIA and AMD need to also take some of that blame, with both companies looking for an exit right now in DirectX 12. But, we won't be seeing the fruits of this labor until proper DX12-based engines come out.
This won't happen until late 2016, or 2017 - but the future is there. For us to see the true potential of DirectX 12, asynchronous shaders, and all of this additional power from our CPUs and GPUs, we need proper DirectX 12-based game engines running on DirectX 12, with Windows 10. The benefits of DirectX 12 will not be fully realized with DX11 games running on DX12, and while code paths and some fancy coding will help, it won't change things, yet.
VR is going to be a driving force of moving development away from consoles and into the PC again, as we're going to start, very rapidly, moving toward 4K and beyond - with 8K in our sights already. Oculus VR's founder and tech god Palmer Luckey has said that we will begin to fully realize the world of VR once we hit 8K screens in VR and it won't stop there.
Rendering 8K is going to be incredibly hard, much harder than it is to render 4K on a single GPU right now. We can't do this with games being developed on consoles, which is where DX12, asynchronous shaders, and next-gen GPUs will come in handy. AMD has simply teased what it has in store for us, with the biggest benefit being that any GCN-powered hardware will receive the new improvements. This means that AMD has provided additional performance, for free, for its existing range of hardware.
The future of gaming is being realized, with AMD at the forefront of this with its various technologies. It's an exciting time to not only be a gamer, but a technology and hardware enthusiast. With companies like AMD working its collective butts off around the world, how can we not get excited?
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