Ever since its announcement, DirectX 10 has been one of the most anticipated developments in PC gaming since the move from 2D sprites to fully 3D polygonal bad-guys. By completely redesigning its venerable Application Programming Interface (API), Microsoft is promising better than ever effects, a more streamlined programming methodology and improved performance. All of which is meant to lead to better looking, more stable, less hardware limited games. However, we all know that this hasn't yet proved to be the case.
Immature hardware drivers, a lack of games, and enough (Vista) bugs to make even Bear Grylls think twice has meant that seven months since Vista launched, and a full nine months since the first DX10 capable graphics card arrived, we have yet on TrustedReviews to look at what DX10 truly has to offer. But, after umpteen driver revisions and a whole slew of Vista patches, we finally feel that performance, stability and game choice is sufficient to warrant a first glimpse at both the visual improvements and supposed boost in performance we can expect this new platform to provide.
Before I dive into the game comparisons though, I'll just elaborate on what this DirectX malarkey is, what's so different about the latest version, and perhaps most importantly, why it's only available on Windows Vista.
To start talking about DirectX it is essential to explain what exactly an Application Programming Interface is. Basically, an API, as the name suggests, is an interface for writing software that interacts with another piece of software, an operating system, or a piece of hardware. So you get APIs for the Windows operating system, the Playstation, and even Photoshop. They can be as simple as defining the procedure for writing an add-on for Firefox or as complicated as setting out the methodology for writing games for the Xbox 360. Speaking of which, did you know that the Xbox is so named because it was originally codenamed the DirectXBox?