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DX9 is dead
Friday, January 7, 2011 | Permalink

Speaking of the state of hardware, Just Cause 2 was kind of early to dump WinXP/DX9 and go DX10 exclusive back in March. I argued back then that this was the right thing to do, despite that at the time a relatively large group of people would not be able to play the game on their systems. I estimated it to 40% in this post from February. Today I would estimate it at maybe 15-20% given 25% left on WinXP of which a number of low-end systems (DX8, SM2.0 etc) would not be able to play a DX9 version anyway. Of course, it's also questionable if those SM3.0 cards would be able to render anything at an acceptable framerate given a DX9 version. Such a version would pretty much only exist for those on XP with DX10 cards, which would be about 10-15% of the market.

In the case of JC2 the decision to go DX10 exclusive for PC was actually made already back in early 2008. A radical move indeed, and given the slow adoption of Vista I suppose it was a good thing that the game got delayed, which of course happened for entirely different reasons, but having the game released some time after Windows 7 certainly helped make JC2 on PC available to a wider audience.

Today of course the situation is different. You'd be crazy to spend development effort on supporting DX9. It's great to see our friends over at DICE reaching the same conclusion. The amount of flexibility you have in DX10 over DX9 is huge, in addition to the performance advantages. You can simply make a better game if you focus on DX10 and above. When it was revealed that JC2 would only support DX10 this created quite a lot of criticism. Once the demo was released though almost all such criticism pretty much instantly went away. The result was speaking for itself.

[ 6 comments | Last comment by BK (2011-03-29 23:52:27) ]