1. DirectX 10. Without a doubt, Vista’s support for DirectX 10 is the primary reason why gaming in the Windows environment will transcend gamers’ wildest dreams and far exceed the visual quality of even the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. “When DX10 games come out, the end result will be a significant increase in visual fidelity,” said Microsoft’s Donahue.
This means a marked increase in the number of objects and/or characters on the screen at a time, as well as dramatic impact on the level of background detail trees, water, stars in outdoor and indoor environments. It also means, for example, that characters’ clothing and fur will flap in the wind. Based on the early gameplay screenshots released for DX10 games such as Crysis, the impact of this new version of DirectX is quite clear even at a glance. (See the comparative scenes from Age of Conan: The Hyborian Adventures below.)
This increase in graphical quality is the result of a number of enhancements in DirectX 10 code, operations and resulting capabilities. As an example, a brand-new shader model (Version 4.0) in DX10 allows for more detailed and nuanced 3-D graphics. More »