DirectX 11.2 Introduces 'Tiled Resources' ... Exclusive to Windows 8.1 and Next-Gen Consoles
Back in November, we reported that DirectX 11.1 requires Windows 8, but for most gamers, there was no compelling reason to upgrade just for that. With the recent announcement of DirectX 11.2, that may change. DirectX 11.2 adds a new feature called "tiled resources" that combines system RAM and VRAM to store textures – similarly to how integrated solutions borrow RAM. By doing so, game developers can present a striking amount of detail. In fact, a demonstration by Microsoft's Antoine Leblond supposedly used 9GB of texture data. DirectX 11.2 does offer additional improvements as well, which NeoGAF user LukasTaves conveniently listed here.
Sadly, like the previous DirectX 11.1, DirectX 11.2 will not be making its way to Windows 7 or earlier. In fact, it's only being made available on Windows 8.1, not even vanilla Windows 8. It will also be included with the Xbox One and Microsoft hasn't ruled out the possibility of it being made available for the PlayStation 4 as well (though I doubt it). What this means is that, by the end of the year, PC gamers may have a very compelling reason to finally make the jump to the oft criticized Windows 8, especially if developers start utilizing the tiled resources feature in next-gen, cross-platform games. Most PC gamers have a minimum of 8GB RAM, which usually goes largely unused in gaming, so this feature may be quite the game changer if utilized to its fullest extent. Besides, the rather impressive Project Spark is going to be a Windows 8 exclusive as well, so Microsoft is certainly enticing gamers to upgrade – for better or for worse.