Stardock CEO Brad Wardell, in an interview that he gave on the Inner Circle Podcast, gave us an interesting glimpse of what's in store for us with DirectX 12. He suggested that when we finally witness games using DirectX 12, we won't be able to look DirectX 11 games the same way and the main reason for this is the difference in the lighting. No more will the hardware be limited by the API, as DirectX 12 will allow developers to use thousands of light sources simultaneously. Nvidia and AMD cards are capable of doing this, but so far they were limited by the API, DirectX 12 will alleviate that.
Stardock CEO Brad Wardell Claims that with DirectX 12, it Will Be Possible to Reach 300-500% in CPU Optimization
He mentions that claims of the PS4 and Xbox One being like mid-range PCs, are false and he characterises both consoles as "monsters" and that so far there wasn't a game that was really taxing on either hardware. The reason that the Xbox One, gets lower resolution in some games, is that developers need to use more specific code for it, and being in a hurry to release their game, they fail to optimize it more properly.
Current games will not see any benefit and only titles designed to be CPU bound will benefit though. The game's engine will have to be able to use DirectX 12 effectively and if it's designed to work in parallel it will benefit immensely. He goes to explain that games with thousands of characters on screen, or a massive number of laser shots casting light, are often CPU-bound, something that was true in the case of Assassin's Creed Unity as Ubisoft themselves mentioned.
Although first generation of DirectX 12 games, will only see a 10 to 20% boost because they are written for DirectX 11 and updated to support DirectX 12. We will have to wait until new engines are written directly for DirectX 12, to witness the real benefits. He claims that this will happen within the lifetime of the current consoles and believes that we will be playing games that look like The Lord of The Rings: Return of the King, by the end of this console generation.
His belief is that we forget the specs of the PS4 and Xbox One. They have eight cores, eight gigabytes of ram and 64 bits and games can access all of those resources. As time goes by more and more access will be granted to them, with new APIs. Deferred lighting we'll be seen at the end of this generation the same way we look at sprites now. No matter if you're on Playstation or Xbox, the games from the beginning of this generation are going to look so dated, compared to what we'll be available at the end of the cycle and he claims that they will look like movies. There will be thousands of NPCs running around at the same time and current games will look empty and stale in comparison.
In closing he hints at something "crazy" being worked on by AMD, which begs the question what is it about? Perhaps a new console as it has been hinted before, maybe for Nintendo. There has been a statement made by Nintendo themselves, that both their new console and handheld will feature AMD hardware. AMD sometime following Nintendo's statement, confirmed that they are developing a new GPU, for a big console manufacturer. Is this for Nintendo or a completely new player. Or perhaps even an old contender, could make a return. We have to wait and see but I do hope that there is some exciting big reveal at this year's E3.