DirectX 12 Lights Up NVIDIA’s Maxwell Launch

Our mission in the DirectX team is to provide the best graphics API in the world and have it work on as many graphics cards as possible.  To do this, we work very closely with game developers and graphics hardware vendors. So, when one of our close partners invites us to an event, we’re always happy to participate. 

Last week, at the NVIDIA Editor's Day keynote, Max McMullen, our development lead, unveiled the result of a great partnership between Epic, NVIDIA, and Microsoft.  

Awesome Hardware + Awesome Engine + Awesome API  + You = Awesome Games.


Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 has been used to ship more than 350 PC and console games.  Epic's Unreal Engine 4 is even more powerful, scalable, and accessible.  Also, it features an entirely new open model of development – any developer can access the engine’s complete source, along with great sample content by purchasing a UE4 subscription.

The DirectX team was inspired by Epic’s unprecedented open development model. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a DirectX 12 version of UE4 that was developed in a similarly open manner using the GitHub community?  We shared this idea with Epic, and they were enthusiastic about giving UE4 developers the opportunity to use the same familiar path to get a head start on DX12 development, contribute back to the community, and even influence the final design of DX12!

Those of you who saw our presentation at GDC 2014 may recall that NVIDIA announced Epic’s commitment to support DX12 in UE4.  So naturally, when we told NVIDIA about our plans to partner with Epic and develop in an open manner, NVIDIA enthusiastically agreed to pull out all the stops to support our effort.   

Developing an API requires working in a graphics stack where many pieces are constantly changing: the graphics kernel, hardware specific kernel drivers, the API, hardware specific user-mode drivers, and the app itself.  Adding new features and fixing bugs in such an environment requires the owners of each piece to work together in real-time to solve problems together.  For several months, NVIDIA’s engineers worked closely with us in a zero-latency environment.  When we encountered bugs, NVIDIA was right there with us to help investigate.  When we needed new driver features to make something run, NVIDIA set an aggressive implementation date and then met that date.

The result of this intense collaboration?  


Elemental and Infiltrator running beautifully on DX12 on Maxwell at NVIDIA’s Editor’s Day.  Best of all, we announced that UE4 developers can now benefit from this effort:  UE4 subscribers who are accepted into the DX12 early access program will receive source access to the alpha DX12 version of UE4!  Developers who want to be the first to bring their UE4 games to DX12 now have everything they need to get started, including building and running the exact Elemental demo that was featured in the keynote on their own Maxwell cards!

How do we know DirectX 12 on Unreal Engine 4 is ready for game developers? 

At E3 this year, Microsoft showed off “Fable Legends” for Xbox One, a new take on the RPG franchise’s well-loved world of magic, humor and high adventure.  Fable Legends’ stunning visuals were created using Unreal Engine 4, so, we asked our friends at Lionhead if they’d do a bit of experimentation with us. The resulting tech demo created by Lionhead showcases the rich, immersive graphics of Albion that are possible with DX12 and Maxwell.

You can see the full video here.  In addition to the demos, Max also discussed new hardware features supported by both DX11.3 and DX12, which you can see here.

Next up…your game?

We are always excited to share some of the progress we’ve made with our partners.  There is much left to do, however:  final features to be added, bugs to be fixed, optimizations to be made, and content to be ported.  If you think your game can help us shape DX12 to be the best graphics API, and you want to see your game showcased to the world as an example of amazing graphics, now is the time to join our early access program.

We’ve got cool things in the pipeline that we’ll be sharing in the coming months, so stay tuned to this site and follow us @DirectX12 for all the latest!



Apply for DirectX 12 early access

Unreal Engine 4

Comments (17)

  1. CdTCzech says:

    Is there any way to join early access if I'm student and working in non game company, but I have UE4 subscription for 5 months.

  2. lookoutbelow says:

    So… does this mean we're getting Fable: Legends on PC?

  3. haha no says:

    Well I sure hope not Xbox needs to keep there exclusives

  4. Alessio T says:

    Wait, wait wait…

    Give us more detail's about 11.3 HW&OS support please….

  5. Dev says:

    Will this be supported in XNA 5?

    It's a top User Voice request:…/3725445-xna-5

  6. Unknown says:

    So is Microsoft going to make any new games for PC, with all this new tech? Or will you just keep on re-releasing old games?

  7. Nobody says:

    "So naturally, when we told NVIDIA about our plans to partner with Epic and develop in an open manner…"

    I don't like it when specific hardware vendor does optimizations, features and bug fixing! At least, tell me that you did invite Intel and AMD to work with Epic as well?

  8. D3D12 optimized for Maxwell... says:

    "I don't like it when specific hardware vendor does optimizations, features and bug fixing! At least, tell me that you did invite Intel and AMD to work with Epic as well?"


  9. Maxwell says:

    is the way to go, suck it AMD peasants.

  10. To answer some of the questions:

    Early access for students:  At this time we're focused on inviting developers with a track record of making games to help us make sure the API is awesome. Once the API is finalized, we will open it up to students/hobbyists.

    What about other graphics card vendors:  We're working very hard with NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD and do our best to give them all the same opportunities.  Stay tuned, there will be more on this in the very near future

    PC Games: Any announcement of PC Games will come from the makers of those games, we're just focused on making awesome graphics technology for everyone who wishes to write PC games

  11. Mike_Avelar says:

    This stuff makes me wish I was a better programmer…

  12. CloDel says:

    Very Excited, can't wait to started with this, thanks for the chance of Early Access 🙂

  13. SpaceWrpD says:




  14. Samrobmoe says:

    Aewsome, glad Dx12 is going to backwards compatible, was worrying when I got a GTX860m laptops.

    Also, am I the only person who thinks the first image looks kinda gears of war like?

  15. KnightTechDev says:

    I use both AMD and NVIDIA products, and currently I run AMD with Gigabyte using Unreal Engine 4 but also using NVIDIA technology on the same platform with Windows 8.1, along with the more recent ATI Omega Driver.

    ATI used to accel for their performance and early pioneering of these type of computer graphics and with OpenGL and then we have the modern DirectX today which has come along nicely and the improvements of OpenGL as well.

    ATI Came out as Array Technologies Inc. in 1985 and manufacture of innovative 3D graphics and digital media silicon solutions as a pioneer.

    NVIDIA was founded in 1993

    NVIDIA is great for physics and now has increased performance and a good architecture.

    Unreal Engine does have the best business model I think, as it's not just affordable and available, but you learn what you need to know and how to get desired results from start to finish on product without having to worry about so much complications due to complicated licensing and higher costs.

    It's great to see the new DirectX version coming out with possibility of a revised availability.

    DirectX provides a suite of tools especially great for entertainment and media formats such as for gaming.

    It may turn out to be sourced in a manner such as Unreal Engine 4 is and source code available via GitHUB., if true, then DirectX may end up being vastely improved from here on and packed with many features never before seen as time goes on and within a much shorter period than the default and standard operating system release dates, if it follows the progress in recent advancements last year as Unreal Engine has had being more available and more open to a wider range of people, then it may also enable better compatibility and stability for more devices amongst various platforms.

  16. Pretty Sad says:

    Reading the article does not give me the feeling that any of what you are doing is open! You, Microsoft are completely biased towards NVIDIA. This is very sad. Hope it comes back and bites you hard.

  17. Trelawney says:

    @pretty sad – You do realise that Xbox is based upon AMD GPU right? Given its key for Direct X12 support, how an earth can you say they are nVidia biased.. hardly true!

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