Vista-only DirectX 11 API ready to go says Microsoft

That's something that many Game Developers have been waiting for. Microsoft has announced more details of the DirectX 11 at the company's annual GameFest in Seattle.

DirectX 11 will be available sometimes this year - no date has been put forward - and will be compatible with DirectX 10 hardware.

One problem though is that Vista will be a pre-requisite for using DirectX 11 - like DirectX 10 - which rules out thousands of Windows XP users who have resisted moving to a platform that some consider to be amongst the worst gaming OSes ever released by Microsoft.

Amongst the features that are being introduced are a new shader technology that will take advantage of the graphics card as a parallel processor as the possibility of exploiting multi core processors using multi-threaded resource handling plus support for tessallation.

Chris Satchell, Microsoft's Entertainment Business Division CTO, said that DirectX 11 will bring a number of new features to existing DirectX 10 and will hopefully improve the performance of popular games overall.