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AMD: DirectX Comments Taken Out of Context

By - Source: CRN | B 33 comments

AMD is performing damage control, announcing its full support for DirectX after last week's interview with Richard Huddy.

Just over a week after AMD's worldwide developer relations manager of its GPU division, Richard Huddy,  spoke out against DirectX and other APIs, the company now says that it supports DirectX and that the previous comments were taken out of context and exaggerated. While that may be true, Huddy's latest interview with CRN-- along with senior director of ISV relations at AMD Neal Robison--also comes across as damage control.

"The [Bit-tech] interview started off being about OpenGL, and the way APIs are developed," Huddy said. "Obviously there’s pressure from Microsoft on hardware vendors to develop DirectX in a variety of ways. We spend a great deal of time getting feedback from game developers in the early phase of our hardware development, for products that are two or three years away from going to market."

The previous interview claimed that developers want the API to "go away," that it's getting in the way of creating some truly amazing graphics. Huddy himself was even quoted saying that developers have admitted this in conversations. But in this latest interview, he said that only a handful of high-end gaming developers were looking to bypass DirectX and code directly to hardware.

"It’s not something most developers want," he said. "If you held a vote among developers, they would go for DirectX or OpenGL, because it's a great platform. It’s hard to crash a machine with Direct X, as there’s lots of protection to make sure the game isn’t taking down the machine, which is certainly rare especially compared to ten or fifteen years ago. Stability is the reason why you wouldn’t want to move away from Direct X, and differentiation is why you might want to."

"We saw some of the chaos before DirectX coalesced the industry,” Robison added. "In the past there were all kinds of APIs developers had to worry about."

Later on in the interview, Huddy revealed that there's a division starting to take place in the gaming industry: those that want to stick with DirectX and other APIs, and those that want to move on in another direction. He even provided an example, saying that developers like DICE have highly-tuned, efficient rendering machines that rely on DirectX. Then there are developers like Crytek who literally sell hardware because they seemingly develop for technologies in the future, and could actually bypass an API.

"Many people are still shipping DirectX 9 games, which is still a perfectly reasonable way to go," Huddy admitted. "As hardware vendors we want to keep bringing out new hardware that produces something visually exciting. We want to be able to innovate. In the feedback we’re getting, some say 'move on from Direct X' and some say 'DX is absolutely the right place to play.'"

He also said that the comment about developers wanting the API to "go away" shouldn't be taken literally. Instead, APIs and middleware need to be innovative and adapt with evolving software code as well as GPU hardware, essentially taking "a different form."

Unlike the first interview, Huddy's follow-up to the Bit-Tech interview is rather lengthy. To get the full four-page dose, head here.

Discuss
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  • 4 Hide
    Trialsking , March 25, 2011 7:59 PM
    Quote:
    Then there are developers like Crytek who literally sell hardware because they seemingly develop for technologies in the future, and could actually bypass an API.


    Like developing a console port that only supports DX9 in 2011, when Crysis 1 from 3.5 yrs ago had DX10.
  • 0 Hide
    osxsier , March 25, 2011 8:10 PM
    ha! So true...hence why I wont be buying Crysis 2. Im no EA fan, but at least the DICE guys are focusing on the PC.

    So my hard earned money will be going to Battlefield 3. It looks amazing and with the return of 64 player support, I already put in my pre-order.
  • 0 Hide
    scook9 , March 25, 2011 8:33 PM
    Crysis 2 was made in DX9 as that is ALL THAT THE CONSOLES CAN HANDLE

    They have already said that DX11 will be there for the PC with hardware that can take advantage of DX11 effects
  • 4 Hide
    nebun , March 25, 2011 8:58 PM
    stop developing for consoles and then porting to PC....this is where a lot of the developers go wrong....i am sure it's cheaper and easier to do but it's not good for progress
  • 0 Hide
    ano , March 25, 2011 9:21 PM
    Well, at least John Carmack strongly disagrees with Mr. Huddy!
  • 0 Hide
    longshotthe1st , March 25, 2011 9:39 PM
    C.R.E.A.M.
  • -1 Hide
    K2N hater , March 25, 2011 10:41 PM
    Microsoft is commited with Xbox, not PC games. See the reason of the flaming on DirectX? Video card makers are doomed and they know it. Their last hope is OpenGL which doesn't seem to get love from game developers.
  • 1 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , March 25, 2011 10:43 PM
    Hah... Damage control. That's probably my favorite term of all time when it comes to just about everything.
  • 0 Hide
    schmich , March 25, 2011 11:27 PM
    Taken out of context? Who didn't think that to start with? (except the authors on news sites like this one)
  • 1 Hide
    memadmax , March 26, 2011 12:19 AM
    It's no secret that direct access to the GPU is the fastest way to go. DirectX is... in my opinion, For mid to low end graphics/mid/low end games. I believe that DirectX was originally intended to get up starters to develop games, the more games the better, TONS of games(But they are Grade B games). That way Microsoft got more indirect marketing/exposure.
  • 1 Hide
    jrtolson , March 26, 2011 12:20 AM
    that huddy guys is absolutley right, years ago direct x did conform the pc gaming industry to a set standard.. i have never been a fan of direct3d tho as i think opengl is/was a better api.. but in this age.. Direct x is hindering the graphics card makers, for eg many times we have seen nvidia and Ati add features that have never been supported in games as support for them was never in direct 3d, for example ati truform was a tesselation engine developed in the direct x 8 era... as powerful as truform was it was never included in games.. this is the reason i think opengl was/is better because it can allow developers to add support the open source api.. (aka doom 3).. now in direct x 11 finally tesselation is supported but truform is not.. must be so fustrating for developers

    we should all format our pc's and purge microsoft bloat forever lol
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , March 26, 2011 12:39 AM
    nebunstop developing for consoles and then porting to PC....this is where a lot of the developers go wrong....i am sure it's cheaper and easier to do but it's not good for progress

    its great for progress, the devs make more money so that the CAN progress. otherwise if all they released were high end dx11 titles only they would make no money and not be around for long. You obviously have no idea of the cost and time involved in making a game, especially when you overcomplicate the graphics.
    jrtolsonwe should all format our pc's and purge microsoft bloat forever lol

    and move to apple bloat? or mainstram ubuntu linux bloat. anything that is easy to use and is compatable with numerous hardware configs is going to be bloat unfortunately.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2011 12:44 AM
    Long live Glide!
  • 0 Hide
    Djhg2000 , March 26, 2011 1:32 AM
    Why can't MS just drop DirectX 9 already?

    Because of it we're stuck on trying to optimize an obsolete architecture instead of focusing on the new DirectX 1x series API which in many cases (there are exceptions, as demonstrated by Dirt 2) are way more efficient compared to the older API.

    What do we really want, faster DirectX 9 games or a more mature and feature rich DirectX 12?
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 26, 2011 3:35 AM
    Huddy does have a point. Microsoft is caught between their work on the PC platform and their cash cow of Xbox360. Now with Kinect, the Xbox and DirectX9 looks to live on for another 3-4 years...
  • 0 Hide
    Trialsking , March 26, 2011 4:44 AM
    iam2thecroweits great for progress, the devs make more money so that the CAN progress. otherwise if all they released were high end dx11 titles only they would make no money and not be around for long. You obviously have no idea of the cost and time involved in making a game, especially when you overcomplicate the graphics.


    Progress when we have games that are only DX9 and its 2011?!? You call dumbing down EVERY title to consoles progress?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 26, 2011 6:44 AM
    Ray Trace is the game technology of the future:
    http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/quake-wars-gets-ray-traced/
    Well, maybe sometime in the next decade.
  • 0 Hide
    marraco , March 26, 2011 11:35 AM
    Direct access to GPU, close to metal, allows consoles to match Windows on Crysis 2.

    Windows is burdened by layers and layers of APIs. Windows GPU have more than 10X the power of best consoles, so the burden of API means that we only enjoy 0.10X of the power of PC GPUs...

    But going closer to metal on PC will solve nothing. A developer may spend 2 years creating an amazing game for a given architecture, but after a GPU upgrade, the game stops working, because GPU can't evolution without architecture changes. That's what API do; API translate standard code to different architecture codes. Without API, there is no compatibility, no PC, no evolution.
  • 0 Hide
    fayzaan , March 26, 2011 12:21 PM
    osxsierha! So true...hence why I wont be buying Crysis 2. Im no EA fan, but at least the DICE guys are focusing on the PC. So my hard earned money will be going to Battlefield 3. It looks amazing and with the return of 64 player support, I already put in my pre-order.


    I will destroy you in the battlefield 3 okie dokies??
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , March 26, 2011 1:31 PM
    marracoDirect access to GPU, close to metal, allows consoles to match Windows on Crysis 2.Windows is burdened by layers and layers of APIs. Windows GPU have more than 10X the power of best consoles, so the burden of API means that we only enjoy 0.10X of the power of PC GPUs...But going closer to metal on PC will solve nothing. A developer may spend 2 years creating an amazing game for a given architecture, but after a GPU upgrade, the game stops working, because GPU can't evolution without architecture changes. That's what API do; API translate standard code to different architecture codes. Without API, there is no compatibility, no PC, no evolution.


    You're confusing the API with the device driver.

    An API does simplify development, because it removes even the device driver from the equation, and allows one to write for NVIDIA, Intel and AMD all at once, but with overhead.

    Also, you're incorrect about the compatibility. It assumes they change the instruction set, or more to the point, have it so existing instructions do not run. You can change an architecture without making old instructions not work. Look at the 386, and look at Sandy Bridge. And that's from 1986. If they're not doing it already, they'd have no trouble making a stable instruction set with what they know now, and keeping it for every generation without much, if any, sacrifice. They may be doing it already.
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