At this year’s Build Developers Conference, Microsoft unveiled its latest version of DirectX, demonstrated the new "Tiled Resources" technique, and made the announcement that the update will be exclusive to Windows 8.1 and the Xbox One.
"Tiled Resources" allows for significant enhancement of in-game textures by making it possible to simultaneously access GPU and traditional RAM memory and create a single large buffer where large textures can be stored. This technique was demonstrated with a model of Mars which displayed a 3 GB texture using just 16 MB of GPU memory and in Graphine’s Granite Flight Simulator that showed "a remarkably detailed island with gliders constructed out of 64 megapixels."
DirectX 11.2 also promises to deliver a large number of other improvements (opens in new tab) such as more responsive improvements through reduced delay for applications run on top of an API, pre-compiling of HLSL shaders, GPU overlay support and frame buffer scaling.
We can’t say we’re particularly surprised by the announcement since Microsoft is clearly hoping this exclusivity will increase sales of the upcoming Xbox One console and motivate gamers to make the switch over to Windows 8.1.
You should realize that a lot of this has to do with old console hardware holding back the industry. We will probably see more support for stuff like this in the next generation.