Right after reports went live focusing on a Microsoft Answers Q&A about DirectX 11.1 being a Windows 8 exclusive, Chuck Walbourn from Microsoft said on the Games for Windows blog that portions of the DirectX 11.1 runtime will be made available for Windows 7 after all.
According to Walbourn, Windows 8 includes an updated 'DirectX 11.1 Runtime' that supports Direct3D 11.1, updates Direct2D and DirectWrite, DXGI 1.2, and a revision of the Windows Imaging Component (WIC).
"Portions of the 'DirectX 11.1 Runtime' are being made available on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 via the Platform Update for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB 2670838) included with the Internet Explorer 10 Release Preview for Windows 7," he writes. "This includes the updated components above, but is limited to WDDM 1.1 drivers on Windows 7."
According to the update notes, the patch improves the features and performance of Direct2D, DirectWrite, Direct3D, Windows Imaging Component (WIC), Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP), Windows Animation Manager (WAM), XPS Document API, H.264 Video Decoder and the JPEG XR codec.
Walbourn's blog adds more detail to the update:
* ID3D11Device1, ID2D1Factory1, IDWriteFactory1, IDXGIFactory2, IWICImagingFactory2, ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation and related APIs are available. Methods that depend on WDDM 1.2 drivers or new Windows Store app APIs are not supported.
* Improved Direct3D 11 device interoperability via ID3DDeviceContextState, including the improved interop with Direct2D/DirectWrite
* D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D9_OPTIONS feature detection
* In addition to the new Windows 8 WIC features, this update also fixes decoding of 96bpp floating-point TIFF images.
For more information, read the blog here, and the platform update notes here.
If the lowest common denominator between the two systems is DirectX 11.0, that's what developers will shoot for. If Microsoft wants developers to use the latest and greatest features, they'll need to back-port them.
And BTW, porting "portions" of the runtime to Win7 is BS... Are they that different that they can't port the whole thing??? (I dont think so..) They'd love to forget everything before Win8 right now if they could
You do realize the price difference in a console and how much you have spent on your PC right?
I still got the Voodoo 3 3000 box in my room. It was really world changing for me at the time, switching from Software render to OpenGL.
The consoles use a different API from DirectX since it does not make hardware-specific programming possible. DirectX is the best solution for the vast array of GPUs we use in PCs but for the consoles you don't need it when you can "directly" program for them. This is why none of the consoles use the DirectX API, it would be wasteful of the computing resources. It might be possible that the Microsoft consoles use a modified version of DirectX but I'm not sure about that.