Microsoft to debut DirectSR universal image upscaling technology next month, co-developed with Nvidia and AMD

Microsoft headquarters upscaled
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

After Nvidia successfully introduced and popularized its DLSS image upscaling technology, others soon followed with their own upscalers, which arguably made the lives of game developers harder, trying to support AMD's FSR, Intel's XeSS, and Nvidia's DLSS. But it looks like the situation may be getting better, as Microsoft is about to roll out its DirectSR image upscaling technology at the Game Developers Conference 2024 next month. 

Microsoft's DirectSR aims to standardize upscaling methods for Windows gaming PCs, and has been co-developed with AMD and Nvidia. Microsoft is set to present its DirectSR on March 21, together with AMD and Nvidia during the DirectX State of the Union session, which will be presented by Shawn Hargreaves (Microsoft), Austin Kinross (Microsoft), Wessam Bahnassi (Nvidia), and Rob Martin (AMD). 

The introduction of the DirectSR technology marks Microsoft's first foray into the upscaling domain. The presentation will showcase the technology's capabilities and demonstrate how Microsoft has collaborated with AMD and Nvidia to create a standardized approach to integrating upscaling technology into games. This collaboration aims to provide developers with a unified set of resources for enhancing the visual quality of games, without performance degradation. 

"The DirectX team will showcase the latest updates, demos, and best practices for game development with key partners from AMD and Nvidia," the description of the session reads. "Work graphs are the newest way to take full advantage of GPU hardware and parallelize workloads. Microsoft will provide a preview into DirectSR, making it easier than ever for game devs to scale super resolution support across Windows devices." 

While the specifics of the DirectSR technology remain under wraps, it will likely be made in a way that it is going to work on the majority of graphics processors in use today. As a result, it will unlikely use certain proprietary hardware capabilities of AMD's or Nvidia's GPUs. To that end, it should work equally well on Radeon and GeForce graphics cards. What remains to be seen is whether it will work flawlessly on Intel Arc GPUs as well.  

The upcoming introduction of an industry-standard upscaling technology is a big deal and should be good news for gamers and the industry as it will, at least to a degree, eliminate competition between AMD's FSR and Nvidia's DLSS and will make lives of game developers a bit easier.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • thisisaname
    Much better :)
    Reply
  • Eximo
    "Sir, there are three standards for upscaling."

    "That's silly, we should make a unified standard"

    News- There are now four upscaling standards.
    Reply
  • The TrippyHippie
    I wonder if the people who design the art in hi res detail for gamers to enjoy the world in it's full glory cringe and think sod it whats the point might as well make the image/textures low rez in the first if they just going to keep down scaling my beautiful artwork and make my beautiful world look like a smeary mess (looking at you AMD fsr low quality) lol
    Reply
  • vijosef
    The next step should be real time hallucination of games.

    Turn player into a dragon. Render Borderlands as a photorealistic game. Render Doom in Giger style. Add lush vegetation to No Man's Sky. Add light to Tomb Raider Remastered. Enhance the textures of old games.

    Whatever the player asks.
    Reply
  • CmdrShepard
    vijosef said:
    Whatever the player asks.
    Careful there.

    That could end up being really dangerous now -- we don't want any of those horrible female nipples around.

    /s
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Eximo said:
    "Sir, there are three standards for upscaling."

    "That's silly, we should make a unified standard"

    News- There are now four upscaling standards.
    I predicted MS would create a standardized interface that enabled games to utilize whatever vendor-specific upscaling technology is implemented the installed GPU + drivers. I'm somewhat surprised they devised their own, but I guess one benefit is that it probably provides game developers with more consistent quality.

    I just hope it's good enough and fast enough that we don't still see some games continuing to support vendor-specific technologies. In that case, it'd be exactly as you say: yet a 4th option!
    Reply