DirectStorage will be exclusive to Windows 11

Windows 11 DirectStorage

Microsoft announced a bunch of gaming-oriented features that Windows 11 brings, and one of the main new additions is something that is exclusive to the platform.

Meaning, Windows 10 users will miss out on it, as it will not be available on the older operating system.

The company has announced that the DirectStorage feature will be exclusive to this new OS, and will only be available in Windows 11. This is one of the most exciting new developments in PC gaming, and Redmond is locking it behind its latest platform to force gamers to upgrades.

This is how the company puts it:

“With DirectStorage, which will only be available with Windows 11, games can quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. This means you’ll get to experience incredibly detailed game worlds rendered at lightning speeds, without long load times. “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to enable this amazing experience.”

So, there you have it.

This is a feature that has had the PC gaming community excited about it since it was first announced for the Xbox Series X and S consoles as part of the Velocity architecture. It is able to quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU.

And potentially, it will mean that open world games will render at lightning speeds without load times.

We now have confirmation that Windows 10 is not going to get a compatibility update to enable this feature, and this is something that will harm PC gaming in the short term. Developers will now be targeting a small group of gamers with this feature, and note everyone might implement it.

Particularly, when you combine this with the hardware barrier that Windows 11 has.

DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the Standard NVM Express Controller driver and a DirectX 12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support. There were some reports that it specifically required a 1TB or greater NVMe SSD, but that seems to be an earlier requirement.

That being said, if there is enough fuss about it, there is a chance that Microsoft may still end up putting this feature in Windows 10 via an update in the future.

But for now, things are as they are.