Microsoft held a panel at the Game Developers Conference 2016 in San Francisco and discussed many aspects of gaming on Windows, Xbox One and other devices. Naturally a lot of focus was on Windows 10, Xbox One and DirectX 12. From the talk it seems like a lot of the current concerns about Windows 10 and UWP implementation will be addressed in the coming months.
The Microsoft panel started by reminding us how successful Windows and the Xbox One are. Likely an important statistic for Microsoft was that, across its devices, paid transactions doubled and revenue per device went up 4.5 times. Microsoft stressed that the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) has been devised to "make it easier for developers to make their games where their players want to play". Furthermore, with an eye on the industry, Microsoft said it was committed to making UWP the "greatest platform for game developers". It will continue to listen to feedback about the direction of UWP.
The capabilities of UWP will continue to grow and, impressively, it will even support devices that are yet to be released. In the near future writing a UWP app on Windows 10 will mean it is almost guaranteed to work on Xbox One, HoloLens and so on. Another development which could be impactful is the merging of the Xbox and Windows stores later this year.
Looking at the current state of UWP, Microsoft is aware of its shortcomings. With regard to the inability to disable V-Sync currently, Microsoft says users will be able to toggle V-Sync later this year and also be able to take advantage of technologies such as G-Sync and FreeSync in UWP apps. Those with multi-GPU setups will also be sated by full support on the way for SLI and Crossfire setups plus the flexibility of multi-vendor multi-GPU setups.
An important enhancement headed to Windows 10 and Xbox One users via DirectX 12 is HDR support. High Dynamic Range improves the gamut of colours displayable and can make scenes much more vivid and natural – or unnatural if you wish. Monitors supporting HDR, thanks to the use of displays leveraging Quantum Dots, are expected to arrive in strength from summer onwards.
All the above Microsoft GDC 2016 presentation slides were sourced from games site DualShockers. The site has further slides and coverage should you want to read more, especially concerning the Xbox One side of things.