Windows 10 and 11 have recently been able to use the new
DirectStorage technology, which speeds up data reading and loading in
games. Unfortunately, no game has support for DirectStorage yet, but
one of the first should come later this year.
Square Enix's fantasy RPG Forspoken will be one of the first games to load faster than usual, and now the developers at GDC have demonstrated how much faster. The good news is that DirectStorage technology will also benefit older hardware - SATA SSDs and even classic HDDs, although it has been said that it will not. Admittedly, don’t expect to significantly shorten your load time.
Forspoken thus loads on the NVMe disk with DirectStorage 0.2 seconds faster than with the classic Win32 API. The difference is even slightly higher on a SATA SSD, where it loads 0.8 seconds faster, and a second faster on the hard drive. So don’t expect a drastic jump like when you switch from HDD to SDD.
However, the jump is still more significant if we don’t just look at the load
time. Namely, the data throughput with DirectStorage is far higher than
the classic Win32 API. In the case of Forspoken, the NVMe drive achieves 4829
MB / s with DirectStorage versus 2862 MB / s with Win32 API.
In translation, this acceleration of PC games should be of great help in constructing more complex scenes while playing - for example, when moving quickly over a map. Although we won't count the preloads in milliseconds before playing, DirectStorage should eventually speed up the downloads that take place without the player seeing them.