Microsoft Releases Tweaked DirectX for Gamer’s Show

Microsoft Wednesday released a preview version of its DirectX multimedia application development tool just in time for a gaming conference this week in Silicon Valley.

This preview release only contains updated D3DX associated files (headers, libs, and D3DX debug dll). The next Beta release is expected to include the Full DirectX 9.0 SDK Update files.

Introduced in 1995, Microsoft’s DirectX API now supports development of full-color graphics, video, 3D animation, and rich audio.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said it will highlight the capabilities of the DirectX 9.0 API to members of the game development community at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2003 in San Jose, Calif.

The company said the improvements come courtesy of Microsoft’s High-Level Shader Language (HLSL), a graphics creation tool set.

Based on the C programming language, HLSL works into Microsoft’s developer tool set and allows for advanced graphics, from creating lifelike animation to programming dramatic effects. Compatible with all DirectX-compliant graphics processing units, HLSL allows the definition of a similar visual effect across a wide range of graphics hardware.

“DirectX provides the tools to create the most vivid and technologically advanced games possible,” said Microsoft Graphics and Gaming Technologies general manager Dean Lester. “By allowing them to create cutting-edge software without worrying about the hardware they’re creating it for, DirectX 9.0 and HLSL let developers concentrate on what they do best.”

The news comes as word that Microsoft will make its Xbox platform available in arcades. The San Jose Mercury News reports Microsoft will most likely be working with Sega as part of a previously announced partnership last year.

The project is code-named Chihiro after the heroine of the Japanese anime film “Spirited Away.”

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