Microsoft underlines how DirectSR tech will bring upscaling to many more PC games – but there’s a catch

 A PC gamer in a racing-style gaming chair.
A PC gamer in a racing-style gaming chair.

Microsoft has been going over what its incoming DirectSR tech is all about at GDC 2024 recently – although according to the grapevine, the catch is we might have a long time to wait before this nifty piece of the upscaling puzzle is realized.

For those who need a quick refresher, we heard about DirectSR back at the end of February when Microsoft introduced the tech as the ‘missing link’ and a clever solution to providing upscaling to more PC games.

Rather than an actual upscaling solution itself, DirectSR is about providing an easy way for existing upscaling solutions – DLSS, FSR, and XeSS – to be used with less effort needed from game developers to integrate those solutions (separately, of course – so this is about cutting out a lot of implementation work).

VideoCardz flagged that Japanese tech site was present at Microsoft’s GDC 2024 developer session (‘DirectX State of the Union’) where DirectSR was further explored.

The flexibility of the solution was underlined, and the way in which no matter what the hardware – GPU, or an NPU on-board a processor – DirectSR will help to facilitate upscaling more broadly in PC games, providing various features that’ll be supported directly by Microsoft across all the aforementioned upscaling technologies.

While all this is undoubtedly exciting, the report from makes a revelation that is on the disappointing side for gamers – but not really a surprise. Namely, we could be waiting a long time for DirectSR.

As VideoCardz notes, we don’t yet have a release timeframe, and Microsoft has only just begun work on DirectSR, so the fruition of the tech is likely a good way down the line. reckons that we should be able to see a “demo with video” (if the translation from Japanese is correct) at GDC next year.

Analysis: Long and winding road to upscaling panacea?

If it’s true (apply salt here) that we’re only being treated to a video demonstration in a year’s time, that means DirectSR will then need to go into preview and testing for some time after that, before the full release rolls around, and adoption uptake kicks in. In short, this technology may be further out than we hoped.

Until then, upscaling will remain a fragmented endeavor with support needing to be coded in for each different solution from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia, by game developers. One way of summing it up is that DirectSR is a much-wanted shortcut for upscaling adoption, but it’s not going to be a short path to the realization of the tech by the sound of things.

On the other hand, Microsoft may be able to build on some of the work Team Green has done in this respect already (with Nvidia Streamline, an open-source project in a similar vein to DirectSR) – and that could provide something of a head-start.

We can but hope, and at least Microsoft is now committed to treading this route of making upscaling a more universally applied technology over a greater number of the best PC games. It’s not like the other development from Microsoft we’ve covered this morning, a method of speeding up ray tracing that’s still just a concept (a patent – though it’s definitely a seriously cool idea). DirectSR is coming, for sure – let’s just hope it doesn’t take too long to arrive.

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