Happy birthday, DirectX 9! (PCGH Retro December 19)
Happy Birthday, DirectX 9 – every year on December 19th. Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
…2002: For DirectX it is perhaps the final victory over the competing OpenGL interface – at least on gaming PCs: Microsoft released DirectX 9 on December 19, 2002, two years after the predecessor DX8 and only seven years after the first version. The public launch will not follow until January 22nd, but the files are already available on Microsoft’s download servers that day. Warnings were soon circulating online: If the interface isn’t working as desired, it can’t be removed cleanly without reinstalling the entire system, since Microsoft doesn’t plan to uninstall it. However, initial problems will soon be a thing of the past.
As always, the most important innovations can be found in the 3D department called Direct3D: The shader model 2 allows not only floating-point-precise formats but also longer shader programs and thus more realistic effects. Graphics cards that make use of the new possibilities are already on the market, albeit only from Ati; With the Radeon 9700, the manufacturer got ahead of the competitor Nvidia, whose Geforce FX is not yet available for the DX9 launch. Soon, however, practically all graphics chips will support the new standard, making DirectX 9 the most successful and longest-lasting DX version to date – far beyond the release of the successor in early 2007.
• The first DirectX
• Analyst: DirectX 11 is catching on faster than DX10
• DirectX – from the beginnings to the present – part 1, part 2, part 3