DirectX 10 absence from Windows XP “catastrophic” and “poisonous”, says Stardock boss

Thursday, 11th April 2013 22:56 GMT By Brenna Hillier

PC-centric developer Stardock has struggled thanks to Microsoft’s failure to implement DirectX 10 in still-popular 2001 OS Windows XP.

In Stardock’s 20912 consumer report, as reported by Develop, CEO Brad Wardell said that PC development has been held back “immensely” by having to cater to DirectX 9 standards – which only allows access to 2GB of RAM.

Before you point out how many excellent PC games do cater to Windows XP and are apparently unconcerned by it, Wardell noted specifically that genres like shooters haven’t had to compromise the way strategy games, Stardock’s bread and butter, have.

“There have been some great titles released but the innovation in strategy games has been diminishing. This is not the result of a lack of game design or inventive thinking. The problem stems from a catastrophic decision made at Microsoft: not giving DirectX 10 to Windows XP users,” Wardell said.

“As a corollary, Microsoft continuing to sell 32-bit versions of Windows well after the hardware stopped being natively 32-bit has held back PC game development immensely. Game developers have been stuck with DirectX 9 and 2GB of memory for the past decade. While this hasn’t harmed first person shooters (they only have to manage a handful of objects at once), it has been poisonous to other genres.

“Next time you’re playing an RPG in first person with no party you can refer to DirectX 9 and 2GB of memory as a big reason for that.”

Wardell said there are “whole classes of games” waiting to take advantage of advances like anti-aliasing, more-memory and multi-core. Happy, he noted that after more than a decade, 32-bit OS support is starting to die off at last.

As well as making games like Galactic Civilizations and Elemental, Stardock is a PC software development company.



  1. Mineral4r7s

    I did not know about this. I mostly thought DirectX 9 is still standart because of PS3 and Xbox.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. povu

    I thought so too. I was always confused when there was a multiplatform game that still required DX10 on PC (Just Cause 2, Battlefield 3, Bioshock Infinite). Wouldn’t it be possible to have the console graphics on PC in a DX9 mode?

    But hey, I’m no developer/programmer, it’s probably more complicated than that.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hunam

    The Xbox uses DX9 (with a few bits of DX10 throw in) hence why DX9 was so popular on the PC for so long, because of how well supported it was compared to DX10.

    However, DX10 not being XP is not the reason for this, it’s more than MS continued to produce 32-bit versions of windows for Vista and 7, it also didn’t help that Vista being rubbish held back people from moving on from XP. A third point would be that 4 GB of ram has been the default standard of ram for ages, so even if they had access to more ram using 64 bit, it wouldn’t matter much as only a small part of the customer base has that much anyway.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Richenbaum

    Why don’t the developers just stop catering to people with obsolete XP rigs that probably can’t even run their games anyway?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. apollyonbob

    Wait – Windows XP? Like, released in 2001 Windows XP?

    The OS whose launch party was more dour than usual because 9/11 had just happened? We’re talking about an OS that predates Facebook, World of Warcraft and Steam. Think about all the technological innovations of the last decade – the rise of the smartphone, social media, MMOs, free to play, the Xbox 360, PS3, the rise of the Wii, the list goes on and on. Windows XP came from a time when PAGERS were a pretty big deal.

    A lot of people drove the Model T too. Eventually it was outmoded. Are car companies supposed to have gone to each person’s car and installed a new engine for free?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. NightCrawler1970

    For me XP is the best OS ever… and Windows 7 is basicly XP 2…

    the rest of the OS are crap…

    #6 2 years ago

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