Vulkan and DX12 are the APIs that will drive most of the new games the next couple of years. And as we all know, Vulkan supports a wide range of hardware and operating systems, whereas DX12 does not. However, it appears that The Khronos Group – the team behind Vulkan – is not trying to fight Microsoft in order to “make” developers choose Vulkan over DX12.
In a lengthy interview with RedGamingTech, Tom Olson (Director of Research over at ARM and chair of the Vulkan Working Group) and Neil Trevett (Vice President of Mobile Ecosystem at Nvidia and elected President of the Khronos Group) shared their opinion about the inevitable fight between DX12 and Vulkan.
As Tom Olson claimed when asked about it, The Khronos Group is not really trying to ‘combat’ anything, and they’re trying to make a great API that can run on all modern hardware and platforms.
“We’re not really trying to ‘combat’ anything – we’re trying to make a great API that can run on all modern hardware and platforms. We think it’s obvious that that’s what the market needs, and that if we do a good job, people will use it. We recognize of course that it’s about more than just the API – we have to create and support a complete solution, a whole ecosystem. Hence the emphasis on defining a standard loader, validation and debug layers, a shader compiler, and other tools, all available in open source.”
Neil Trevett went one step ahead and stated that not only is DX12 a fine API, but that it will be the right commercial choice for some developers addressing a certain set of platforms.
“DX12 is a fine API and it will be the right commercial choice for some developers addressing a certain set of platforms. It may not be good for readership ratings to say this – but I think the ‘API wars’ are often overblown – developer choice in APIs is a good thing. Additionally, I think that over the years healthy competition between Direct3D and OpenGL has been a positive incentive for both families of APIs to improve – which ultimately is good for the developer community. But, if you look at the industry as a whole, it is a healthy thing to have the choice of a graphics API that is not being defined by a single platform vendor, as it provides an avenue for API innovation that is independent of the underlying platform dynamics of the day.”
Bold words from both Tom and Neil, however we don’t know whether this approach is the right one. We do know that MS will try its best to force DX12 on its consumers. After all, we’ve already seen a number of DX12 titles from Microsoft that take little to no advantage of DX12.
Bottom line is that a lot of PC gamers want to see more games taking advantage of Vulkan. However, it remains a mystery whether developers are ready for such a thing.