Elite Dangerous: Win 32 & DX10

In a post by David Braben on the 19th September he announced that Frontier would be ending their support for Win32 and DirectX 10.

“As you know we spend a good deal of time planning for the future, and one issue (and opportunity) we are considering is the effect of supporting Win32 and DX10, and the benefits we would get if we were to drop them. As you know, we support leading edge technology like 4K, 8K, VR, and with things like compute shaders in Horizons we really push the boundaries overall, but there are restrictions with Win32 – particularly the amount of memory we can address at one time – and with DX10 in terms of requiring an alternative rendering solution in our code. Dropping these two would help us support high end effects with a better result – to make the game better.

“About 0.5% of players that have installed Elite Dangerous have used their game on Win32 at some time. Some of these machines are capable of running Win64 (ie the hardware would support it). With DX10 (fewer than 2% of players) it is more tricky as you may need to upgrade the graphics card on such machines.

“We do appreciate that although those are small percentages, that is still a significant number of people affected. We want to give as much notice as we can. It will be at least six months before we would make the change, but we want to know your opinions first, and to give warning that the change will need to come at some point, so please let us know.”

He went on to say that the advantages of doing this would lead to,

“Principally better performance and prettier effects, but it should also help with dev time […] Obscure bugs can take a disproportionate amount of dev and QA time.”