DirectX 10 Backwards Compatibility

Eric Coleman
Copyright Feb 28, 2006


Page 1

DirectX X

Disclaimer: I'm speculating in this article, and by the end of 2006 this article will probably be nothing more than a stupid rant.

Via Slashdot I came accross this article which mentions the new version of DirectX, version 10.   DirectX 10 sounds really nice, except for one major thing.

"DX10 will use much faster dynamic link libraries (DLLs), and won't incorporate older versions of DirectX, as is done today."

This really sucks.  The article goes on to say that Vista will support a side by side install of DirectX 9, but still, they're abondoning lots of backwards compatibility.

The major problem that I see happening is when upgrading to a new DirectX 10 compatible card (read the article for more on that), and upgrading to a CPU/Motherboard combination with digitial rights management, and the mandatory new Monitor with digital rights management, will I be able to play my favorite OLD games?  A DirectX 10 video card, with a totaly new driver model, may not necessarily support legacy COM interfaces.

If I can't play my favorite DirectX 5 game, which happens to be Starcraft, then that sucks.

Game Over?

The updated driver model for DirectX 10 is a great idea, but this is going to double the work of video card companies because they're now going to have to develop a DirectX 10 driver and a legacy driver for DirectX 3-9.   Emulation is obviously not possible since DirectX 10 does not support the legacy interfaces.