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MS goes gold with DirectX 8.0

Massively realistic multiplayer capability - who needs a life?

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Microsoft has gone gold with DirectX 8.0, the next version of its multimedia API. It'll be officially available for download from MSDN "before 12.01am" Pacific Time on Saturday, but we're informed that it has escaped to other download sites already, we know not how.

New features and improvements in DirectX 8.0 include consolidated interfaces for DirectDraw and Direct3D, and for DirectSound and DirectMusic; enhancements in graphic authoring tools integration; better image realism; DirectInput device mapping; improved scalability; DirectShow Editing Service provision for real-time compositing and editing of audio/video timelines; and support for Microsoft TV technologies.

The company claims near photo-realistic graphics and sufficient scalability for "massively multiplayer games." As DirectX will be a key component of Xbox, this should set Microsoft in good stead for next year's launch.

From Saturday you can get it here, but it already seems to be available here, here and here. The last two are French and German respectively, and up at time of writing, although Germany seemed for some reason to be under a rather heavy load... ®

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