Diablo 4 devs have confirmed that while there are DirectStorage files in the game already it doesn't take advantage of the game changing SSD tech. Yet. Our intrepid Katie has been told specifically that it is being planned for the future.
"MS DirectStorage is currently not enabled," the Diablo team says, "but we are planning on enabling it in the future."
It was reported, back in March around the time of the beta, that files for DirectStorage, along with DLSS, had been uncovered in they game files installed on people's machines.
Since then we've heard nothing about its implementation, leaving Forspoken with the honour of being the only actually released game that uses Microsoft's SSD-utilising technology. And that's about all Forspoken has.
DirectStorage is all about having games actually utilising the power and performance of solid state drives, particularly those running on the high bandwidth NVMe protocol. Previously, with lots of existing system, and console specifically, still using hard drives, game developers still had to cater to the slowest common denominator.
But, with the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 all shipping with NVMe SSDs as standard now, and their use in gaming PCs almost as ubiquitous, it's about time we started being able to take more advantage of the technology. And that should lead to both shorter load times—as quick as one solitary second in some potential instances—and lower resource loads on the CPU.
Graphics cards can get in on the action too, taking the processor almost entirely out of the equation when pulling information from solid state storage, such as textures and other image data. Though GPU hardware-based decompression such as this is so far missing-in-action entirely.
All this makes DirectStorage a rather exciting technology, giving us open worlds, with fast streaming high-res textures and the promise of no loading screens anywhere. Presumably, hopefully, that's why Starfield is coming out of the gate as the first game I know of that's making an SSD a minimum requirement.
It's about time, in my opinion.