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Forspoken, the first PC game with Microsoft DirectStorage, has been delayed to next year

What just happened? Forspoken, the action-RPG from Square Enix that was used to show off Microsoft’s DirectStorage technology back in March, won’t be arriving this year. The game has been delayed for a second time, moving from its previous October launch date to January 2023.

“As a result of ongoing discussions with key partners, we have made the strategic decision to move the launch date of Forspoken to January 24, 2023,” the game’s official account tweeted. It added that while all game elements are complete, the final polishing phase is continuing.

This marks the second time Forspoken has been delayed. Its official release date was originally May 24, 2022, so one would expect a third postponement to be unlikely, though not impossible.

Even if you’re not excited about Forspoken, the news means we’re now unlikely to see Microsoft DirectStorage technology running in Windows 11 this year. Microsoft released the API to PC game developers back in March—it’s already part of the Xbox Series X/S consoles—and Forspoken is set to be the first PC game to use it.

Developer Luminous Productions says that DirectStorage, which allows games to make multiple concurrent IO requests and with greater efficiency, will reduce Forspoken’s loading times from an average of 10 seconds when using a SATA SSD to just one second on an NVMe SSD capable of delivering read speeds of over 5,000 megabytes per second, though some have disputed those figures.

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Additionally, Microsoft previously said DirectStorage would reduce a processor’s overhead in games by up to 40% when using it in Windows 11 (it’ll also be supported in Windows 10) alongside an NVMe drive. The extra CPU cycles could be used for background processing, AI workloads, or other game features like gigantic open-worlds. We’ll find out if Forspoken’s implementation of DirectStorage lives up to these promises next year.

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