AMD Mantle Technology Will Not Be Available on Xbox One

AMD Mantle API

Last month AMD announced Mantle, a brand new API designed to fully unlock the graphics potential of their Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. AMD said that they were working closely with leading game developers like EA/DICE to create this new application programming interface (API) specification and the associated graphics driver to bring up to 9X more draw calls per second than other APIs by reducing CPU overhead.  AMD also announced that Battlefield 4 would be the first game title to be supporting Mantle when a patch comes out in December.

Gamers around the world were excited about the news and were hopeful that PC game titles would be ported over easier and not suck as bad. The AMD Mantle API would mean that games using it would be also optimizing for AMD hardware through low-level ‘metal’ GPU access. On paper it would appear that Mantle would allow game developers an easy way to co-develop for PC and next-gen consoles. The only problem is that Microsoft confirmed through a blog post yesterday that Mantle will not be used with the upcoming Xbox One game console. The Microsoft Xbox One uses an AMD Jaguar APU with Graphics Core Next, but Microsoft will be using the Direct3D 11.x API. Direct3D is part of Microsoft’s DirectX API and they are sticking with it.

“For over 15 years, Direct3D has served as an essential ingredient to deliver cutting-edge 3D graphics in games. During this time, Direct3D has dramatically evolved as a result of deep investments we’ve made in development across our device platforms (Windows, Xbox, and Windows Phone) and continued partnership with industry-leading GPU hardware vendors and game developers. We are very excited that with the launch of Xbox One, we can now bring the latest generation of Direct3D 11 to console. The Xbox One graphics API is “Direct3D 11.x” and the Xbox One hardware provides a superset of Direct3D 11.2 functionality. Other graphics APIs such as OpenGL and AMD’s Mantle are not available on Xbox One.”

Is this the death blow to AMD’s Mantle? Microsoft said they will be sticking to Direct3D and Sony has made no indication that they’re moving away from PSGL. Sony game developers mostly use LibGCM or the PlayStation Graphics Library (PSGL) that is made up of OpenGL ES and NVIDIA’s CG for Sony’s PlayStation 3. We have reached out to AMD about this blog post and will let you know if they respond with a statement. (SEE THE RESPONSE)

  • Mike H

    You guys are forgetting a major bonus to Mantle.
    Developers make 1 version for PS3/XB1/PC/Linux, and another with Intel/Nvidia support. If Mantle takes off Intel and NV will undoubtedly tie into Mantle for better performance.

  • Darren McKenna

    Not surprising really. Mantle has only been announced, the consoles have been in development for a long time and stalling now to add mantle support when the consoles already have low level api would not work.

    Having a low level api on pc will allow developers to squeeze more power out of gcn cards. We will see how well this actually works when BF4 is finished

    • Zach B.

      AMD of all companies would know better if the consoles can run Mantle or not being it’s their hardware… The only reason the Xbox One isn’t incorporating it (yet) is due to Microsoft refusing to aid a potential competitor to their Direct3D API.

      • Fausto

        How mantle can be refused on the PS4 or Xbox if the current architecture doesn’t support it?
        Mantle will be available on Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, this is not the architecture of the Xbox One or the PS4 have.

        You’re wrong! Microsoft will refuse to use it? I doubt it, the more games use Mantle, the deal will be: “Available on Linux and Windows”
        I doubt MS would like to read this: “Game only available on Linux”
        This is not like OpenGL (that was drowned) and nobody uses it for games on Windows… Developers want something flexible, new and non restrictive, guess what? Mantle is flexible, new and is not restrictive.

        • Zach B.

          Before you go around telling people they are wrong… you should read the article you’re commenting on, or the attached link. You’ll then notice Microsoft has already refused to (officially) support Mantle. And the Xbox One does use GCN hardware from AMD… just as the PS4…

      • basroil

        Hardly, Microsoft made the specifications for the xboxone API a long time ago, and unlike the PC side of things, console APIs are static in content, function, performance, and usually even implementation to prevent games (which historically could not be updated once printed) from becoming broken after console firmware patches. Mantel is both new and open to extensive changes, so you can’t guarantee that one call will work identically a few years from now.