Although DirectX 9 isn’t out yet, message The Inquirer already on version 9.1. DirectX 9 will probably be released in November during the Comdex. Version 9.1 is planned for spring 2003. This new release would include a new API baked in, just like the brand new Pixel shader 3.0. This time it is true that DirectX 9 compatible hardware also fully supports version 9.1 , which was not the case with DirectX 8. DirectX 9.0 cards such as the Radeon 9700 Pro and the yet to be released NV30 can therefore also call themselves DirectX 9.1 compliant:
So the new Shader 3.0 will not be supported by any hardware available in first half of 2003. We have good reason to assume that R350 and NV30 or the Spring refresh codenamed NV35 will not have support in hardware for the shaders. You can just imagine how realistic this shader model will be if NV30 and Radeon 9700 PRO cinematic breakthrough VPU won’t have support for it. Best thing of all if you go out and buy Radeon 9700 Pro, NV 30 or any future DirectX 9.0 card you will be able to call it DirectX 9.1 hardware. Nice isn’t it!