A senior Nvidia figure has said that DirectX 10.1 "won't make much difference when it comes out."

Nick Stam, director of Technical Marketing for Nvidia, also admitted making products compatible with Windows Vista had been difficult. He made the comments at a briefing in London yesterday.

"Vista out of the chute was hard, but we weren't the only ones caught in that," said Stam, citing Adobe and Creative as other companies who experienced significant Vista compatibility issues. Nvidia has also been criticised for not enabling SLI compatibility on the platform quick enough. "Microsoft were changing things...[it] impacted the driver team in a big way."

And since then? "We've worked really hard to get Vista and XP on a par," explained Stam. "In some cases Vista gives better performance." Mentioning that drivers were historically a pain, Stam pointed out that there could be up to 20 million lines of code for a single thread.

No major DX10.1 releases in 2008

Asked what he could tell us about DirectX 10.1, Stam jokingly replied: "It's coming", before adding a bit of flesh to the bones. "There are some nice efficiency standardising improvements....many of them can be done with 10 but 10.1 makes it easier to do things. Developers won't be using 10.1 today."

But it seems support for the standard could be poor initially.

"We don't see any [major] games through 2008." As Stam points out, even Microsoft admits that DirectX 10.1 isn't a big improvement on the earlier standard. It's certainly not in the league of even DirectX 9c, which became a minimum requirement for games. Asked whether he expected games to cite 10.1 as a minimum requirement, Stam replied with a blunt 'no'.

"I'm not poo pooing it," he added. "It won't make much difference when it comes out."

As for the red team, Stam clearly thinks ATI is going to be talking a lot about DirectX 10.1 though - "you may hear it overblown from the other guys."