Last month at its big press event in Hawaii, AMD implied that its new Mantle API would make cross development of games across the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 much easier but it seems this is far from the truth.
In a new post on the Windows Blog, Microsoft specifically mentions that the Xbox One exclusively supports DirectX and that other APIs such as OpenGL and AMD's Mantle will not be available on the Xbox One.
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.
Due to the confusion arising from this, AMD confirmed on Twitter that Mantle is exclusively for PC with AMD GPUs, neither the Xbox One nor PlayStation 4 support it.
Mantle is a development environment that's *similar* to the consoles, which already offer low-level APIs, close-to-metal programming, easier development and more (vs. the complicated PC environment). By creating a more console-like developer environment, Mantle: improves time to market; reduces development costs; and allows for considerably more efficient rendering, improving performance for gamers. The console connection is made because next-gen uses Radeon, so much of the programming they're doing for the consoles are already well-suited to a modern Radeon architecture on the desktop; that continuum is what allows Mantle to exist. ^RH
So there you have it, Mantle appears to be like 3dfx's Glide all over again. I doubt many game developers are going to be willing to dedicate resources to support an API that runs on fewer than half of all gaming PCs. Battlefield 4 supports Mantle thanks to an investment from AMD, but given the company's dire finances it's unlikely that AMD will be able to keep doing this in the same way that NVIDIA keeps pushing its PhysX technology.