Look out, Nvidia — Microsoft reportedly working on its own DLSS rival

Nvidia DLSS
(Image credit: Nvidia)

When it comes to modern super sampling techniques, Nvidia DLSS is the undisputed champion. Team Green’s increasingly AI-driven frame-boosting technology is now on iteration 3.5, with Nvidia 3.0 before it introducing advanced features like frame generation.

Obviously, DLSS  (Deep Learning Super Sampling) is limited to users who own Nvidia GPUs, which is the main reason we’ve seen competitors in the graphics card space come up with internal solutions. Now it may be Microsoft’s turn to have a go at the tech.

Following the likes of AMD FSR 2.0 and Intel XeSS — which is available on the company’s Arc GPU lineup and the upcoming MSI Claw gaming handheld — The House That Xbox Built is reportedly looking to follow suit. 

As with all rumors, and especially in this case given the source, any current talk of in-house Microsoft super sampling needs to be taken with a hefty pinch of "you know what." According to X user PhantomOcean3, they found the feature in a new test version of Windows 11 this past weekend. Apparently, it's a form of auto super-resolution to “use AI to make supported games play more smoothly with enhanced details.” So far, so Nvidia DLSS. 

A new DLSS rival? 

The rumor is made more plausible when you consider that Microsoft has semi-related previously in this regard. Remember, this is a company that has released Automatic HDR since its latest OS rolled out. The implementation isn’t always great — that's High Dynamic Range on PC games, for you — but at least it gives some older titles added vibrancy when you enable it.

The release of specific super sampling software that’s limited to Microsoft devices would certainly be a boon to owners of the best Windows laptops that use integrated GPUs. It’s unlikely Nvidia is ever going to lose its ironclad grip on the graphics card market, so broadening the availability of DLSS-like technology can only be a good thing for PC gaming going forward.

For context, the first version of Nvidia’s tech has been available since 2019. Games like Control have been using this form of real-time rendering effectively on PC for a considerable time at this point, with the firm’s RTX 20 series of GPUs being the first hardware to support DLSS. The technique works by rendering titles at lower resolutions, and then upsampling them to higher resolutions at frame rates that are far faster than can normally be achieved natively.

Nvidia DLSS has gotten stronger and stronger with every major update, to the point where there was an online meltdown when Starfield on PC initially only supported AMD’s FSR 2.0. The competition is still a bit behind Nvidia’s brand of super sampling — though Intel XeSS has quietly impressed us in the recent past. If this rumor proves to be true, let’s hope Microsoft’s version is up to the task.

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.