Across the comments sections and forums I have seen people praising AMDs Mantle.
I honestly think it is interesting in prospect, but am writing this because a specific user made a suggestion that I cannot ignore the possibility of actually happening: Nvidia and AMD each creating their own APIs AND direct X falling out of use.
Now the user mentioned that BF4 is still working on Nvidia cards.
The obvious reason BF4 is still working is BECAUSE they code to BOTH Direct X and Mantle. They are devoting extra resources to it. It's very obvious considering that Mantle won't release for BF4 until 3 MONTHS after the game itself releases.
The user also mentioned SteamOS, but I am going to quickly point out why steamOS is an entirely different situation.
SteamOS if fine as it replaces or accompanies an abstract OS with a simple one and it is FREE for everyone to adopt, while APIs, unlike steamOS can REQUIRE certain hardware just for a game to be playable.
So, why exactly am I so against it? Just look to the past.
It was a single API that allowed voodoo cards to essentially create a monopoly on the industry.
So, why did Glide fail?
It had better performance. But, this was only for a time. Voodoo cards stagnated and became a constant tick in a tick tok industry. They became unable to reinvent their architecture without loosing support of older games.
What happens when we have two different APIs designed for two specific architectures? The architectures stagnates to support older games. History repeats itself, just like glide and the voodoo cards that were pummeled by new architectures that were more open.
Voodoo cards completely flip flopped their advertising position from power to "quality".
API fragmentation turns PC hardware into console cycles.
There are situations in which APIs can exist without fragmentation, but it requires extra work on behalf of the developers.
Ultimately, it's fine to have an API as long as there is a middle ground that is coded for like direct X or OpenGL first, but as soon as that is gone (which is exactly what the user suggested), PCs become fragmented or generational JUST LIKE CONSOLES.
They who can give up [steam library] to obtain a little temporary [power], deserve neither [steam library] nor [power]. - Ben Franklin (sort of)