Visual Studio 2015 RTM is now available for download, including the updated Community edition. The VS 2015 RTM Redistribution packages are also available (x86, x64), as well as the Remote Debugging Tools (x86, x64, ARM). For more information, see the Visual C++ Team blog, Brian Harry’s blog, Somasegar’s blog, and the Visual Studio Team blog.
Per the Visual Studio support lifecycle, “mainstream” support for VS 2015 ended in June 2016. “Extended” support ends October 2025. Platform toolset v140 support is still available in Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2022 as an optional component.
The C++11 language and standard library tables in the Dual-use Coding Techniques for Games article has been updated for VS 2015 RTM, and you can find much more information about these changes for VS 2015 on the Visual C++ Team blog. Be sure to read the MSDN page Breaking Changes in Visual C++ as well. There are also a number of new warnings in place including format specifier checking that previously required the use of
REDIST: VS 2015 can target Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.0, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, and optionally Windows XP Service Pack 3. Note that the Visual C++ 2015 REDIST does not support Windows 7 RTM, Windows Vista RTM, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Windows XP RTM, Windows XP Service Pack 1, or Windows XP Service Pack 2 as these platforms are all outside their support lifecycle. See KB2661358.
Visual C++: Note that with VS 2015 RTM, the C++ toolset is not included in the Typical installation. You must select it through the Custom selection. See the Visual C++ Team blog.
Windows 10 DirectX Development: Be sure to read this post on how to enable the DirectX debug device for Windows 10. Installing VS 2015 RTM (or VS 2013 Update 5) on Windows 10 will automatically enable the Graphics Tools Windows optional feature.
Windows XP: When building using the “v140_xp” Platform Toolset for Windows XP Service Pack 3 target support, remember this uses the Windows 7.1A SDK. The older SDK will generate some warnings in system headers with the new toolset that have to be externally suppressed. See VS 2012 Update 1 for some additional implications for DirectX development.
DirectX SDK: If you need to continue to make use of legacy DirectX SDK components such as D3DX9, D3DX10, D3DX11, or XAudio 2.7 with Visual Studio 2015, see Microsoft Docs for details on mixing the paths correctly. See also DirectX SDKs of a certain age, The Zombie DirectX SDK, Living without D3DX, DirectX SDK Tools Catalog, DirectX SDK Samples Catalog, and Where’s DXERR.LIB?
Windows 10 SDK:
Universal Windows apps (UWA) developers should stick with using VS 2015 RC until the final Visual Studio Tools and Windows 10 SDK packages are released next week. See this blog post about adding the Windows 10 SDK 10240 tools to VS 2015 RTM.
VS Content Pipeline: The built-in mesh content exporter in VS 2015 makes use of Autodesk FBX 2015.1–VS 2012 and 2013 used 2013.1.