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Old December 8, 2008, 07:36 AM
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Default EA & 2K Games License Nvidia PhysX Technology


There is some pretty big industry news this morning which is sure to make gaming on Nvidia platforms quite interesting in the coming years. Basically, both EA and 2K Games have signed on to license Nvidia's PhysX technology for use in their upcoming games. Considering that many people (reviewers and consumers alike) have been begging for Triple-A titles to be released with PhysX, it seems this will make it happen.

Stay tuned to Hardware Canucks since we will have some interesting upcoming articles about PhysX, its uses in games like Mirror's Edge.

Please feel free to post in this thread if you have any comments.

Here are the announcements:


EA Signs On To License NVIDIA PhysX Technology


NVIDIA PhysX Technology Made Available as a Development Platform for EA’s Global Studios


SANTA CLARA, CA—DECEMBER 8, 2008—NVIDIA® Corporation today announced that Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) has licensed NVIDIA PhysX technology as a development platform which will be available for EA’s studios worldwide. NVIDIA PhysX technology is the world’s most pervasive development platform for physics acceleration in interactive entertainment.

“PhysX is a great physics solution for the most popular platforms, and we're happy to make it available for EA’s development teams worldwide,” said Tim Wilson, Chief Technology Officer of EA’s Redwood Shores Studio. “Gameplay remains our number one goal, with character, vehicle and environmental interactivity a critical part of the gameplay experience for our titles, and we look forward to partnering with NVIDIA to reach this goal.”

With GeForce GPU-accelerated physics, the world literally comes to life: walls can be torn down, trees bend in the wind, and water flows with body and force. The massively parallel architecture in GeForce GPUs can handle 10 to 20 times more visual complexity than what’s possible today on traditional platforms, and can leverage the best of both GPU and CPU architectures to deliver the ultimate experience to the user. More importantly, PhysX supports hardware scaling with the GeForce GPUs to deliver much faster performance and richer environments on multi-GPU gaming platforms.

The NVIDIA PhysX development solution consists of a robust physics engine, API, and middleware designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control over the look of their final in-game interactivity by allowing them to author and preview physics in real time. PhysX technology works across all major gaming platforms, including Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC, and can be accelerated by both the CPU and any CUDA general purpose parallel computing processor, including NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.

“PhysX offers tremendous benefits to developers and gamers and we are thrilled Electronic Arts has chosen PhysX to bring new levels of realism in their games,” said Ujesh Desai, vice president of GeForce desktop business at NVIDIA.




2K GAMES Licenses NVIDIA PhysX Technology For Its Studios Worldwide


SANTA CLARA, CA—DECEMBER 8, 2008—NVIDIA Corporation today announced that 2K Games, a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., has selected NVIDIA® PhysX™ technology for use by 2K Games’ studios worldwide. NVIDIA PhysX technology is the world’s most pervasive physics solution for designing real-time, real-world effects into interactive entertainment titles, and is another example of how NVIDIA GPUs transcend beyond the realm of just graphics rendering.

“We are very impressed with the quality of the PhysX engine and we licensed it so our studios can use this solution early in development,” said Jacob Hawley, technology director for 2K. “Developing games with an interactive story and immersive gameplay remains our number one priority, and aligning with technology leaders like NVIDIA allows our teams to concentrate on making great games.”

The NVIDIA PhysX development solution consists of a robust physics engine, API, and software development kit (SDK) designed to give developers and animators unprecedented creative control over the look of their final in-game interactivity by allowing them to author and preview physics in real time.

PhysX technology works across all major gaming platforms, including Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC, and can be accelerated by both the CPU and any CUDA™ general purpose parallel computing processor, including NVIDIA GeForce® GPUs. The massively parallel architecture in GeForce GPUs can handle 10 to 20 times more visual complexity than what’s possible today on traditional platforms, and can leverage the best of both GPU and CPU architectures to deliver the ultimate experience to the user. More importantly, NVIDIA PhysX technology will deliver faster performance and richer environments based on the number of GPUs or CPUs in the PC, or the varied computing capacities of today’s console platforms.

“NVIDIA and 2K Games are dedicated to advancing technology that powers gaming,” said Ujesh Desai, vice president of GeForce desktop business at NVIDIA. “We look forward to working with the leaders in the industry to bring some amazing new games to market.”

2K Games will be using PhysX for its upcoming title, Borderlands™, developed by Gearbox Software, among other future releases.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:46 AM
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I don't agree with such propriety systems at all. This smells like another nVidia sli - 975x = not working situation.

Ridiculous.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:54 AM
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Actually, this system works surprisingly well. Mirror's Edge is only the tip of the iceberg but if it is any indication of what can be done, I think gamers everywhere stand to benefit.
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Old December 8, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
Actually, this system works surprisingly well. Mirror's Edge is only the tip of the iceberg but if it is any indication of what can be done, I think gamers everywhere stand to benefit.
I don't agree with a single gpu company controlling aspects of game developers. This does not fair well with ATI. I look forward to a totally AMD/ATI solution in par with an NVIDIA/INTEL solution. Competition is the zest for creativity and price stability instead of situating ourselves in a semi-god pc console creation. I prefer the flexibilty of choice.
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Old December 8, 2008, 08:13 AM
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AMD/ATI does have their own solution with Havok but if you ask me, I think they should ditch it or start actually aggressively marketing it. As it stands, I see no significant marketing push through developers nor the media for Havok.

Why? Well, at this point having two competing solutions for physics implementation will only hurt the PC gaming industry as a whole. With EA and 2K going with PhysX and Nvidia's active marketing of the API I think it is pretty clear that a winner is emerging considering PhysX has been on everyone's lips for the last few months while Havok has been placed on the back burner.

It is time for companies to start swallowing their pride and work with what is best for the industry. We have all heard the stories of the developer from NGOHQ who got PhysX to run on ATI hardware and was promptly ignored by ATI's PR and development teams. That in itself spoke volumes considering Nvidia was willing to back the development of said software.

I have no issue with Nvidia doing this because someone needs to take the lead on GPU-accelerated physics.
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Old December 8, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
AMD/ATI does have their own solution with Havok but if you ask me, I think they should ditch it or start actually aggressively marketing it. As it stands, I see no significant marketing push through developers nor the media for Havok.

Why? Well, at this point having two competing solutions for physics implementation will only hurt the PC gaming industry as a whole. With EA and 2K going with PhysX and Nvidia's active marketing of the API I think it is pretty clear that a winner is emerging considering PhysX has been on everyone's lips for the last few months while Havok has been placed on the back burner.

It is time for companies to start swallowing their pride and work with what is best for the industry. We have all heard the stories of the developer from NGOHQ who got PhysX to run on ATI hardware and was promptly ignored by ATI's PR and development teams. That in itself spoke volumes considering Nvidia was willing to back the development of said software.

I have no issue with Nvidia doing this because someone needs to take the lead on GPU-accelerated physics.
But think of what will happen. Nvidia being the only solution for the gaming enthusiast with Intel already controlling the CPU market. Seems like another console game to me. I was totally against xbox intro into the gaming market for the same reason.

Sorry but I don't agree and there's nothing one can do. I think that hardware developers should not monopolies the game developers for the pc market. It's bad enough that so many interesting games can be played on only selective console games.

Where will this leave ATI?
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Old December 8, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Nice to know SKY. Seems like Nvidia seems to be trying to make a comeback really. The eVGA X58 chipset seems pretty solid, the graphics cards are getting better, the release of GTX260 Core 216 definitely had lots of people selling their 4870's and going for it, and the annouce of their GTX 260 55nm brings good news.

Now this is wondeful news you have to say. I do like EA games, Sports games as well as others like Need for Speed series. Also I might be looking for jump back to Nvidia sooner.

Thanks for the news Sir.
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Old December 8, 2008, 09:05 AM
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But think of what will happen. Nvidia being the only solution for the gaming enthusiast with Intel already controlling the CPU market.
The CPU market is very much open. Drawing parallels between what is happening with the CPU market and GPU market shouldn't be done. This is because the CPU market is not as software-centric (read: drivers) as the GPU market is.

Quote:
Sorry but I don't agree and there's nothing one can do. I think that hardware developers should not monopolies the game developers for the pc market. It's bad enough that so many interesting games can be played on only selective console games.
This market we are talking about isn't regulated so while you may say that, you have to think of it in a realistic sense. Both Nvidia and ATI will do whatever it takes to make sure their GPUs are first and foremost on the minds of consumers when it comes to upgrading or purchasing a new system. To do this they launch initiatives with developers (a good example of this is ATI's relationship with Valve and their Half Life 2 game or Nvidia's The Way its Meant to be Played program) which we cannot fault them for in a free-market economy. If this allows a certain game to play better on a certain hardware configuration; who are we to complain?

However, I can totally understand why you are opposed to this. It cements a precedent which states that some games will be more enjoyable on Nvidia hardware but that precedent has always been around. Just the same can be said about ATI.

I agree it may prove to be a problem for ATI in the long run but once again we come down to the fundamentals of our economic system: the company who is better able to develop a product can (and should) come out in front.

Quote:
Where will this leave ATI?
They will have to live with the decisions they have made. Who knows, maybe they will have their own annoucements coming in the next few weeks which will make Havok just as enticing as PhysX. If that is the case then we will really have a good fight on our hands.

The problem with this from my standpoint is that I (as a reviewer who has contacts at both ATI and Nvidia) have heard very little about Havok while PhysX is being aggressively pushed and developed. I think that in itself tells you how things are looking right now.

PhysX has forged ahead which means that if or when ATI starts pushing Havok to more developers, it will just serve to clutter and divide the market. At this point in time, that is very, very dangerous for a PC gaming market that is already on the downturn.

I will tell you what I want to see: games developed with PhysX AND Havok so consumers don't need to make a decision between Nvidia and ATI for physics implementation.
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Old December 8, 2008, 09:37 AM
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If you ask me, the fact that EA and 2K, both companies whose DRM mutilates the license you buy after a few installs to make it necessary to purchase a new key, are in bed with Nvidia just makes me even happier I own a PS3. Not only am I sick and tired of building a new PC every 6 months to try to keep up to the cycle, now I will be forced to buy their selected hardware to make the most of games? Not for a second do I think this is good for anyone. Most game developers have been sleeping at the wheel as it is, and now that their paychecks are going to come partly from hardware companies bodes poorly for free enterprise. I understand that this is business and there are no rules for this stuff, it just screams of crap to me. I have already personally boycotted EA in any shape or form from my house due to their horrendous DRM problems, it seems there will be much more I will personally boycott due to the fact I will never allow myself to be told what hardware I have to buy.

This is a sad tragic day for PC gaming and it is no wonder PC gaming is losing popularity by the day. I agree that ATI should STFU and either adopt PHYSX (at substantial cost from Nvidia no doubt) or push their own solution effectively, this still doesn't make it right.
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Old December 8, 2008, 09:57 AM
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b1lk1 you make a good point.

Keeping up with the hardware is a big PITA. If PS3 could do the online MMOs that I like and I could use a keyboard with PS3, I'd consider a switch to PS3+Hugescreen TV+ laptop and still have some money left over from what I would spend on a PC.
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