PhysX for Gamers (followup #2)
Back in May 2006, I reported on AGEIA’s PhysX card for PC gamers that would offload physics calculations from the CPU providing more realistic, immersive and inventive gaming; but, I had also said this…
History needs to repeat itself. What happened to 3DFX (consumed by nVidia) needs to happen to AGEIA. I’m not saying it needs to be integrated into the video card, though that may well be the best solution, specifically for the latency problem. I’m thinking more in terms of the API. Developers don’t write to nVidia, or ATI, or Matrox, etc, but rather to a common standard like Microsoft’s DirectX or OpenGL. (one of the things that makes standards so nice is that there are so many to choose from *rolls eyes*)
Microsoft announces “Direct Physics“, to be included in the DirectX API to allow programmers to write physics based manipulation of objects in 3D for realism and better immersion.
I also commented on Havok, another player in physics hardware…
If you made me guess, I’d say that the Havok SDK will be akin to OpenGL, and the Ageia SDK will be akin to DirectDraw.
Since then, Intel gobbled up Havok and buried them somewhere, so, it will be a lot like OpenGL.
Now, in February 2008, nVidia (the leading video card manufacturer) acquired AGEIA. nVidia had this to say about it…
By purchasing AGEIA, NVIDIA will be able to support AGEIA’s very popular PhysX technology on future GeForce GPUs. By doing so, the install base of PhysX enabled hardware will exponentially increase and game developers will now have a larger number of customers that can make use of the PhysX engine.
So, hopefully my next entry on this will be when nVidia releases a video card with PhysX technology, accessible via Direct Physics, and how history did repeat itself.