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AMD Graphics Games

Game Devs Only Use PhysX For the Money, Says AMD 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the dem's-fightin'-woids dept.
arcticstoat writes "AMD has just aimed a shot at Nvidia's PhysX technology, saying that most game developers only implement GPU-accelerated PhysX for the money. AMD's Richard Huddy explained that 'Nvidia creates a marketing deal with a title, and then as part of that marketing deal, they have the right to go in and implement PhysX in the game.' However, he adds that 'the problem with that is obviously that the game developer doesn't actually want it. They're not doing it because they want it; they're doing it because they're paid to do it. So we have a rather artificial situation at the moment where you see PhysX in games, but it isn't because the game developer wants it in there.' AMD is pushing open standards such as OpenCL and DirectCompute as alternatives to PhysX, as these APIs can run on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs. AMD also announced today that it will be giving away free versions of Pixelux's DMM2 physics engine, which now includes Bullet Physics, to some game developers."
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Game Devs Only Use PhysX For the Money, Says AMD

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  • by hedwards (940851) on Monday March 08, 2010 @02:24PM (#31403112)
    But, should they? If a developer doesn't want to use PhysX, they shouldn't. If they're doing it purely for money, then chances are that it's damaging to the industry. Sure physics acceleration is cool for certain types of games, racing games and FPS, but the problem is that developers shouldn't be paid to use technology that isn 't helpful for creating quality games.

    Especially if it causes games to be less enjoyable on other hardware platforms. I could see a real problem with this in terms of anti-trust actions.
  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Monday March 08, 2010 @02:30PM (#31403216)

    duh, it's got what gamers crave!

  • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blahplusplus (757119) on Monday March 08, 2010 @02:41PM (#31403372)

    "Flying boxes and wood splinters do not make a better game."

    But dead guys laying 180 perpendicular off a cliff makes them awesome? Does no one here remember the good old days of early FPS where if you died on the edge of a ledge your body would lay flat over the edge? Does no one remember the time when you hit dead bodies with shots and they didn't move or flail around? What about mass effect 1 the anti-gravity at the end with the geth/dead bodies floating and flailing around, not cool at all?

    All that is physics and yes the do make a better game WHEN they are applied to things that need them and not over-used, especially not using physics as a gimmick.

  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Monday March 08, 2010 @02:50PM (#31403488)

    GPU makers are in a bind:
    - IGP are now enough for 90% of users: office work (even w/ Aero), video, light gaming, dual-screen... all work fine with IGPs
    - the remaining 10% (gamers, graphic artists) are dwindling for lack or outstanding games: game publishers are turned off by rampant piracy, mainly online games bring in big money nowadays
    - GPGPU is useless except in scientific computing: we already have more x86 cores than the devs know how to use, let alone use a different computing paradigm
    - devs have to target the lowest common denominator, which means no GPGPU for games

    I'm actually think of moving my home PC to one of the upcoming ARM-based smarttops. They look good enough for torrenting + video watching + web browsing, consume 10 watts instead of 150...

  • Re:come on, AMD... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:00PM (#31403620)
    because, yet again, catering to the linux desktop community would be like gmc catering to the double amputee community. there are next to no users and the few users that are there seem to revel in running their machine off of 80 dollars worth of parts that they only upgrade after every other president.

    sorry guy but the linux community is notoriously cheap and when you have a niche market like that you need for them to be big spenders to make it worth while. how else do you think that bentley and rolls royce get away with making less cars than most manufacturers use in crash tests in a year but still maintain a profitable business?
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:08PM (#31403736)

    But, should they? If a developer doesn't want to use PhysX, they shouldn't. If they're doing it purely for money, then chances are that it's damaging to the industry. Sure physics acceleration is cool for certain types of games, racing games and FPS, but the problem is that developers shouldn't be paid to use technology that isn't helpful for creating quality games.

    The payment could just mitigate the risk associated with bearing the extra cost of adding PhysX to a game when not all of the market can utilize it and there is limited experience with it in the developer community. That doesn't mean its bad for the industry, or bad for the quality of the game.

    Especially if it causes games to be less enjoyable on other hardware platforms. I could see a real problem with this in terms of anti-trust actions.

    Really? Can you point to any provision of anti-trust law that this would violate?

  • Its all Hearsay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KharmaWidow (1504025) on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:46PM (#31404202)

    We don't have any proof that developers don't want PhysX. What we have is spokes person from company A saying that no one wants company B's technology. There are no scientifically obtained statistics only one guy's - a competitor - opinion.

    Nor did the article state *why* it may be unwanted, or any specific why-nots for using PhysX

  • Re:Maybe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @03:59PM (#31404420)

    Is it just me or did 4chan recently dump a big one on slashdot?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:03PM (#31404470)

    - the remaining 10% (gamers, graphic artists) are dwindling for lack or outstanding games: game publishers are turned off by rampant piracy, mainly online games bring in big money nowadays

    Piracy, or bad games? Many games these days are just pretty graphics pretending to be quality gameplay -- I think I can count on one hand the number of games I've felt have had excellent gameplay in the last 5 years, enough to be worth paying full retail price for.

    Also as far as the move to consoles, there's the standardization issues on PCs to be dealt with given any engine -- Borderlands couldn't run on certain machines (It had two separate hardware incompatabilities, one with the cpu one with graphics card) even if they met min specs. On consoles, that's not an issue. Also, the console market seems to be on the whole less demanding of quality products before they'll throw gobs of money at companies.

    I think you're being too quick to blame pirates.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:05PM (#31405258) Homepage Journal

    i wouldnt even care if physx was the biggest software innovation of the century - in gaming, especially in regard to graphics, we have suffered a lot because of proprietary shit in the last 2 decades. i dont want to see that again. even if its coarse, inadequate at the start, everyone should push for open standards so that we wont get in deep trouble later.

  • by mxs (42717) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:31PM (#31406736)

    I wonder why you attribute the lack of outstanding games to piracy being rampant -- the industry has been bitching and moaning about that for over 20 years now. That can't be the reason or we would not have a videogame-industry at all.

    Few game developers are willing to do risky things though, and countless remakes of the same games just don't really appeal to all that many gamers -- add to that that gaming itself is being transformed (or rather, the marketplace is changing with mobile games becoming a pastime of millions, there actually being a LOT of games out there from the years prior, etc.), and I can see some reasons for that. Add to that the fact that asset-development (ugh) for modern games can be magnitudes more expensive than for old "outstanding" games and you see that the financials have changed quite a bit as well -- you can no longer just produce an AAA title in a team of 2-4 people in a basement -- the tools simply have not caught up yet.

    I would not count out GPGPU as a niche product just yet -- it's true, paradigms change, but the mere fact that x86 cores are becoming more plentiful is leading to more tool support, more heads thinking about the problems and solutions involved, and more people getting used to concurrent programming. Once you know how to use 6 or 8 cores well, it will not be too much of a jump to the 300-500 threads a GPU will handle. I hope for great things in this area though admittedly I personally like it for the sciency stuff :)

    Lowest common denominator, not. Degrading gracefully to it, yes. Games traditionally push the envelope, and will continue to do so -- unless the console-model and mobile gaming overtakes the entire market.

    ARM-based devices have their uses, but to be quite honest -- I like a spiffy desktop.

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