Nvidia, Ubisoft team up for PC exclusive features

Nvidia, Ubisoft team up for PC exclusive features

A partnership between Nvidia and Ubisoft means the company's upcoming games will include tailored support for GeForce-exclusive technologies, with the promise that the PC versions will be far superior to their console equivalents.

Graphics giant Nvidia and games publisher Ubisoft have announced the formation of a technical alliance which will see PC-exclusive technologies used to enhance upcoming Ubisoft titles.

The announcement comes just ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games consoles, which both use graphics processing technology from Nvidia's rival AMD. Clearly, then, Nvidia has reason to be supporting PC gaming as the only true way to play next-generation games - but what does Ubisoft get out of the deal?

The short answer: direct access to Nvidia engineers. The company has confirmed that several upcoming Ubisoft titles will include optimisations made by Nvidia to enhance the games' visuals, including Nvidia-provided and enhanced support for Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA,) Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion Plus (HBAO+) with Interleaved Rendering, and Scan-Line Interleave (SLI) - which, it must be added, includes a dig at AMD's frame-stuttering issues as the company describes the technology as 'the smoothest and fastest multi-GPI solution available.

The companies made an announcement during Gamescom last week that Splinter Cell Blacklist would be one of the first titles to benefit from the partnership: the game will include all the aforementioned features, plus higher resolution assets than are available on the console versions - boosting the install size to a whopping 22GB - support for DirectX 11 tessellation and parallax occlusion mapping. They also confirmed that similar features would be present in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

Now, Nvidia and Ubisoft have jointly revealed that third-person hack-'em-up Watch_Dogs is to get the same treatment. While details are lacking, the feature list is likely to be near-identical to those for the aforementioned titles: tailored support for TXAA, HBAO+ and SLI for those with Nvidia graphics chips, and higher-than-console resolution assets, tessellation and parallax occlusion mapping for all DirectX 11-capable systems.

With AMD having design wins in all three next-generation console systems - the company provides APUs for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and a GPU in the Wii U - it's likely that this deal with Ubisoft is only the first in many for rival Nvidia. The company will be looking to turn people away from consoles and onto PC gaming with a focus it lacked when it provided graphics processors for consoles, which can only mean good things to come for PC gamers - and doubly so when AMD decides its time to compete with some technical partnerships of its own.


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Fizzban 27th August 2013, 14:51 Quote
Games on PC already look better than their console counter-parts. That said, if this means the PC versions will be getting more love than they currently do I'm all for it.
Phalanx 27th August 2013, 14:53 Quote
I'm waiting for the "You must have a Uplay account to activate this feature" popup box.
schmidtbag 27th August 2013, 14:55 Quote
Nvidia shouldn't keep their confidence about SLI too high, as AMD already overall fixed their microstutter problem in the August beta driver. It has room for improvement but it's overall in good shape.
Snips 27th August 2013, 16:02 Quote
At least Nvidia can back up their marketing comments, unlike AMD ;)
rollo 27th August 2013, 16:48 Quote
Don't know many people left with AMD multi Gpu solutions, most have sold them and gone nvidia. AMDs fixes arived 12 months after the fact for most high end users.
XXAOSICXX 27th August 2013, 16:49 Quote
Even better graphics on even more lousy console ports! Woohoo!
schmidtbag 27th August 2013, 16:59 Quote
Originally Posted by rollo
Don't know many people left with AMD multi Gpu solutions, most have sold them and gone nvidia. AMDs fixes arived 12 months after the fact for most high end users.

I personally only know 4 people with multi-GPU solutions. 2 of them are AMD (one of them being myself), 2 are nvidia, and one of the nvidia setups I think is retired at this point.

I personally own 2 HD5750s. There are some interesting benefits of doing such a setup that many people don't point out. First of all, you generally get more performance than a HD5870 for a lower price. But one benefit I've come to notice is a single HD5750 is good enough to play most games at medium-high settings at acceptable frame rates. Games that can't take advantage of crossfire are generally less demanding, so you save power and reduce heat by only pushing 1 GPU and not the other.

For me personally, one benefit of a multi-GPU setup is GPU passthrough in virtual machines. I haven't got around to it yet but I intend to at some point in order to do a multiplayer gaming system on 1 computer. I'll likely use QEMU to do this.
Omnituens 27th August 2013, 23:04 Quote
FFS. Nvidia could have at least paired up with a company that actually cares about PC gaming.
AlienwareAndy 27th August 2013, 23:14 Quote
UBISoft? is that the best they could do :D
technogiant 29th August 2013, 08:50 Quote
A rather desperate attempt by Nvidia to remain relevant....after all is said and done most of the money is in console games....the area monopolized by most of optimization will be for their architecture.

Seems like Nvidia are planning more stuff like proprietary physx...but linked to one game developer....that should work well :-/
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