A job opportunity has popped up on Microsoft's career page, suggesting that the software giant is already planning to create an industry-standard Physics API.

The job description details the role of the software design engineer, who will "join a growing team responsible for developing Direct Physics". It goes on to state that "[the team] is responsible for delivering a great leap forwards in the way game developers think about integrating Physics into their engines."

This comes just before AGEIA's PhysX physics processing unit goes on sale world-wide. There are a few launch titles coming, the most notable being Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. Unreal Tournament 2007 is another triple-A title that is set to benefit from AGEIA's PhysX card.

AGEIA hasn't got the market sewn up before Redmond onslaughts the Physics world, as both NVIDIA and ATI have announced plans to support GPU-accelerated Havok physics.

Many will know that Havok is currently one of the most widely used physics engines, and game developers are torn between PhysX and Havok. Adding Direct Physics into the fray makes the situation a little more complicated, but it could ultimately lead to a clearer direction for introducing realistic physics into games.

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