Nintendo approves Nvidia PhysX SDK for Wii

Written by Ben Hardwidge

March 20, 2009 | 12:38

Tags: #license #physx #sdk #tamasi #third-party #tony #tool #wii

Companies: #nintendo #nvidia

Nintendo’s Wii console may not have any Nvidia components in it, but Nintendo still appears to be very interested in Nvidia’s PhysX technology. The quirky Japanese game developer has just approved the PhysX SDK as a worldwide third-party tool for Wii game developers.

As a result, the PhysX SDK will now be available to registered game developers for the Wii. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Wii’s ATI Hollywood GPU will be accelerating physics in games, but that game developers will be able to implement the SDK in software via the IBM PowerPC-based Broadway CPU in games if they want to.

Nvidia’s senior vice president of content and technology, Tony Tamasi, explained that “adding a PhysX SDK for Wii is key to our cross-platform strategy and integral to the business model for our licensed game developers and publishers.” He also added that the PhysX SDK for Wii would mean that “developers can easily author more realistic game environments for the evolving demands of a broad class of Wii gamers.”

Last week, Nvidia announced that it had made a similar deal with Sony for the PlayStation 3 console. The deal involved signing a tools and middleware license agreement with Sony, which made the PhysX SDK freely available to registered PlayStation 3 developers.

Nvidia says that the PhysX SDK is “designed to give developers, animators, level designers, and artists unprecedented creative control over character and object physical interactions by allowing them to author scalable physics in real time.” However, it’s debatable how much the Wii’s single-core 729MHz Broadway CPU could cope with when it comes to real-time physics processing while dealing with all the other in-game processing. That said, the Wii’s motion-sensitive controller could make for some fun games with real-time physics effects.

What real-time PhysX effects would you like to see in future Wii games? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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