As this summer's battle of the graphics cards continues to hot up (look out for our in depth gaming performance article coming soon!) it looks like Nvidia is indulging in some cross brand tactics to promote it's PhysX API by directly supporting 3rd party modders in bringing PhysX processing to AMD graphics cards.
For those not in the know, Nvidia aquired PhysX developer Ageia back in February
, and has successfully integrated PhysX support onto it's latest GT200 core graphics cards, with PhysX support for any Geforce 8-series or above card being released in the next few months.
In response AMD licensed Intel's Havok physics API (yeah, it's complicated) to include Havok acceleration on it's own Radeon graphics cards.
However, an intrepid team of software developers over at NGOHQ.com
have been busy porting Nvidia's CUDA based PhysX API to work on AMD Radeon graphics cards, and have now received official support from Nvidia - who is no doubt delighted to see it's API working on a competitor's hardware (as well as seriously threatening Intel's Havok physics system.)
As cheesed off as this might make AMD, which is unsurprisingly not supporting NGOHQ's work, it could certainly be for the betterment of PC gaming as a whole. If both AMD and Nvidia cards support PhysX, it'll remove the difficult choice for developers of which physics API to use in games. We've been growing more and more concerned here at bit-tech
at the increasingly fragmented state of the physics and graphics markets, and anything that has the chance to simplify the situation for consumers and developers can only be a good thing.
Still hoping for a unified physics API? Or is it still early days for physics in games? Let us know in the forums