Nvidia on Tuesday said it has signed a license agreement with Sony to provide PhysX technology for the PlayStation 3. Nvidia's PhysX technology - based on the laws of physics - enables game objects to respond in a realistic way to physical events. More conventional technology uses a stored response, in which the same response is repeated over and over.
For example, a window breaks, or a person falls the same way every time. In a PhysX-enabled football sports game, however, the angle and velocity of the impact is calculated by the graphics processor to generate a real-time response that is different practically every time. No wonder it comes with the tagline, "games that not only look as realistic as possible, but also provides gaming experiences where the world's literally come to life."
"Nvidia is proud to support PlayStation 3 as an approved middleware provider," said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at Nvidia, in a statement. "Games developed for the PlayStation 3 using PhysX technology offer a more realistic and lifelike interaction between the games characters and other objects within the game. We look forward to the new games that will redefine reality for a new generation of gamers."
Nvidia described the software development kit (SDK) as "a full-featured (application programming interface) and robust physics engine, designed to give developers, animators, level designers, and artists unprecedented creative control over character and object physical interactions by allowing them to author and preview physics effects in real time."
Nvidia purchased Ageia, the manufacturer of the PhysX chip, in Feb. 2008. Although Ageia designed the PhysX API to work with its own hardware, Nvidia announced plans soon after the acquisition to turn PhysX into a software API, and later began releasing games to encourage grassroots support of the technology. In December, game developers Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive Software adopted Nvidia's PhysX technology.