Recently AMD criticized Nvidia's Physx and said the Geforce makers would pay to get their physics system integrated in modern games. PC Games Hardware now received Nvidia's answer to those claims.
The PC version of Batman: Arkham Asylum did benefit a lot from graphics cards that support Nvidia's Physx. Later the incident has been referred to as Batmangate. [Source: view picture gallery]
The struggle between AMD and Nvidia about Physx is running for quite some time already. Back in January AMD said Physx lacks proper CPU optimization. Now Nadeem Mohammed, Director of Product Management, Physx, at Nvidia answered questions PC Games Hardware asked as a reaction to AMD's recent claim that Nvidia bribes game developers to have Physx implemented into new PC games. PCGH:
AMD claims that no other developer besides Epic wanted PhysX in their games and that Nvidia pays for every implementation. Is that true?
Nadeem Mohammed: AGEIA had worked with Epic to integrate PhysX into their UE3, and other developers even before the acquisition by NVIDIA. Since that time the popularity of PhysX has increased to a point that it is now the most popular Physics Solution with over 240 games already shipped and many in development. Selecting a physics solution for integration with a game is a major decision on the part of the developer, and one of the most important criteria for selection is the functionality and tools provided for game consoles - and a poor decision/selection of physics solution could have a major impact on the developers means to deliver or even complete their project. Sorry that is a long answer to the simple question, but it's important to understand the overall context - we do not pay developers to select PhysX instead of other physics solution. Once PhysX is selected and the developer plans to have a PC version, we will work closely with them to provide whatever engineering and technical assistance to make the PC version as good as it can be - and hopefully that includes pushing the edge on special PhysX effects which may require GPU acceleration for best performance. We will "invest” our time, energy, expertise and technology to make good games into great PC titles - if that's what AMD is talking about then sure they are right! PCGH:
When we find games that we think PC gamers are really going to enjoy - weather they have PhysX or not we will test the games in a building full of test servers to find any driver issues upfront - to ensure every GeForce user has a great experience, if our board partners want to bundle games we'll try to broker the deals to try to get the best value to our end users. We work really hard to cultivate good relationships with developers with the single purpose of delivering the best possible gaming experience for all PC gamers - a big chunk of whom are NVIDIA GeForce users. What's AMD doing to help PC gamers?
AMD claims that PhysX is proprietary. What's your reaction?
Nadeem Mohammed: PhysX is a complete Physics solution which runs on all major platforms like PS3, XBOX360, Wii, PC with Intel or AMD CPU, and on the PC with GeForce cards; it even runs on iPhone. It's available for use by any developer for inclusion in games for any platform - all free of license fees. There's nothing restrictive or proprietary about that. We have been told that some AMD spokespeople talk about PhysX being like 3DFX's GLIDE API - that's even more of inaccuracy analogy, games written for GLIDE simple would not run on any system without a 3DFX card, whereas PhysX runs on more platforms than any other Physics Solution out there, and comes with tools and plug-ins, like APEX which help developers create content which can actually scale between different solutions. So please try out some of the latest PC titles - and give feedback to the developers on what things gamers really want in games - let's keep on pushing the industry to make killer games together!
If you are interested in the whole story about the Physx struggle, we recommend the following articles:
• AMD vs. Nvidia - Physx said to lack proper CPU optimization
• AMD - Game devs only use PhysX for the cash
• Exclusive tech interview on Metro 2033