AMD: NVIDIA Promotes PhysX Games Through Bribery

Game developers don't really want to use PhysX, AMD says

By on March 9th, 2010 13:30 GMT
Even though humanity might dream of an idyllic future where there is no strife, the present is very much full of situations where various personas trade barbs in the hopes of gaining the upper hand in what they perceive as a heated competition. While the longstanding feud between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices can be said to hold the top position among corporate rivalries, the second place almost as easily falls to the relationship between the latter and NVIDIA. Not long after AMD accused NVIDIA of deliberately reducing the functionality of its PhysX technology, the chip maker follows up with the claim that the Santa Clara GPU maker has the habit of bribing game developers.

According to what Richard Huddy, AMD’s senior manager of developer relations in Europe, said in an interview with Thinq.co.uk, game developers implement PhysX in their games not because they want to, but because it is implied by the marketing deal they have with NVIDIA. According to Huddy, game developers, with the exception of Epic, don't actually want PhysX but they end up using it after all because NVIDIA pays them to.

“What I have seen with physics, or PhysX rather, is that Nvidia create a marketing deal with a title, and then as part of that marketing deal, they have the right to go in and implement PhysX in the game. The problem with that is obviously that the game developer doesn’t actually want it. They are not doing it because they want it; they’re doing it because they are paid to do it,” stated Huddy.

“I am not aware of any GPU-accelerated PhysX code which is there because the games developer wanted it with the exception of the Unreal stuff. I don’t know of any games company that’s actually said ‘you know what, I really want GPU-accelerated PhysX, I’d like to tie myself to Nvidia and that sounds like a great plan’,”he added.

AMD's representative also said that NVIDIA's PhysX will be short lived, because it is not an open standard and, as such, will lose face in front of an emerging rival technology.

“I think the proprietary stuff will eventually go away. If you go back ten years or so to when Glide was there as a proprietary 3D graphics API, it could have coexisted, but instead of putting their effort into getting D3D to go well, 3dfx focused on Glide. As a result, they found themselves competing with a proprietary standard against an open standard, and they lost. It’s the way it is with many of the standards we work with,” said Mr. Huddy.

All that is needed now for the completion of this new episode in the AMD vs. NVIDIA saga is the latter's response to the accusation, which will likely come soon, as was the case with the Santa Clara GPU maker's last reply.

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