Game designers can now better simulate bodies, clothing, fluids, etc.Advanced Micro Devices may have scored more points on the hardware front in regards to Sony's PlayStation 4 game console by getting its 8-core Jaguar inside, but NVIDIA isn't out of the running yet.
The Santa Clara, California-based company worked with Sony to ensure that its PhysX and APEX software development kits could be used liberally.
PhysX is a technology that, as its name suggests, accurately simulates physics inside games and CGI films.
Meanwhile, APEX helps render rigid bodies, fluids, particle systems, clothing, etc., and even allows for detection of collision effects.
What NVIDIA succeeded in doing was enable support for its PhysX and APEX software developer kits on PlayStation 4.
The two run on a variety of CPU architectures, so long as there is an NVIDIA GPU with CUDA technology to assist.
Full information on the APEX and PhysX SDKs, as well as games that use them, can be found on the official website (NVIDIA APEX and NVIDIA PhysX) but the bottom line is that games will become richer in visual quality if they are used.
“Great physics technology is essential for delivering a better gaming experience and multiplatform support is critical for developers,” said Mike Skolones, product manager for the PhysX at NVIDIA.
“With PhysX and APEX support for PlayStation 4, customers can look forward to better games.”
One example of visual improvement would be clothing that interacts with the virtual body. One can only imagine what wonders this will enable when rain drops start puttering on fabric, or if hair brushes against it.
Now we can only hope that game developers will somehow find a way to combine NVIDIA's technologies with AMD TressFX, which renders hair like it has never been rendered before. Sadly, like NVIDIA's technologies need CUDA, TressFX depends on AMD Graphics CoreNext, so there probably won't be much progress in this direction in the near future.