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posted 6/16/2005 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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GamingNexus: How does the NovodeX engine work with the multiple-thread/multiple processors of the next generation hardware?
Andy Keane: NovodeX is a multi-threaded API and was designed to take advantage of a highly multi-threaded processing environment with parallel processors since this is the foundation of our PhysX processor. Therefore, we are the first SDK to take advantage of multiple processors.


GamingNexus: How does your engine compare to the Havok physics engine?
Andy Keane: NovodeX is also a software physics middleware engine. NovodeX is a software physics engine that offers the same advantages as the Havok engine with a few major additions. We offer multi-threaded capabilities, support an upgrade path through the PhysX hardware acceleration, and have other unique features such as universal collision detection.


GamingNexus: Why should gamers plunk out $249-299 for a dedicated physics card?
Andy Keane: It’s about the experience. Remember the impact that the software physics in Half-Life 2 had on the game play and realism? Magnify that by the thousands. And, of course, the hardware is nothing without the game content to support it. We have been working with many publishers and developers to secure content that is compelling.


GamingNexus: While no other hardware based physics have been announced yet do you think there’s a possibility for a platform battle similar to the Glide/OpenGL/DirectX battle that occurred when dedicated graphics cards first came to market?
Andy Keane: As the market for physics in games develops and expands, we anticipate the standardization that will take place for a physics API. Our business model is designed to follow those standards since our goal is compelling content. We are working closely with partners and standards organizations to try and prevent the same issues with physics. Also, NovodeX is highly compatible with other physics middleware, therefore game development headaches should be avoided.


GamingNexus: If a PC game uses the NovodeX engine will gamers without the card still be able to play it (at a decreased experience) or not? Is this a developer decision?
Andy Keane: Yes, if a game uses NovodeX it will at a minimum support the software features within a game. The game developer does, however, decide which features take advantage of software versus hardware or both. We see developers that are early in development seeing hardware support as a major technological advantage in their game. Existing games under development tend to use a combination of both software and hardware acceleration.
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