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CES 2008: Ageia

Posted by: Chuck at 1/9/2008 7:06 PM
I've been meeting with Ageia on and off for the last four years or so.  There's no doubt that they've got some decent technology but their problem has been that there are no games out there that support their hardware based physics technology. All of that changed last month when Unreal Tournament 3 and Warmonger shipped.  Finally the hardware has some games that can use it and it seems like the company has a little momentum behind it.  The company has released two new maps for Unreal Tournament 3 that show off their technology.  The more impressive of the two levels features is a level called Tornado which has you fighting it out in a warehouse area while a tornado storms through the area.  The tornado isn't just for show as it actually impacts the game play.  If you are too close to the tornado your weapons will be sucked up into the tornado (nothing like having a bead on someone with a rocket launcher only to have the rockets pulled off course).  The tornado also picks up and throws items around so you can be killed by debris.  Ageia is currently working on a second content pack for Unreal Tournament 3 which will include one new level and a host of physics based mutators. 

Ageia realizes that a toolset without tools isn't much good so they have recently released a new developer tool kit for the Unreal Engine 3 that allows developers to take existing objects and replace them with physics based ones.  This should allow developers to quickly create games that utilizes Ageia's hardware.  The folks at Ageia have seen a spike in sales of their cards since the price of the hardware dropped below $100 and it seems like developers are starting to take notice of the technology.

Ageia is set to announced another big game that will take advantage of their hardware later this year.  I can't tell you what the game is but I think gamers are going to be semi-impressed with the game when the details finally surface.