News

NVIDIA gives you physics

Posted by: John at 8/12/2008 12:48 PM
Today, NVIDIA has let loose downloads to offer PhysX support on GeForce 8 and up cards. Owners of Unreal Tournament 3 can grab a mod pack that has 3 maps that show off the new physics.  There are also a couple demos that you can play with and a free game in Warmonger. I might have to stick my GeForce 8800GTX card back in just to see some of the new stuff that NVIDIA's slipping in.


NVIDIA PhysX Technology and GeForce GPUs Usher in a New Era of Immersion
for PC Games

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Gamers would
agree that they would love to see the worlds in their favorite games be
depicted as realistically as possible. For total immersion, the gaming
environment has to "feel" as real as possible, and characters must be able
to move and interact with the objects in the environment that have a
compelling, dramatic impact on game play. With customized physics effects,
developers can design trees that bend in the wind, water that ebbs and
flows naturally, and include objects in the environment that dramatically
impact the gaming experience. To deliver this level of interactivity,
developers are rapidly taking advantage of NVIDIA(R) PhysX(TM) technology,
interactive entertainment's most pervasive physics engine, already used in
more than 140 shipping titles for Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360,
and Nintendo Wii. With today's release of the GeForce Power Pack, a
compilation of games, demos, and mod packs for the PC platform that is
available for free at http://www.nvidia.com/theforcewithin, NVIDIA is now
bringing this new depth of gameplay to PC gamers everywhere.

On the PC, PhysX technology harnesses the power of any CUDA-enabled
general-purpose parallel computing processor, including any NVIDIA
GeForce(R) 8 Series or higher GPU, to handle 10-20 times more visual
complexity than what's possible on today's traditional PC platforms. All of
the 80 million plus GeForce 8 Series and higher GPUs in the field are
CUDA-enabled, the largest installed base of general-purpose,
parallel-computing processors ever created.

And, unlike competitive solutions which do not offer hardware scaling
capability, only PhysX technology can leverage the best of both CPU and GPU
architectures to deliver the ultimate, immersive, end user experience.
Upcoming PC titles that incorporate PhysX technology include Cryostasis,
Backbreaker, Aliens: Colonial Marines, with close to 20 more PC titles
expected before the year-end holiday seasons.

"Game physics is essential in enabling deeper interactivity and
real-world effects in any game. Epic is pleased to offer PhysX as a
standard feature within Unreal Engine 3 to enable such effects," said Mark
Rein, Vice President of Epic Games. "The introduction of GPU acceleration
for PhysX promises both additional potential effects and faster
performance. You can get a glimpse of the possibilities of what PhysX is
able to do with the special levels for Unreal Tournament 3 where damage
effects greatly enhance the gameplay."

Starting today, any owner of a GeForce 8 Series or higher GPU can
immediately discover the immersive playability that NVIDIA PhysX technology
brings to PC gaming. This first of many planned "GeForce Power Packs" is a
fascinating showcase of how PhysX technology is fundamentally changing
video games and interactive entertainment.

Available for free from http://www.nvidia.com/theforcewithin, the
PhysX-enabled content from this first GeForce Power Pack includes:

-- Warmonger -- Full free game! Destroy walls, floors, and whole
buildings to open up new paths or close existing ones. Destructive power is
more than eye candy here-it's a tactical weapon in this ground-breaking
action game.

-- Unreal Tournament 3 PhysX Mod Pack-includes three maps with amazing
effects that fundamentally change the gameplay (requires full version of
Unreal Tournament 3)

-- A sneak peek at the upcoming Nurien social networking service, based
on the Unreal Engine 3 (with built-in benchmark)

-- A sneak peek at the upcoming game Metal Knight Zero (with built-in
benchmark)

-- All new NVIDIA "The Great Kulu" tech demo that showcases the use of
PhysX soft bodies in a real game play environment

-- All new NVIDIA "Fluid" tech demo-a simulation of realistic fluid
effects with a variety of liquids

In conjunction with the release of the GeForce Power Pack, NVIDIA has
also released new WHQL-certified drivers that enable PhysX acceleration for
all GeForce 8, 9, and GTX 200 Series GPUs. This new driver also adds
support for PhysX-accelerated features in the commercially available Ghost
Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 game.

By installing these drivers, GeForce owners can immediately experience
much higher levels of interactivity, special effects, and realism on their
PC. In addition, GeForce owners will love being able to run
PhysX-accelerated applications faster on their GeForce GPU than on
competitive GPUs. For example, in the PhysX-enabled levels of Unreal
Tournament 3, the GeForce 9800 GTX+ runs 180% faster than on the AMD Radeon
HD 4850.

"The use of physics in games is highly effective in enabling new levels
of interactivity and gameplay options. Gearbox is excited about these
developments and we are rapidly finding new ways to use NVIDIA PhysX to
improve the game's immersive feel and overall excitement factor," said
Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software. "The addition of GPU acceleration
allows us to add even more effects whilst maintaining great performance.
Gearbox titles, including Borderlands and others, will feature increased
use of PhysX and we look forward to developing more with the support of
NVIDIA."

"Seeing really is believing and is the reason why we compiled all of
this great PhysX content into a free download for our end users," said
Ujesh Desai, general manager for GeForce GPUs at NVIDIA. "We want GeForce
owners to experience for themselves these amazing effects to get an idea
how PhysX will make games much more lifelike in the years to come.
Physics-accelerated content is already here, and there are a ton more
titles on the way. We can't wait for our customers to jump in, get wet, and
tell us what they think!"