As both EA and 2K Games decided to adopt the NVIDIA PhysX technology this week, Bit Tech had a chat with Godfrey Cheng, Director of Technical Marketing in AMD's Graphics Product Group about physics.
Cheng believes the NVIDIA PhysX technology will die if it remains a closed and proprietary standard, and claim they as well as game developers view Havok, which is owned by Intel, as the leader in physics simulation.
It's interesting that Cheng says game developers share the view that Havok is the market leader in physics simulation - does that mean both Electronic Arts and 2K Games adopted PhysX against their development studios' wishes? AMD wouldn't answer that question.
So, what about GPU-accelerated Havok Physics? It's still coming apparently and Cheng said that "[AMD] will provide more clarity to our work once more milestones have been achieved between AMD and Havok."
"Our guidance was end of this year or early next year but, first and foremost, it will be driven by the milestones that we hit. To put some context behind GPU based physics acceleration, it is really just at the beginning. Like 3D back in the early 1990s. Our competition has made some aggressive claims about support for GPU physics acceleration by the end of this year. I.e. Support in many titles....but we can count the titles on one hand or just one or two fingers," added Cheng.
"It should be noted that title support for GPU accelerated physics simulation is NOT the end game. The end game is having GPU physics as an integral part of game play and not just eye candy. If it is optional eye candy, GPU physics will not gain traction. The titles we have seen today with shattering glass and cloth waving in the wind is not integral to game play and the impact on the game's experience is minimal. We are looking for ways to integrate GPU physics better into game play. Or even things like AI instead of focusing on eye candy / effects physics."