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NVIDIA Making PhysX and APEX Available on PlayStation 4

Posted on March 8, 2013 8:50 AM by Rob Williams
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In a bit of not-so-surprising news, NVIDIA has announced that it will be offering its PhysX and APEX technologies on Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 console. The reason this isn’t too surprising is that both of these technologies have been cross-platform for a while, and at least on the PhysX side, both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were already supported. However, given the fact that the PS4 bundles in both an AMD CPU and GPU (in the form of an APU), it is a bit interesting to see that the console won’t be devoid of NVIDIA’s technologies.

Mike Skolones, Product Manager for PhysX, states “Great physics technology is essential for delivering a better gaming experience and multiplatform support is critical for developers. With PhysX and APEX support for PlayStation 4, customers can look forward to better games.

HAWKEN

With PlayStation 4-related news saturating the Web, it’s hard to find out if APEX is available for the PS3, but we’re lead to believe that it isn’t. APEX was first introduced a couple of years ago, alongside the Mafia II (our review) launch; it’s a framework that works alongside PhysX to give artists additional control over certain effects. Official APEX modules include Destruction, Clothing, Particles, Vegetation and Turbulence.

During the launch event for Sony’s latest console, physics were talked about at some length. An example was given of many different particles bouncing around, much like examples we’ve seen for PhysX in the past. What will be interesting to see, then, is if developers choose to use the physics abilities innate to the PS4′s APU, or if NVIDIA’s solution will drag them in. Time will tell.


  • madmatTG

    So, why isn’t this available for ATI powered PC’s?

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Because it’s not using the GPU on these consoles to get the job done. It’s optimized for whatever CPU is in there. PhysX has been available on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for a while, although I am not sure how heavily it was used.

      • madmatTG

        So an ATI powered PC doesn’t have a CPU? Arguing that the consoles are leveraging the CPU so they get a pass to use it isn’t really valid when the same can be done on any PC if nV allowed it.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          You can use PhysX on any PC with a CPU.

          • madmatTG

            I thought it wouldn’t work on ATI powered machines.

          • DarkStarr

            It does but its half assed at best. Certain features don’t work because they are Nvidia GPU ONLY even though they could run on the CPU.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            Do you happen to have specific examples of that? I know a lot of AMD users who have been able to use PhysX High in Borderlands, and they’d get both the debris, liquid and cloth effects just fine.

          • DarkStarr

            Several effects cannot be used except on Nvidia hardware as stated in the Hawken video and this info from the game supports it.

            PhysX High Option: PhysX particles can now be set to High in the Video
            Settings menu. High (NVIDIA Only) Option will be grayed out if your
            computer does not meet required specifications.

          • http://www.facebook.com/deathspawner Rob Williams

            I don’t benchmark using PhysX unless it’s a specific test, and nor do I use AMD cards, so these “issues” passed me by.

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