Nvidia’s PhysX Technology Brings GPU Accelerated Physics to Upcoming Games

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Nvidia announced three anticipated games will be making use of their hyped PhysX technology. Acquired by Ageia in 2008, PhysX formerly required a special Physics Processing Unit (PPU), but can now be accelerated on any CUDA-enabled GeForce card via the GPU, making it stand out from the popular Havok engine which does not yet support hardware acceleration. PhysX can already be seen in action in games like Unreal Tournament 3 and 2008's graphically stunning Mirror’s Edge . The engine is incredibly scalable, already running on every major gaming platform, including Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, and even iPhone.

Dark Void

CAPCOM’s Dark Void aka “the jetpack-game,” as Airtight Games developers affectionately refer to it, uses PhysX to create “realistic” jetpack, UFO, and spaceship physics. It also has the distinction of being “the first game to use dynamic, accurate smoke effects and smoke trails.” Dark Void uses a “vertical combat system” that brings the action off the ground, into the air, and back to the ground seamlessly, giving the player a particularly three-dimensional experience. Live out your Boba Fett and/or Rocketeer fantasies in Dark Void, which will be released Fall 2009 for Xbox360, Playstation 3, and the PC.

Terminator Salvation

Coinciding with the release of the upcoming Christian Bale flick is a third person shooter from Swedish developer GRIN, that promises to deliver “interactive and immersive gaming environments to satisfy even the most discriminating players.” PhysX is used to create destructible objects and scenery that “look and react as realistically as they do in the film.” If they even capture of half of Christian Bale’s signature intensity, this could be a good one. Terminator Salvation is set for release in late May 2009 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.

Darkest of Days

The new FPS from 8monkey Labs lets gamers travel through time and fight in epic historical battles, including World Wars 1 and 2, the U.S. Civil War, and Pompeii. The developers chose PhysX for it’s GPU enhanced physics muscle to create “fully destructible yet natural environments, complete with realistic leaves and flowers, wind, ground fog, smoke, volcanic ash, snow, and more.” Although 8monkeys Labs hinted that there could be the possibility to fight on both sides of a war, when asked if you could create a Back To The Future-esque total paradox, the answer was, sadly, “no.” Still, it’s a cool concept, built using an even cooler technology. Expect Darkest of Days this Fall 2009 for Xbox 360 and PC.

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