Physics is becoming the new buzzword when it comes to hyped-up hardware. Ageia's PhysX processor
touted as an important step forward -- the add-in card, which is already available in Alienware's machines, goes on
sale this month, though it will be some time before the games which support it are released.
hasn't sewn up the market. NVidia is also getting on the bandwagon by supporting Havok (as announced at GDC
). Ageia claim that their card
can generate more objects than a high-end graphics rig can cope with, so it will be interesting to see how a dedicated
graphics card handles the task of physics too.
Microsoft is jumping in the fray as well -- not much is
known about DirectPhysics
but if history repeats itself
then a firm hand from Microsoft could
do the hyperbolic world of physics accelerators a world of good. Ultimately, physics acceleration has a lot of
potential, but the cost of an additional card is off-putting; as more emerges about the alternatives to PhysX, it'll be
easier to make an informed decision.