Sony Taps Nvidia To Bring More Lifelike Games To PS3 - InformationWeek

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Sony Taps Nvidia To Bring More Lifelike Games To PS3

Nvidia's PhysX tools will be distributed at no charge to PS3 developers through Sony's developer network.

Sony has licensed Nvidia's PhysX tools to make it possible for more developers to build lifelike games for the PlayStation 3 video-game console.

Under the middleware license agreement, Sony will be able to distribute the PhysX software development kit to registered PS3 developers at no charge. Sony plans to make the SDK available through its developer network. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The PhysX SDK comprises an API and physics engine that give developers more control over character and object interactions. As a result, game environments become more lifelike with, for example, realistic smoke, flying debris, and shattered glass from explosions, trees that bend in the wind, and water that flows with body and force.

"Games developed for the PlayStation 3 using PhysX technology offer a more realistic and lifelike interaction between the [game's] characters and other objects within the game," Tony Tamasi, senior VP of content and technology at Nvidia, said in a statement released Tuesday.

Nvidia, a maker of graphics processors for PCs, acquired the PhysX SDK in the purchase of software toolmaker Ageia in February 2008.

Ageia built a niche for itself in gaming by offering technology that handles those elements of a video game that add realism to the overall experience. PhysX is used in scores of titles shipping or in development for PCs, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. When Nvidia bought Ageia, there were more than 10,000 registered users of the PhysX SDK.

Nvidia's major competitor is the ATI graphics unit of chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices.

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