It looks as if the NDAs for several tool-makers supporting Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 were lifted today, as our inboxes have been flooded this morning with announcements.
Below are the tools and engines that should be available now for those of you developing on the PlayStation 4. We'll update this story should any other announcements come our way.
Added NVIDIA's PhysX and APEX, and NaturalMotion's Morpheme 4
Animation tool FaceFX is billed as "an advanced facial animation solution unique in its ability to liberate artists from the complexities of creating realistic dialogue and emotive characters." Recent titles that used the tech include Far Cry 3
, Halo 4
. More information is available here
Germany's xaitment is supporting the PS4 with xaitControl, its AI software package for game logic and character behavioral modeling.
xaitment was founded in Germany in 2004 as an offshoot of the German Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence. More on xaitControl here
Allegorithmic's Substance Engine is a popular solution for textures. The PlayStation 4-specific version of its tools allows "game developers to reduce download size, boost streaming performance and decrease loading times in their games" with its runtime generation of parametric textures. More information here
Unreal Engine 4
We're sure Epic's Unreal needs no introduction, and it should come as no surprise that it will be supported in Sony's next console. Unreal Engine 4 is available now for PS4 developers, more information is available here
SpeedTree's middleware "delivers amazingly natural real-time trees and plants with seamless LOD transitions, an array of lighting, physics and wind effects, as well as an SDK that can be programmed to support any level of engine integration." More information here
Geomerics' lighting technology is "packed full of time-saving workflow features and a lightweight runtime," and is "the only solution proven to deliver fully dynamic lighting on today's PCs, game consoles and mobile platforms." You can see it in action in Battlefield 3
, Medal of Honor: Warfighter
and EVE Online
. More here
NVIDIA's tech is "the world's most pervasive physics solution for designing real-time, real-world effects into interactive entertainment titles. The PhysX development environment gives developers unprecedented control over the look of their final in-game interactivity." More here
Also from NVIDIA, APEX "lets artists create intricate physics-enabled environments. They can expand the quantity and visual quality of destructible objects; make smoke and other particle-based fluids integral to game play; and create life-like clothing that interacts with the character's body to achieve more realism in their games." More here
The newest version NaturalMotion's popular animation tool "introduces advanced prediction modelling capabilities that enable developers to build complex integrations between animation and AI systems. The new ScatterBlend parametric blend node introduced in Morpheme 4 streamlines animator workflow, and allows character motion to be controlled with real world inputs such as movement speeds and turning angles." More info here
Havok's popular physics engine -- which many saw in a demonstration during the system's unveiling -- is available to developers. More info here