Hardware and software physics company Ageia Technologies has announced that the latest version of its PhysX SDK, version 2.4, will become available to registered PlayStation 3 game content developers on March 31, 2006.
The Ageia PhysX SDK includes extensive physics functionality and multithreading capabilities, which are uniquely suited for the multicore architecture of the Cell processor adopted on the PlayStation 3. The latest Ageia PhysX SDK version 2.4 is optimized for the Cell processor.
In the 2.4 release, several components of the Ageia PhysX pipeline have been offloaded from the PPU of the PlayStation 3 to the SPUs; developers can fully control the component deployment. This has resulted in a 50% reduction in maximum PPU load, leaving more room for game code and smooth frame rates.
"Real-time physical simulation is the new frontier in computer entertainment, and the PlayStation 3 will lead the way with the help of Aegia PhysX technology,” said Dominic Mallinson, Vice President of US R&D for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "Our collaboration with Ageia will provide PlayStation 3 developers with another powerful tool, enabling the creation of amazingly rich and realistic interactive entertainment."
In other Ageia-related news, the company announced that City of Villains developer Cryptic Studios plans to supercharge the game’s powers and effects for players whose PCs are equipped with Physics Accelerator add-in boards powered by the Ageia PhysX processor.
Details included Mayhem Missions, which are set in a destructible environment, have destroyed objects taking greater advantage of the physics effects, such as a newspaper vending machine which, when blown up, shreds thousands of particles of paper around it. In addition, world geometry will be retrofitted with reactive physics effects, such as leaves being dropped from trees when a Power Blast is cast nearby.