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NVIDIA Brings PhysX to PS3, Wii

PhysX SDK available to all registered devs
By Zac O'Vadka from Mar 20, 2009 @ 0:36 CDT

NVIDIA has decided to bring PhysX to both the PS3 and the Wii, making the two announcements just a day apart from each other.


NVIDIA Brings PhysX to PS3, Wii


Licensed and registered developers will be able to download the SDK from NVIDIA, bringing more realistic game environments to those on both consoles. NVIDIA says that adding the SDK for the Wii is going to be the key to its cross-playform strategy, most likely because of massive install base around the world.


One must wonder how well the Wii's Hollywood GPU will be able to handle PhysX, as the Wii isn't exactly known for breathtaking graphics and realism. The PS3 isn't exactly suited perfectly for the job either, as its GPU is based on the NVIDIA's G70 chips when the pixel shader and vertex shader resources were split. The PS3 might be able to overcome some of those problems with the Cell processor, whereas the Wii doesn't have much extra hardware to put into it.


PhysX, CUDA, and the "GPUs are good for more than gaming" motto all tend to go together in NVIDIA's marketing playbook; it's surprising to see the company touting the benefits of PhysX without mention of the other two. Then again, PhysX isn't necessarily an automatic best-fit solution for the PS3. The Playstation 3's GPU is a derivative of NVIDIA's G70 processor. Unlike G80 and all parts since, the G70 split its pixel shader and vertex shader resources into discrete units. The PS3 might be able to handle certain physics operations using the G70's support for pixel shader 3.0-the Havok physics engine is apparently capable of doing so-but that's not CUDA, and it's not PhysX.


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