Sony's PlayStation 4 to get NVIDIA's PhysX and APEX support

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NVIDIA has announced that will bring PhysX and APEX support for Sony's latest PlayStation 4 console unveiled last month at a New York press event.

To many lay users, the words just seem like technical jargon. But what it basically means is that game designers will be able to use both PhysX and APEX software development kits to enable better collision detection, improved simulation of rigid bodies, clothing, destructible objects, fluids, gases and other particle systems. The clothing on a character's body, for instance, will be able to interact and move as a separate layer to the person underneath.

"Great physics technology is essential for delivering a better gaming experience and multi-platform support is critical for developers," said Mike Skolones, product manager for PhysX at NVIDIA. He further added, "With PhysX and APEX support for PlayStation 4, customers can look forward to better games."

NVIDIA says with the help of these two technologies on the console, PS4 game designers will be able to "create intricate physics-enabled environments", "expand the quantity and visual quality of destructible objects" and "make smoke and other particle-based fluids integral to game play".

PhysX support had been available to developers on current generation consoles but its performance was restricted by the systems' relatively low specs. PlayStation 4's specification, however, should enable developers to use a more advanced form of the technology, the kind found in some PC versions of current multi-platform games. It is expected to incorporate real-time, real-world effects within interactive entertainment titles.

NVIDIA also claims that, "The PhysX development environment gives developers unprecedented control over the look of their final in-game interactivity." According to the chip manufacturer, both PhysX and APEX technologies are designed to run on a variety of CPU architectures and can be accelerated by any CUDA architecture-enabled NVIDIA GPU, GeForce 8-series or higher.

PC versions of Borderlands 2 and Batman: Arkham City had GPU-accelerated PhysX support that granted the use of advanced particle, fluid and cloth physics, unavailable in the console versions.

While many gamers out there were curious to know that if the PlayStation 4 is AMD-based , then why NVIDIA has offered PhysX support, folks at Stuff did their homework and received the following statement from the company:

NVIDIA has worked with developers across generations of consoles and of course the PC. The PhysX console SDK runs on the CPU. Certain features, for example particle systems and clothing can be accelerated on CUDA capable GPUs which is why you see the most impressive features on the PC but we continue to work extensively with developers and the community to ensure PhysX acceleration on all architectures. Having PhysX and APEX on the PS4 will simply give developers the best tools to create incredible games.

At the unveiling of its latest console, Sony shared its vision for the future of gaming with computer entertainment unit chief Andrew House saying the PS4 "represents a significant shift from thinking of PlayStation as a box or console to thinking of the PlayStation 4 as a leading place for play."

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