Science

Sony PS4 To Use NVIDIA's Stunning New Physics Engine

By Dmitry Sheynin , Mar 07, 2013 02:14 PM EST

NVIDIA announced on Thursday that the Sony PlayStation 4 will support both the PhysX and APEX development kits. The tools will allow developers to create next-generation game titles like the ones shown at the PS4 reveal in February, featuring lifelike physics engines and collision detection technology.

"Great physics technology is essential for delivering a better gaming experience," said NVIDIA's product manager for PhysX, Mike Skolones. "With PhysX and APEX support for Playstation 4, customers can look forward to better games."

PhysX has been used to create several titles for current-generation consoles, including Mirror's Edge and the Batman Arkham series, but the engine's capabilities have always been limited by weak hardware.

The PS4, described as a "supercharged PC," should suffer from no such hindrances. When it launches sometime around November, it will sport an 8-core Jaguar CPU built on x86 architecture. The Radeon-based GPU will run at 1.84 TFLOPS and there will be 8GB of GDDR5 RAM.  

Sadly, the breathtaking gameplay footage that Sony teased in February could have been created years ago and in fact, PC titles have been gearing toward photorealistic graphics for some time now.   

The new graphics engine will certainly be a cornerstone feature for the entirely revamped and arguably revolutionary gaming console. Aside from the obvious eye candy, the Dual Shock 4 controller promises exciting new mechanics. The "improved analog sticks" and "enhanced rumble" probably won't evoke mass excitement, but the built-in touchpad already has, and an included stereo depth camera that tracks the controller's position suggests something interesting. A DualShock-mounted headphone jack is also a clever feature, and the "Share" button will surely satiate geeky social butterflies.          

The controller's power button will also find new purpose. With the help of the PS4's generous RAM allotment, it will be used to instantly suspend and resume games. Never again will you be able to ignore spouses and pets for that extra hour or two while you trek in search of a save point.

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