A while ago, Mythic announced that it would be using the Nvidia PhsyX middleware suite. PhsyX is really a set of software tools designed to enhance and streamline physics, allowing for a more fun and immersive experience.
PhysX can use 3 hardware tools to accomplish this:
- Special PhsyX hardware
- Software (CPU)
- Video Card (GPU)
That leaves us with using the video card. Next week Nvidia will be releasing a new set of drivers for its GeForce 8, GeForce 9 and GeForce GTX 200 series of cards that will allow the PhsyX library to harness the GPU. It is not clear, but I imagine you can turn this functionality on or off, depending on your tolerance. Also, since Nvidia owns PhysX now, ATI cards are not supported.
Games, such as Unreal Tournament 3, have had special effects for PhysX enabled system. Weather is a popular one, as it destructible environments. So how has Mythic used PhysX? It will likely not alter gameplay, but could give a much more immersive environment. Of course, since the announcement is a bit old, it may be that Mythic has not added anything that would take advantage.
Next week, Nvidia card users can go grab the drivers and see how it goes!
(There is a beta version up now if you are courageous)