Here we go

April 21, 2006 by Tim

So I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about for today’s newspost. The comic pretty much exists in it’s own little world of my twisted parody imagination, and doesn’t beg a discussion. The only games I’m playing right now are games that have been out for ages. Can you believe I’m playing God of War right now?

But then Brian linked me to a post explaining that with the release of issue 7, City of Heroes/Villains will be making use of the Aegia PhysX card.

For those of you that don’t know (and that may be many, since I only first heard about this card last week), the PhysX card is all about producing real physics in games.

When I heard about it last week, it was seeing this demonstration. While I thought it was pretty cool, I dismissed it because I’m an idiot and I thought the PhysX was a new-fangled graphics card. I wasn’t about to replace my dual 7800GTX’s just for card that made things explode into tinier bits.

However Brian and some more research has enlightened me, and I now know that it is a card that works in conjunction with your processor and graphics card. It takes the load for processing physics off of your processor. It seems like a pretty neat idea to me.

Now, from what I hear the card will be released pretty soon. It’s apparently available in pre-built gaming rigs from Alienware/Dell, but I don’t know any PC gamers that buy pre-constructed rigs.

I imagine the card will be fairly expensive to start (around $350 is what I’m hearing), so it’s not something everyone is going to be able to go out and buy right away. But it’s neat to see a new step in gaming realism this way, and I imagine in a couple of years, physics-specific cards will be common, and games will be making lots of use of the extra processing power, giving us realism in games we haven’t had before.

It particularly interests me that NCSoft has announced that CoH/CoV will suddenly make use of this new technology, since I’m just getting back into those games. Right now I just play with the character creator (one of my favorite parts of the game anyway), but once issue 7 hits, I’m really looking forward to the Mayhem Missions for Villains, where the PhysX will really shine. Basically, as a villain, the point of a Mayhem Mission is to enter an instanced portion of Paragon City and destroy the fuck out of as much stuff as possible on the way to your goal (robbing a bank or something). Cars, mailboxes, dumpsters, whatever. It will be interesting to see some comparisons on this between a regular graphics card, and a graphics card working with the PhsyX card, so we can see how much of a difference it really makes.

I’m all for more destruction.

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