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Havok Info

Gamecloud interviews Jeff Yates from Havok, purveyors of physics technology for games.

It’s really more of a general interview about Havok, and the PS3 is only mentioned in passing when Mr. Yates notes that “all Playstation 3 games that ship with Havok technology will utilize our latest 3.2 product version”.

But if you’re interested in this kind of thing, it’s a good read.

Gamecloud – Havok Interview

Also, it seems that you can use a GPU to accelerate physics operations.

GameSpot: Why did you choose to add physics to the GPU rather than develop your own physics chip, like Ageia?

Jeff Yates: Our single focus is to enable developers to create great games. When we look at the history and momentum of the GPU manufacturers, and the persistent interest in general purpose GPU development, it seemed like a no-brainer to leverage the large amounts of time and money GPU manufacturers have invested to win over the hearts and minds of PC gamers.

GS: Is this [Havok FX], a direct response to Ageia’s physics chip?

JY: For us it is a question of demand and hardware economics. We support platforms with strong install bases and platforms that our customers ask us to support. The installed base and momentum of GPUs is a great opportunity for Havok to deliver even more physics without requiring specialized hardware. To date we’ve received no requests from customers to support Ageia hardware.

Jeff Yates also says that “Certainly for next generation consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, there’s no opportunity to plug in a custom hardware card, so I’m really not sure what the customer benefit will be for a proprietary hardware API in the console space.”

I’m not so sure about that. The Cell processor has 7 SPE’s that are well suited to accelerating physics operations. An API tailored to that hardware could be a good thing. Not knowing the details, I may be wrong. I’d like to hear from anyone in the know…

Gamespot – Q&A: Havok says GPUs are fine for physics