The Video Game Physics Blog

Latest Next-Generation Xbox Rumors Point to AMD GPU inside

An interesting rumor has surfaced this past week that Microsoft is developing two next-gen Xbox 720 consoles. According to the rumor on TECHSPOT, Microsoft “is said to be developing an entry-level system as well as a true next-generation hardcore gaming console.” What is important to us for the future of physics is the reports that this Next-Generation Xbox will be using an AMD GPU. It was reported this past summer that AMD will be the GPU choice on all three next generation consoles with another report surfacing a few weeks later that the next-generation Xbox would use an AMD Fusion Bulldozer variant APU. Now French site Xboxygen is reporting that Microsoft will announce the hardware specifications for this next-generation console at CES in January. The site is also reporting that the new Xbox will use a hex-core CPU with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and an AMD GPU for the graphics processor.

The news that the next-generation Xbox will be using an AMD GPU is important to us because this would mean an uncertain future for GPU PhysX. If these rumors turn out to be true, we could see PhysX ported to OpenCL or run strictly on the CPU, both of which would be good for gamers as more developers would take advantage of PhysX and we could see an end to the need for hybrid PhysX setups and GPU accelerated PhysX features that do not run on AMD GPU’s.

We are excited about the next-generation consoles either way in hopes that with more powerful hardware we start to see more developers make games with more physics features on a larger scale.

Rumor: Microsoft developing two next-gen Xbox 720 consoles
Report: Next-gen Xbox details at CES, hex-core CPU inside

Next Generation Console Rumor Update: Xbox Will Use AMD Fusion Bulldozer variant APU

I was pretty excited this past week to hear the rumor from hardocp that AMD will be the GPU choice on all three next generation consoles. This is pretty big news for game physics as it puts NVIDIA and the future of PhysX in a tough spot. Now hardocp is reporting that that the CPU in the next-gen Xbox may be an AMD Fusion Bulldozer variant APU instead of the reported IBM cell processor. Not only is this a huge win for AMD if it is true but it could also mean a HUGE win for video game physics. If a Bulldozer Fusion APU with integrated Radeon graphics was used as the main CPU and paired with a discrete GPU, it could possibly leave the on-board GPU to be used exclusively for OpenCL physics processing.

From [H]ardOCP:

We reported earlier this month in our “E3 Rumors on Next Generation Console Hardware” article that Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox would likely be sporting a new IBM cell processor, although we did suggest that was not written in stone. We are hearing this week that AMD has very likely locked up the whole shebang with a Fusion Bulldozer variant APU. This of course will be a huge win for AMD.


Rumor: AMD will be the GPU choice on all three next generation consoles

With news starting to surface about the next generation consoles, rumors are starting to surface about the hardware specs that they will use. It was recently announced that the successor to the Nintendo Wii, the Wii U, will use an AMD Radeon GPU for its graphiscs. Rumors are also starting to fly that Sony will start production of PS4 at end of 2011 for a possible 2012 release. If all of this is true then there is no doubt that development is well underway on these next-generation consoles and there is a good bet that the preliminary hardware design has already been laid out. Now [H] has posted an interesting article about rumors that have surfaced from E3 2011 on the next generation console hardware that these consoles will use and according to HardOCP, “Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, are looking very much to be part of Team AMD for GPU”.

If this is true that AMD GPUs will be used for all of the next generation consoles then this could possibly spell certain doom for PhysX or force NVIDIA to port it OpenCL or make it CPU accelerated only. Since GPU accelerated PhysX requires a CUDA capable NVIDIA GPU there would be no way for developers to implement GPU PhysX into their games on consoles that use AMD GPUs. They could always use the CPU Accelerated PhysX like it is done now with many titles but with NVIDIA continuing to push GPU accelerated PhysX for games this will no doubt means an uncertain future for PhysX.

From E3 Rumors on Next Generation Console Hardware:

What looks to be a “done deal” at this point is that AMD will be the GPU choice on all three next generation consoles. Yes, all the big guns in the console world, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, are looking very much to be part of Team AMD for GPU. That is correct, NVIDIA, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” But NVIDIA already knew this, now you do too.

Read the rest of the article at [H]ardOCP.

AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series Graphics HK-2207 Real-Time Demo Now Available

The AMD “Mecha Rampage” demo that we posted about back in November has been officially released and available for download by AMD. We have been excited for this demo since it uses bullet physics and on the fly procedurally generated unique debris leveraging DX11 tessellation to show off some pretty cool physics based destruction and debris. You can download it and find out more information here. Hardwareluxx has also made and uploaded a video to YouTube showing off what the demo looks like, this time not cam footage of the AMD event back in November, you can check it out below.

From AMD Radeon™ HD 6900 Series Graphics Real-Time Demo:

The HK-2207 real-time demo features a number of post processing effects (depth-of-field, lens flare, ghosting, aerial perspective/atmospheric, LUT, emissive and reflection) provided as an easy approach for developers and artists to adopt Microsoft® DirectX® 11 programming. This demo also uses a current trend in game engines utilizing deferred lighting and deferred shading allowing many more lights and rapid prototyping. A newly developed GPU accelerated physics particle system is introduced utilizing DX11 DirectCompute. Bullet Physics is used with a new fracture/destruction approach that also features procedurally generated unique debris leveraging DX11 tessellation.

Demo: » HK2207.exe (655 MB)*

* The HK2207 demo requires Windows Vista® or above operating system, a Radeon™ HD 6900 Series graphics processor and associated Catalyst™ software, a dual- or quad-core CPU, and 2GB of RAM.

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