NVIDIA, Epic Form Partnership
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Epic Games, creators of Unreal and Unreal tournament, have created a partnership with graphics chip maker NVIDIA to optimize their future titles to take advantage of the special features of the GeForce 2 and forthcoming chipsets. Why does this matter to Mac gamers? NVIDIA has planned for some time to enter the Macintosh market with their GeForce 2 MX chipset, and Epic's graphics engines have already been ported to the Mac OS -- in fact, the Unreal engine is the primary stepping stone for third-party titles to come to the Mac OS this year.
This is a shift in strategy for Epic, which has previously debuted titles on the 3dfx web site. The Unreal and Unreal Tournament engines are closely aligned to Glide, 3dfx's proprietary graphics API, and are widely acknowledged to work better with that API than with the Direct 3D drivers for NVIDIA cards. It seems that Epic has decided to aggressively remedy this situation, which is good news for Mac and PC users alike.
Here is the official press release:
NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq:NVDA - news) and Epic Games Inc.This partnership will not bear fruit for Mac or PC gamers until Epic's future titles (which are currently under wraps) begin to arrive, and by that time NVIDIA's GeForce 2 MX series of chips will have debuted on the Mac platform. If Epic's attitude towards cross-platform deployment of their engines and titles continues, we will likely enjoy the benefits of this partnership along with PC and console gamers.
today announced a strategic partnership aimed at producing next generation applications that take full advantage of
NVIDIA's latest 3D technology, including the new features of the GeForce 256(TM) and GeForce2 graphics processing
``Epic's latest game, Unreal Tournament, is one of the most popular games in the world,'' says Sanford Russell, senior
director of partner management at NVIDIA. ``We see this as an opportunity to work more closely with Epic Games to ensure current and future Unreal Engine
products run their absolute best on NVIDIA hardware.''
NVIDIA has been working with Epic Games and other leading game developers worldwide to help them leverage the high-impact visual features of the GeForce
family of GPUs including geometry processing power and radical per-pixel shading features.
``NVIDIA's dominant position in the PC market and their selection as the graphics platform provider for Xbox, clearly make them the most important graphics vendor
from a business standpoint. But even more importantly, they're first in bringing to market the kind of advanced technology we intend to build our future products
around, and that's what really drives us from a design standpoint,'' says Tim Sweeney, founder and lead programmer for Epic Games Inc.
Prior to this announcement, Epic Games had already begun targeting major new Unreal Engine features for NVIDIA's GeForce 256 and GeForce2 GTS(TM). One
such example is the engine's new high-polygon, large-scale terrain system. This feature specifically exploits the hardware transform and lighting features of the
NVIDIA GeForce family of GPUs. Several additional features are planned that line up strategically with current and future NVIDIA 3D graphics processors.
As part of their efforts to work more closely together, NVIDIA will provide Epic with early versions of new hardware and drivers, as well as extensive testing of those
drivers with existing Unreal Engine products and new unreleased versions of the engine. To facilitate this, the agreement calls for regular technical reviews and
exchanges between the two companies, so that each one has a clear understanding of the inner workings of the other's software and hardware technology.
NDIVIA web site
The Press Release
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