NVIDIA Introduces DirectX 8 Development Kit--Key Enabler in Developing Content for Microsoft's Xbox and PCs
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At the heart of the DirectX 8 Development Kit is NVIDIA's next generation GPU and the core graphics technology powering Microsoft's highly anticipated Xbox game console. Also included in the DirectX 8 Development Kit is NVIDIA's newly released DirectX 8 Software Developers Kit (SDK), NVIDIA's Unified Driver Architecture certified with industry-leading software programs, including 3ds max™ from Discreet, a division of Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK); Maya® from Alias|Wavefront™, an SGI (NYSE: SGI) company, and SoftIMAGE®|3D by Softimage Co., a subsidiary of Avid Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID), and over 500MB of effects, source code, technical papers and development tools.
"Graphics processors are evolving at an incredible pace. Today, real-time rendered scenes and effects are being created that were only possible offline a few short years ago," stated Dan Vivoli, senior vice president of marketing at NVIDIA. "Our DirectX 8 Development Kit is based on the most advanced graphics hardware and software ever built for PC and console development. Combined with our SDK, developers can create the most dazzling, eye-popping interactive graphics the world has ever seen!"
The next generation GPU that forms the heart of the DirectX 8 Development Kit is the most sophisticated of its kind and will be the first to be used for both PC and console content creation. This highly anticipated hot GPU from NVIDIA is the basis of the Xbox Prototype Kits (XPK) distributed by Microsoft through their Xbox Independent Developer Program. The power of the new NVIDIA GPU combined with the breakthrough features in DirectX 8.0 and the broad, flexible SDK supplied as part of the NVIDIA DirectX 8 Development Kit make it a necessity for authoring the next generation of graphics applications.
"NVIDIA has continued to show that they have the technology and the resources required to maintain the drive in the 3D graphics industry," said Paul Lee, Senior VP and COO of Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. "With NVIDIA's support and direction, our games will look outstanding on both Xbox and the desktop PC."
"With the release of Microsoft's DirectX 8.0, the capabilities of graphics hardware and applications utilizing that hardware are set to take a quantum leap to new levels of realism, performance and ease of use," said Phil Miller, Senior Director of Software Products at Discreet. "By coupling NVIDIA's DirectX 8 Development Kit with Discreet's 3ds max 4 software, game artists will be able to produce Xbox and PC game titles within a creative environment that matches their game engine."
DirectX 8.0 is Microsoft's latest and most advanced version of its popular 3D API that enables developers to write software for a wide variety of multimedia hardware, including graphics, audio, video, networking and input devices designed for PCs. NVIDIA and Microsoft co-developed many of the key fundamental technologies of DirectX 8.0 API, including programmable vertex shaders, programmable pixel shaders, and high order surfaces. These enabling 3D graphics features were invented by NVIDIA and licensed to Microsoft to be proliferated in Windows platforms and Xbox.
"Having used NVIDIA's DirectX 8 Development Kit over the past two months, we are able to deliver much greater realism and visual clarity in our game," stated Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games. "Using the tools provided by NVIDIA, people will enjoy game experiences the likes of which previously existed only in our imaginations."
"NVIDIA is the heart and soul of Xbox," stated Scott Guest, Principal Software Engineer at Planet Moon Studios. "The GPU in NVIDIA's DirectX 8 Development Kit is amazing enough. I can't wait to see what the XGPU will do."
Scheduled for release in fall 2001, Xbox is Microsoft's future-generation video game console that delivers superior graphics, better audio and the most intense, action-packed gaming experiences available. All this is possible because Xbox has at least three times the graphics performance of the newest generation of game consoles. Features include an Intel® (Nasdaq: INTC) Pentium® 733MHz CPU, a custom-designed graphics processor from NVIDIA, capable of processing more than 1 trillion operations per second, an 8GB hard drive, 64 MB of total memory, a 3D audio processor with 64 audio channels, and broadband connectivity for online game play. Xbox uses familiar architecture and DirectX® development tools so game developers will be able to create better games faster.
Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts (EA) posted revenues of more than $1.4 billion for fiscal 2000. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems.