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NVIDIA debuted a new consumer awareness program at GDC, "NVIDIA: The Way It's Meant to be Played™." The program is being initiated to draw attention to those games that were created on and developed for NVIDIA graphics, letting gamers know that the very best gaming experience can be found on games powered by the GeForce GPU. Games played on NVIDIA hardware not only look better, but play better and allow gamers to experience the game the way the game developer intended.
Judging by the strong amount of support for NVIDIA graphics at GDC, it's apparent that GeForce4 is emerging as the platform of choice for game developers. More than 200 titles showcased at GDC were powered by NVIDIA graphics, including two new games, Unreal 2003 and Dungeon Siege.
"The big thing with the GeForce4 over the GeForce3™ is the huge performance increase," remarked Tim Sweeney, the lead programmer at Epic Entertainment and one of the main minds behind Unreal 2003. "Besides that, we've got pixel shaders, vertex shaders, and what we're really working on right now, bump mapping. Bump mapping allows much more realistic lighting than the past and allows a new degree of freedom and atmosphere to our games."
That 'atmosphere,' is made possible by NVIDIA's revolutionary nfiniteFX II Engine, found at the core of the GeForce4 GPU. nfiniteFX™ II allows game developers to take advantage of the most cutting-edge features, including vertex and pixel shaders, to produce completely realistic environments and life-like characters.
The Unreal 2003 demo amazed and energized one continuous crowd of gamers after another, showing off slick futuristic environments and smooth character animations delivered only on the GeForce4 Ti GPU. Shadows moved dynamically across surfaces, reflecting off certain textures and interacting with other animations. Water and other liquids flowed naturally while creating vivid, lush, detailed environmental effects. The demo showed off an unprecedented amount of realism that no title has come close to approaching, simply by taking advantage of the speed, performance, and feature set of the GeForce4 and the Unreal Engine Toolkit.
Dungeon Siege generated similar crowd reaction with its impressive 3D world. Chris Taylor, the president of Gas Powered Games, the creators behind the hot new RPG, which has generated much excitement for its ground-breaking features. "The GeForce4 architecture is simply superior in every way," he commented. "Our engineering team simply loves it. The day we got our first card, I immediately got on the phone with NVIDIA and started asking for more. Obviously not only is the GeForce4 great from an end-user experience, but there is tremendous excitement within the development team. This is the kind of technology that delivers one exciting moment after another."
Taylor is already thinking about how he is going to use NVIDIA graphics to push the boundaries even further on Dungeon Siege 2. "The art team is already putting things together and I saw some early concepts of things we're doing to take advantage of NVIDIA's technology; we're driving the polygon count up, we're increasing the texture density and the resolution, and this stuff is going to be just incredible. The visuals all game developers wanted are finally here."