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PhysX 2011: Year in Review

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It is time to summarize what PhysX Technology has achieved in year 2011, recall the most memorable events and releases.


GPU physics acceleration still can not gain enough momentum – only two games with support for GPU PhysX effects were released this year, this is the lowest result since Ageia was aquired.

One may call this an agony, but NVIDIA has told us that it was “conscious decision” – time was taken to develop and improve underlaying technology (PhysX SDK, APEX, DCC tools), thus sacrificing ability to create content and  integrate it into many games.

It was promised that we will see “more GPU PhysX games next year than you did this year” and even “a lot more in 2013″.

Meanwhile, both GPU PhysX titles released this year were pretty interesting by themselves:

PhysX SDK as physics engine is still widely adopted by developers – over 45 PC console and games were released this year, according to our database.


Looking on the SDK Development you can say where all resources were spent – brand new PhysX SDK 3.0, rewritten from scratch, optimized and enhanced with new features, was released in Q2 2011, followed by SDK 3.1 and SDK 3.2 Beta. 6-months release schedule was introduced and so far is impeccably fulfilled.

PhysX 3 is a strong technological foundation, that will ensure further expansion, evolution and success of PhysX as physics engine.

NVIDIA APEX 1.0, high-level scalable framework build on top of PhysX SDK, was also revealed for public along with UDK integration, however it can not boast with same release dynamics – new APEX 1.1, promised to be delivered this autumn is now postponed till 2012. APEX 1.2, fully based on PhysX SDK 3, is also supposed to be released next year.

DCC PhysX plug-ins went throught three versions – 2.6, 2.61 and 2.7 – but during this period several compatibility problems and significant delays of releases were faced.


MassFX – new physics simulation solution, using PhysX SDK engine, was introduced in Autodesk 3ds Max 2012, thus replacing Reactor system, which was based on Havok physics. Rigid Body simulation functionality of MassFX was pretty strong along with better performance, however many users were unhappy with reduced functionality set in comparison to Reactor.

According to yearly survey by Game Developer Magazine, PhysX SDK is preferred physics middleware solution for traditional (big-budget) developers.

PhysX Research Team has showcased some new interesting technologies and prototypes. Some of them will appear in future versions of PhysX engine.

After a long break, new 1.05 version of Hybrid PhysX mod was released to support recent drivers and GPU PhysX games in AMD + NVIDIA configurations.

. . .

Well, that is all for now.

Happy New Year to everybody ! :)

Written by Zogrim

December 30th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Posted in Articles, Reviews

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One Response to 'PhysX 2011: Year in Review'

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  1. Happy new year. I enjoy your work on this website. Good job. :-)



    31 Dec 11 at 12:01 am

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