The graphics industry was just turned on its head yesterday
with the announcement
that AMD was acquiring ATI Technologies. But while that news is of great
significance, ATI rival NVIDIA has plans of its own when it comes to the future
of graphics. Dean Takahashi of The
Mercury News had the opportunity to interview
Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA. The two talk about the GeForce FX failure, why
the company is dealing with Sony in the console arena this time around instead
of Microsoft and how far away we are from the "Toy Story" standard.
In regards to having greater photorealism in games, Huang
feels that we are still at least 10 years away. Techniques like depth of
field, motion blur and HDR are being refined, but we still have a ways to go
before computers can move with the fluidity of human beings. Many movies today
feature human characters acting in front of blue screens as action takes place
around them. The effect is (for the most) part seamless to movie viewers, but gamers
still have a ways to go before we see that kind of photorealism on the PC. “With
"Superman Returns,'' you can't really put a camera on a person and have
him fly through a metropolis. That entire movie was animated. It was one big
computer-generated movie with a guy in tights in front of a blue screen. You
look at that imagery, and you know we are nowhere near that level of imagery,”
Although the interview was conducted before the AMD-ATI merger
went public, it would be interesting to see what Jen-Hsun Huang has to say
about the deal. Speculation is running
rampant as to what the merger means for the industry as a whole – a merger that
affects not only AMD and ATI, but also Intel and NVIDIA. Intel hasn’t
commented on the merger but we do expect to being hearing from them
before the week is out.
quote: Incidentally, according to Patrick Moorehead, vice president of advanced marketing at AMD, the company did indeed entertain the idea of merging with nVidia. But that would have been a merger of equals, and AMD's top brass would not have been in charge.
quote: But, don't you want to play Battlefield 2142 on your small 1x2 inch screen? At a Blazing 30 frames per second I might add. Hehehe.
quote: You can't build chips for all the game consoles. That's not possible. They would all like a slightly different style from the others. Difference is important. The same chip company would have difficulty designing chips for the different styles. It's also so high stakes that you need to focus. No one has enough extraneous resources around to build chips for all the game consoles.