Showing Off Havoc 4.0 Physics Engine For the PS3

If you run up to a wall and slam right into it - as expected - or if you nail a bullet into some odd terrorist's head and he collapses onto the ground like a rag doll - again, as expected - that's usually the physics engine doing the work. The physics engine handles the interaction of game objects in real time. And one of the leading examples of that is the Havok middleware physics engine, used in many familiar FPS titles like Half-Life 2 and even the Matrix trilogy.

Havok - the company that makes the software - showed off its latest version of Havok (the software) running off PC and PS3 setups at the 2006 CEDEC Developer's Conference. We have three shots of their visual presentation taken from, showing off Havok Spectrum 4.0's particle and collision physics being calculated and rendered in real time.

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drewdrakes4003d ago

"One slide presented at the CEDEC conference showed that in terms of processing speed, the PS3 runs Havok 4.0 almost as fast as a triple-core PC. " Uh Oh, thats going to make some people mad. Doesnt the 360 have 3 cores ;). And it runs it ALMOST as fast ;).

Phytonadione4003d ago

if you click on the pic showing the numbers, the PS3 is clocked at 4.2ms vs. the triple core pc's time of 4.6ms. I think the shorter time represents a faster running time. And your statement would be based on all pc cores being equal? I'm not even sure if a "triple core" pc is the same as a multi-core system like the 360. I really comes down to how the pc/console makes use of the processing power/speed. I don't think any of this is relevant to making good games though. Just my opinion.

Marriot VP4003d ago

Ahhh, inengine demos, who needs them. Give gameplay.

Phytonadione4003d ago

This means nothing unless a talented team of developers know how to use this engine and the pc/console's power to its full extent. Let's hope they do and are able to show some footage with more than just simple characters and backdrops. I want full immerssion.

360lagman4003d ago

so 360 use 3 cores to run havok 4.0 whle ps3 use 4 spe to run havk 4.0 .
ps3 has 7 spe that means ps3 stil has 3 spe left whle 360 have none . hmmm... how you gona run the game if no core left . ahahahahaha

drewdrakes4003d ago (Edited 4003d ago )

360 has 2 threads per core, so 360 has remaining power aswell. And where does it say it uses 4 SPE's? Also, how many cores of the triple-core PC is it using?

PittzBlitz20034003d ago

It says in the last picture it is using the two threads from the primary processor and 4 spu/spe threads with each spe having one thread. Also it says one pc core takes 10.3 ms while three cores takes 4.6 ms.

drewdrakes4003d ago (Edited 4003d ago )

Alright thank you. Well, if Halo 3 uses it, im sure it runs fine on the 360 ;). But yup, looks like the ps3 runs it faster.

lalaland4003d ago (Edited 4003d ago )

basicly each of x360's three ppu's are equal to the one ppu in cell but with somewhat faster vmx units in the x360 (though the SPUs in Cell are a lot faster and a lot more advanced than the VMX units in the x360). But the ppu's are very simple, and slow even in most circumstances, compared to pc processors, so a three core x360 can't be compared to a three core PC.

this comparison is silly (on the slides) because it doesn't state which 3 core PC processor they compare it to, making the whole thing meaningless. Maybe they actually mean the x360, but then why not state it? But then again, I haven't heard of any mainstream three core PC processors...

And obviously they max the processors out in this comparison, making no room for generic game code. As a PC processor is much better suited for generic code than the ppu's in either the x360 or the ps3, this could mean the PC is better off in actual games, depending on how dependant the Havok code is on the PPU for it's speed -- which it looks like it is very dependant on, since they max out the PPU but not all the SPU's.

But since the SPUs are much better at theese kind of calculations than the PPU, it is safe to say the PS3 is actually better at running Havok than the x360 -- but by how much is almost impossible to tell from the slide.

WOW4003d ago

and yes the 360 has more general purpose processing power than the ps3. ps3 has more floating point processing power. but as the article states even though its by a little a 3 core system is a tad faster than the cell. and keep in mind the cell has been proven not to be optimal for games

lalaland4003d ago

The article has got it wrong... the speed is showed on the actual slides in ms, and the PS3 (two-threaded, 4 SPUs) is faster with 4.2ms than the three-core PC with 4.6ms.

And a tricore PC is nothing like a tricore 360... For one thing the PPUs of both the PS3 and X360 hasn't got as good branch-prediction and are limited in a number of ways. It is pretty straightforward basic knowledge that a single standard Intel or AMD core are more powerfull than a single X360 core (obviously I'm making the same mistake as the article by not stating exactly which processors I'm talking about -- but it goes for most of the recent CPUs at comparable speeds).

So if they do mean a tricore PC, it is safe to say the Cell is faster than the X360 by a considerable margin at running Havok. But if they actually mean the X360 tricore, then still the Cell is faster, but not by as large a margin.

lalaland4003d ago

It could actually still mean the X360 is faster at running Havok in actual games, since it has got more PPU to run the actual gamecode on, and looking at the slides, Havok obviously needs them in a major way.

But it all depends on how much Havok on the Cell is actually dependant on the PPU-threads, and how fast the SPU-part of Havok would actually run if converted to the X360s remaining 4 PPU-threads.

So again... theese slides don't tell much...

lalaland4003d ago (Edited 4003d ago )

The Cell is actually excellent at gaming... For one thing, there are a lot of GAMES coming out for the PS3 in less than three months and most developers seem quite excited about using it for games. The only ones stating the opposite is John Cormack and MS-engineers -- not exactly impartial statements.

And compared to X360, the PS3 launch games actually look a bit nicer than the X360-launch games. Look at COD2 for X360 compared to COD3 for PS3 -- I can see an improvement. And yes, I know it looks almost identical to the X360-version of COD3 but that is a second-generation title.

The same goes for that Sega racing game.

Virtua Tennis 3 is actually supposed to look better on the PS3, even though the X360-version is a "second-generation" title, and the PS3-version is a first generation.

So to state the Cell isn't suited for gaming is a bit silly... I reckon the PS3 and X360 compare quite well in that regard.

TheMART4003d ago

Well hell yeah, they had 6 months extra to produce the games when Sony announced the PS3 got delayed, so I guess the launch games could be pumped up a bit!

But I haven't seen much that exceeds launch games on 360 yet. Resistance looks nice, but seeing other games it's like mwah

Virtua Tennis 3 is a bad example. They are produced in two different teams and it's not known what their capabilities are

COD2 and other examples were PC PORTS
How often does it have to be mentioned? The PS3 launch games could be optimalized more because of the six months delay, but still I don't see it payed off massively.

I think the PS3 will be having less graphics in the same games actually the coming time, or have a lack on AI because the Cell is harder to program. It'll catch up after some years, when they get used handling the Cell.

lalaland4003d ago

The best looking X360 launch game was without a doubt PGR3, which was running in a res not much higher than todays PS2-games, and comparede to GT4 on the PS2 it isn't much of an improvement -- it's spectators are completely frozen?!?!

COD2 can be compared to COD3, and COD3 definitely looks better... Kameo... come on... What games are left which are visually stunning? Resistance blows all of them away -- even compared to GOW it isn't doing too shabby.

I know you've seen the latest shoots - flat floor, aliasing, undetailed backgrounds, no shadow cast from inanimate objects. Not much different than Resistance, though Resistance is stilled targetted for 1080 but I doubt they can obtain that. I must admit the creaturedesign in GOW is of the very highest quality, but from a technical standpoint there isn't much of a difference.

And the PS3 developers has had about as much time with final devkits as X360 developers had with their final kits before the respective launches...

There might not be much of a difference between the systems, but the future isn't looking grim for the PS3... atleast not yet...

TheMART4003d ago

That's totally bull.

Besides PGR3 (which is totally not to compare with GT4 come on and spectators are moving away from the sides when you hit it with a car man have you even played it) there was much else.

Ofcourse COD3 is better then COD2 DUH I may hope so. But COD2 was really nice. Resistance looks good but COD3 is just the same without the aliens in it.

COD2, Condemned, Kameo, PGR3 it were all games that couldn't be done on last gen and are great games.

This Christmas is looking grim for PS3 actually. The 2nd generation of 360 games are just a step further in things. And Resistance is lined under COD3 if you ask me, Gears has another concept and is the best game out there this Christmas. Games like Forza 2, Viva Piniata will sell even more systems. It's just like that

lalaland4002d ago

You can have your own personal opinion which games will sell this christmas, but allow me to slightly disagree with you. Time will tell.

Comparing CoD2 and CoD3 is very relevant, when you consider it the comparison between two launch titles. I'm not doubting CoD2 is a good game. But it is indeed impressive for a PS3 launch title to improve this much on graphics compared to a X360 launch title. The development teams had just about equal time with final dev kits on each platform.

The same goes for Full Auto compared to Full Auto 2, Blazing Angels and a couple of other games.

I'm not doubting that games like Condemned and the rest you're naming couldn't be done on previous generations. But compared to PS3 launch titles, they really are not impressive. And come on... do you seriously think of Kameo as a great game? Please... Do you think NNN is a great game as well?

I've played both GT4 and PGR3 exstensively, and quite frankly, I find them both boring. I hope Forza 2 or GT5 (whenever it someday arrives) will actually put some of the fun and freshness back into racinggames. But I still stand by my statement, that I was underwhelmed by PGR3. The difference in graphic quality is nothing like the respective consoles specs -- in fact I still find parts of GT4 better looking than parts of PGR3, which is a letdown. And indeed, compared to GT4, the atmosphere in PGR3 races seem baren of any life. The single most impressive feat, in my oppinion, of PGR3 is the in-car view -- and that is kinda sad.

Comparing Resistance to GOW... Look at the most recent screenshots for both games and dig deep.... You'll have to admit there isn't much of difference in graphic quality. What GOW has going for it is not technical, but the talent of their graphic artists.

And Virua Tennis is an excellent example what developers can acomplish when working to each consoles strength.

no_more_heroes4002d ago

Go to this link:
He states that devs had final PS3 dev kits way before they did x360 final dev kits later on in the interview. So they did have more time to optimize PS3 launch games.

lalaland4002d ago

I stand corrected... I haven't heard that interview before -- he is really trying to please all parties :-)

But lets reiterate. You got me to research this a bit more. PS3 final dev kits were announced by Sony to be shipped in june -- after the above interview, and with first public sighting in mid august. Maybe they did ship them early, but kind of strange they used pre-final kits for most if not all of the presentations at E3.

X360 final kits shipped around mid to late august of last year according to a couple of developers blogs. The x360 shipped almost a fourtnight later in the year than the PS3 is planned to launch this year.

Giving PS3 developers between 4 (first public sighting) and 6 (if Mark Reins interview is to be believed) months of development time on final dev kits before launch, and only about 3 months for x360 before its launch. A big difference in time, but what about quality...

So PS3 launch games should be compared to x360 games released around january this year: Full Auto, Fight Night R3, DoA4 spring to mind as the best games of that period.

Better for the x360... but still not too impressive... Especially since two of those exact titles are being launch titles for PS3 and they have both improved with the jump to PS3 and the added development time.

SOOO what was my point again? That PS3 launch titles are actually looking pretty good with a couple of titles looking exceptional compared to the X360 launch titles. Do I still believe this to be correct? I sure do...

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