Watch_Dogs and Nvidia Slammed by AMD

Ubisoft's latest big game gets criticised heavily for hurting PC gaming

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Watch_Dogs and Nvidia Slammed by AMD
Watch_Dogs is getting plenty of critical love (our review is coming later) from the media - even with the embargo on opinions being expressed only lifting on the day of release. However, chip-maker AMD is not joining in with the circle of love.

The game was developed by Ubisoft and also as part of Nvidia's Gameworks tools for PC deveopers. " Developers license these proprietary Nvidia technologies like TXAA and ShadowWorks to deliver a wide range of realistic graphical enhancements to things like smoke, lighting, and textures. Nvidia engineers typically work closely with the developers on the best execution of their final code."

Forbes, however, reports that, "AMD’s Robert Hallock, it’s terrible news for the PC gaming ecosystem on the whole.

"Gameworks represents a clear and present threat to gamers by deliberately crippling performance on AMD products (40% of the market) to widen the margin in favor of NVIDIA products."

Basically, while partners of AMD (such as, in this case Ubisoft, but also Warners with Batman: Arkham Origins) can suggest improvements to Nvidia, but these code additions are invisible to competitors such as AMD. This leads to Hallock pointing out that, “The code obfuscation makes it difficult to perform our own after-the-fact driver optimizations, as the characteristics of the game are hidden behind many layers of circuitous and non-obvious routines.

“This change coincides with NVIDIA’s decision to remove all public Direct3D code samples from their site in favor of a ‘contact us for licensing’ page. AMD does not engage in, support, or condone such activities.”

Not good news for PC gamers? What do you think?


nobbie 27 May 2014 14:22
"AMD’s Robert Hallock, it’s terrible news for the PC gaming ecosystem on the whole..."

Because it's proprietary and only Nvidia can exploit it, and AMD Mantle is what then if it's not proprietary and hence bad for gaming?

I hate double standards, a clear case of sour grapes. If AMD and Nvidia products remains up to leading edge standards they will be supported by developers making leading edge games.
Matt 27 May 2014 14:45
Mantle does not block Nvidia driver optimizations at game or driver level, unlike GameWorks. Its completely different really, not even remotely similar.
nobbie 27 May 2014 23:34
Matt you miss the point mantle was designed to side step the directs driver stack and exclude Nvidia. Technically it's not the same thing but from a business tactic point of view it's identical; use proprietary technology to gain a commercial edge. It's healthy, amd just needs to respond with a similar technology suite or rather they should if they hadn't fired most of their driver devs when amd bought ati..
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