back to article Valve set for OpenGL BIG REVEAL at upcoming conference

Games giant Valve says it will release details about a promised successor to the OpenGL graphics API at a conference in San Francisco next month. The company has scheduled a session for March 5 at the Games Developer Conference where it will talk about the new release of the graphics API in a presentation called glNext: The …

  1. king_tut
    Trollface

    Obligatory comment...

    "We will present [...] live demos of real-world applications"...

    So, Half-Life 3 demo then?

    1. james 68

      Re: Obligatory comment...

      You may be poking a little bit of fun at Valve but do not be surprised if they do demo halflife3, in the past they have traditionally used each itineration of halflife to showcase their new shiny toys.

    2. Someonehasusedthathandle

      Re: Obligatory comment...

      They have announced that DOTA2 is getting a new engine sometime in Q1. Dubbed Source2, surprise surprise.

      I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't used as the game for the big reveal judging by the last valve competition being for a prize pool of $10million.

      Or maybe it's just the smokescreen for Half-Life.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obligatory comment...

      Lots of me too, me too vapourware desperation now that it is apparent just how far behind in the dust Direct-X 12 will leave Open GL....

  2. Greg J Preece

    This sounds fantastic. If they bring out a well-made, well-supported cross-platform API, it'll be one more nail in the coffin of Windows-only gaming.

  3. David Austin

    Are AMD and nVidia on board?

    After all, one of the reasons DirectX does so well is that the gaming grade graphics cards Team Red and Team Green make have it baked in at the silicone level, and in many cases are built from the ground up for it.

    If they're ready and willing to put the same hardware love in for OpenGL Next, and stop treating it as a second class citizen like they do now, this could really be a game changer, no pun intended.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

      I have a bad feeling AMD & nVidia are too busy with DX12 right now. I'm sure Khronos announced a big change in approach for OGL as well last year that will also need their attention.

      Also not seeing Qualcomm or ARM mentioned, it's pretty unthinkable launching a new graphics API without mobile support.

      Oh well, new toys to play with whatever happens ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

        Wait, DirectX is used in the mobile space? With MS dropping ARM support (at least in the near term) who has a solution for ARM and android or iOS 3D?

        Sure there is some Atom hardware out there that intel has paid companies to use and presumably windows 10 will grow it's market share in the mobile space but who knows how it will play out.

        1. David Knapman

          Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

          MS aren't dropping ARM support - they're dropping Windows RT - but since they've just announced that a Windows variant will run on the Raspberry PI 2, and the PI is ARM, I wouldn't say they're dropping support.

          1. Planty Bronze badge

            Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

            They announced a bare kernel for RPI2. It's not full windows 10 on arm..

    2. Def Silver badge

      Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

      I have always wondered why Microsoft never created an open standard from DirectX, to be honest. It's had its problems in the past, for sure, but these days it is a surprisingly nice, well designed API.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

        I have always wondered why Microsoft never created an open standard from DirectX

        Seriously?

    3. JustNiz

      Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

      I'm finding it hard to believe that. I can imagine that Microsoft might have had some suggestions around their GPU designs, but not that they (or nVidia at least) would have baked-in DirectX-only functionality. nVidia in particular have a lot of stake in the Linux/Android/GPU computing markets so I'm sure wouldn't design in features that are only available under Directx/windows.

      Have you any actual references to AMD/nVidia implementing any significant level of DirectX-specific functionality in silicon?

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

        Microsoft started dictating what level of functionality had to be supported for a video card to claim to be DirectX version X compliant a long time ago. I think it began around the launch of Windows Vista. That was the point at which GPU manufacturers stopped putting in what they wanted to put in, and started putting in the functionality required to be compliant with DirectX feature levels.

        And yes, I'm deadly serious about the DirectX API being an open standard. Lots of Microsoft technologies are open standards. Why not this API?

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Are AMD and nVidia on board?

          I'm deadly serious about the DirectX API being an open standard. Lots of Microsoft technologies are open standards. Why not this API?

          First, take DirectX.

          MS has always used DirectX in two ways, as a marketing tool to sell OS licenses (Want DX10? You have to buy Vista, not available on XP, Want DX11? You have to buy 7, not included in Vista), and as a way to lock games makers in to Windows and Xbox. Lock in does not work with an open standard.

          Secondly, OpenGL already exists. OpenGL is a real open standard; the development of the standard happens in an open environment where any member of the Khronos group can contribute. Anyone wanting to use a standard graphical library on multiple platforms will use OpenGL.

          DirectX has Microsoft behind it. OpenGL has AMD/ATI, Apple Inc., ARM Holdings, Epic Games, Imagination Technologies, Intel Corporation, Nokia, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment, Adobe, Amazon.com, Blizzard Entertainment Inc., Codeplay, Ericsson, Google, Huawei Technologies, IBM, LG Electronics, Lucasfilm Ltd., Matrox Graphics, Microsoft Corporation, Mozilla, Oculus VR, Panasonic, Pixar, Renesas Electronics, Synopsys, Texas Instruments, Unity Technologies, Valve corporation, VIA Alliance Semiconductor, VMware....

  4. Ragequit

    I'm hopeful

    Pretty much any graphics hardware that has drivers for linux already has support for OpenGL. A lot of the newer desktop environments use 3D support. Even if the proprietary drivers lag behind in supporting this NextGL there's hope that the community drivers will. If valve is successful in creating even a small gaming community with the SteamOS I don't see why ATI/Nvidia wouldn't support it if it means more hardware sales.

    Ultimately this sounds like an effort to make opengl compete with the DirectX optimizations and mantle. We don't need something vendor specific like mantle. Having an opensource alternative that any vendor can use is better, imo.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I'm hopeful

      >Also not seeing Qualcomm or ARM mentioned, it's pretty unthinkable launching a new graphics API without mobile support.

      The article didn't make it clear - Steam is presenting Kronos's glNext. ARM and Qualcomm are a senior Khronos members.

      >Ultimately this sounds like an effort to make opengl compete with the DirectX optimizations and mantle.

      It does. AMD have given Kronos Mantle to do with as they wish. Of Mantle, they say it's closer to DirectX12 than DirectX12 is to DirectX11 - the trend, as seen in Metal, Mantle and DierctX 12, is to allow the game engine to be closer to the metal. It suits AMD to reduce the CPU overhead on GPU calls.

      >[DirectX has]had its problems in the past, for sure, but these days [DirectX12] is a surprisingly nice, well designed API.

      Yep, it is incorporating some of the same ideas as Mantle, Metal and the next OpenGL. The idea is that the game-engine does what was traditionally expected of the graphics driver... However, there was no business reason for MS to open-source it.

      Now though, one would expect game developers to want a open standard since they are releasing games for x86 Windows, Linux, XboxOne and PS4.

      1. Rob Gr

        Re: I'm hopeful

        In spite of its name, Open GL is not exactly Open. Hardware vendors have to pay for a license, while software is free to use it.

    2. David Austin

      Re: I'm hopeful

      The software stack will end up being great with so many eyeballs working on it, but there's only so much you can do without having the hardware geared towards it.

      Granted, with OpenCL support and programmable graphic cards, you can send through custom shaders and microcode to do things in hardware, but without AMD, nVidia, and Intel tuning the hardware to openGI as much as they do to DirectX, it will have to work so much harder to get the same results.

      Having them onboard from the get go will really help accelerate deployment, rather than them waiting for it to reach such a critical mass, they can't ignore it.

  5. Vince Lewis 1

    i wonder if their draconian restrictions will apply here..

    I'm sorry you can't render that tea pot because you are rendering a car on a completely different computer.

    Agreed with other posters, AMD and nVidia need to be behind this too. AMD linux drivers are still patchy.

  6. Lallabalalla
    Unhappy

    a viable alternative to the likes of the Xbox One and PS4?

    I'd have thought they should produce a client which doesn't regularly lose the location of its game files or just plain corrupt them, allows more than one login (as previously alluded to), doesn't run like treacle on all but the very latest hardware, wakes gracefully and has a decent support infrastructure over and above "ask someone else or wait 2 weeks for us to patronise you".

    I realise a LOT of people play through Steam. A quick google will reveal that my kids (and therefore I) am not alone in finding the whole thing to be rather pants.

    Last month we waited half an hour for some enormous (paid-for) game to download only to be told "oh this only runs on windows, sucker". No refund. No warning that it wasn't going to play despite being obviously downloaded to OSX. And again, no refund. WTF.

    1. Wortel

      Re: a viable alternative to the likes of the Xbox One and PS4?

      So what was the game called?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a viable alternative to the likes of the Xbox One and PS4?

      Seriously gaming on OSX, it's all Steams fault?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AMD's Mantle is going to be handed over to Khronos so this lack of competition discussed might not be the case for long if they can have better universal feature support over current solutions

  8. thekhronosgroup

    Khronos Group has sessions too! After the Valve session

    Khronos is holding two sessions on March 5th after the Valve session at GDC, with many of the same speakers and demos as the Valve presentation, plus some schoozing time with the glNext working group chair. Seating is limited, but if you are at GDC, please register (http://bit.ly/khronos-gdc2015) and come on over!

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