back to article Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play

Top physics engine for 3D gaming Havok has been scooped up by Microsoft, which has inked a deal with Intel to buy the outfit for an undisclosed sum. "Havok is an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator," Microsoft crowed in a blog post announcing the purchase. It added: "We …

  1. zen1

    Microsoft play well with others?

    Yeah, right...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft play well with others?

      Microsoft will be scheming how to gimp the physics engine on PS4 as we speak.....

      Microsoft didn't know how to play fair...

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft play well with others?

      Name one that does...

      1. Metrognome

        Re: Microsoft play well with others?

        Company that plays well:

        Sun Microsystems?

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Microsoft play well with others?

      Play (Well) for Sure.

    4. NoneSuch

      Slight correction.

      "Havok WAS an amazing technology supplier in the games industry and the leading real-time physics creator," then Microsoft bought it, all key staff were laid off or quit.

  2. Captain DaFt

    Microsoft's new battle cry?

    "Buy Havok, and lets render the graphics some more!"

    1. David Glasgow

      Re: Microsoft's new battle cry?

      Good.... But how about

      "Buy Havoc and let drip the blobs of gore"

      It even sounds like a Reg headline.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft's new battle cry?

        What about

        "Buy Havok and watch as it shrivels to nothing like most of our previous acquisitions"

        Not very poetic, I'll grant you, but probably accurate.

  3. Snow Wombat
    Mushroom

    Cloud gaming...

    Is never ever ever going to be a thing, because PC parts are cheap, and internet connections are crap.

    I am currently 500M from my node, and the best I can get is 600Mpbs/300Kbps, with crap latency.

    Also because there seems to be a heat issue with my exchange, my link is up and down like a yoyo.

    Even when I do move to my NBN equiped place next week, because they cheaped out on the backhaul, my latency is still crap during high traffic hours!

    So why not fix up DX13 Microsoft, and make it AWESOME for PC gaming, instead of this "cloud" crap.

    /endrant

    1. Def Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      Yeah, I hate it when I can only get data down at 600Mbps...

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      > Is never ever ever going to be a thing, because PC parts are cheap, and internet connections are crap.

      I was going to whole-heartedly agree but these are physics engines, so maybe they aren't for rendering. Perhaps the idea is to do the physics calculations in the cloud and then send simple vectors to the clients for rendering. That would mean MS could make more rubbish consoles, cheaper, but maintain the interactions of more expensive kit. There would be relatively small amounts of data being transferred and the ability to lose the cosmetic stuff if required.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      Did you mean 600Kbps? 'Cause 600Mbps would be quite the opposite of crappy IMHO.

    4. Old Handle
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      Cloud Gaming is just a euphemism DRM. Other than actual multiplayer games, there's no other purpose for it.

    5. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      So you can download 12 channels of 4K (assuming your physics chip is so shit it doesnt add anything to the screen)

      What's your problem? Cloud gaming is going to be shit because of the other idiots in the cloud - not due to your bandwidth problems

    6. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Cloud gaming...

      "So why not fix up DX13 Microsoft, and make it AWESOME for PC gaming"

      I thought they already did a pretty good job with DX12.

      DX13+ will presumably integrate HAVOC support in a two fingers salute to Nvidia / Open GL.

      "Cloud Gaming is just a euphemism DRM. Other than actual multiplayer games, there's no other purpose for it."

      It isn't on Xbox - the actually do use cloud resources to assist with gaming performance and offload functions.

      1. Daniel B.
        FAIL

        Re: Cloud gaming...

        "It isn't on Xbox - the actually do use cloud resources to assist with gaming performance and offload functions."

        ... the console that's currently losing the current gen console wars? Well, good for those who decided to remain with the DRM wifebeater. Everyone else doesn't care.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Oh Wonderful

    I've never had much interest in 3d (or any other ) gaming*

    But with Microsoft in control of the engine neither will anyone else be able to play.

    Because they'll insist that all games' controls will be a.) hidden and b.) how they respond will b changed randomly for every game so that the up button will make things go in a circle and the left button will make them go up. That......

    Wait a minute, whoa, hold on....., hidden objects that you have to discover by randomly clicking, strange cryptic messages appearing on the screen.. controls that.change depending on where you are, secret locations......

    I think I've finally understood what Windows 10 is all about.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *Never had the patience to get past that bit where you are stuck in a dark place and can't get out until you repeatedly perform a random sequence of events.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Oh Wonderful

      Sounds to me me like someones getting there Zork, with their Myst series mixed up. Where the Mustard Race (That actually cares), care about their kill count in Booty Call. You are right about PC Gamers being OTT pompous twits though.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Oh Wonderful

      >But with Microsoft in control of the engine neither will anyone else be able to play.

      But we are talking about a cloud for xbox - MS are already in control. This is probably more about MS acting as gatekeeper towards other games publishers - If you want your games to run well on xbox, you need to pay MS for access to their physics hardware, because the xbox itself is a bit weedy.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Congratulations

    Looks like Nvidia has smooth sailing ahead. AMD/ATI is trying to extract itself from the tar pit as usual, now Havoc belongs to the one company who's touch is the reverse of Midas.

    I think I'll be looking into acquiring some Nvidia stock.

  7. Doug 3

    sure, we'll continue licensing...but

    but because of added expenses and loss of revenue from Windows, your new licensing fees will have a few more zero's on the end. Have a nice day.

  8. g e

    Waiting for the trolling of Nvidia...

    "We have 235 patent claims on your software but won't tell you what they are until you pony up the cash and sign a gagging order"

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Waiting for the trolling of Nvidia...

      ""We have 235 patent claims on your software but won't tell you what they are until you pony up the cash and sign a gagging order""

      Of course Microsoft have to tell you what they are - they have to for you to be able to judge if you infringed! They just stop you telling others because otherwise they might workaround the patents and ship anyway - and Microsoft won't make any money out of it.

      Anyway, that's now pretty irrelevant as Microsoft's 200+ primary claims are widely documented on the internet.

  9. Daniel B.
    Alert

    MS playing nice? Yeah, right

    "further integrate Havok physics into its Azure-powered Xbox One Cloud."

    That sounds like it's soon going to become "unavailable" for the PS4. Especially given that their crappy console is losing 2:1 in the current gen console wars, even after they backtracked on their draconian DRM power grab. So pulling off a desperate dick move wouldn't be surprising at all.

  10. Interceptor

    I was so surprised to hear this news I fell over backwards in my chair, hit the floor, bounced 25 feet up clipping through the ceiling and twitched for about a half-hour after I landed wrist-first on the patio, folded neatly between the grill and the kids' playhouse, all the while making a rapid thumping sound.

  11. wsm

    Ahh, the memories

    I recall being at a Microsoft training session where the head of one of the games units told how he was there when they acquired a popular game--the entire company, staff and all.

    At the end of the first year he had the existing MS programmers present awards for the best achievements for the division. All of the awards went to the new people.

    I never did hear what happened over the longer term. Probably most of the new people became newer people elsewhere.

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