After the incredible success ATI earned with their RADEON DirectX 9 cards, most industry observers expected that to continue throughout 2004. But after running into retail supply issues with high-end X800 XT series cards, and the subsequent cancellation of ATIís performance card for the mainstream market, the X700 XT, many began to wonder if these were signs of ATIís unprecedented run beginning to come to and end.
Recently FiringSquadís own Lyle Wagner was given the opportunity to speak over the phone with ATIís Director of Corporate Marketing, Paul Ayscough on these topics, and many more. The following
FiringSquad: Weíve heard that you were working with Microsoft on possibly integrating 3Dc into DirectX. Could you give us an update on how this is progressing?
Paul Ayscough: Generally we make a point of not making specific comments on other companyís software. However I can make some general comments.
ATI and other hardware companies do create new features for our own hardware and software. The best of these we like to see incorporated into the APIís Ė such as Microsoftís DirectX. These features are competitive advantages for ATI for the first year or two Ė but generally, we like to see them adopted by the mass market after that. If game developers tried to create games with 100ís of extra different pathways for all the different hardware Ė with no commonality Ė it would make the job of game development much too time intensive Ė or at least take time away from developing the rest of the game
FiringSquad: So by licensing this technology to other companies, you donít feel threatened, rather you feel it drives everything forward?
Paul Ayscough: Itís very nice to have unique features; itís also very important to make sure that they become widely adopted. Itís in the best interest of the industry to ensure developers have access to next-generation features and capabilities to deliver the best possible gaming experience to the end user.
FiringSquad: Do you see further blending between the console and PC markets, with future generations of consoles being upgradeable?
Thatís an interesting question. The current generations of consoles are fixed platforms, and in comparison to next-generation PC technology they canít offer equivalent performance. The upside of todayís consoles is after 3-4 years developers have extensive expertise on the hardware and can maximize performance with a relatively short time-to-market. In addition, itís a simpler usage model Ė with no user demands as it relates to drivers or optimal performance settings. Upgradeable consoles are an interesting notion but I think it will really come down to end user demand.
Also, there have been attempts such as with the old Sega Megadrive to have upgradeability. I donít ever remember any of them being wildly successful