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Sony and Microsoft may be “hostile” to new AMD tech, says Carmack

Thursday, 26th September 2013 23:13 GMT By Brenna Hillier

AMD’s new Mantle API may give developer’s a similar level of access to PC architecture as on consoles, and tech guru John Carmack expects Sony and Microsoft to react poorly.

Carmack, who was one of the founding members of id Software and is considered one of the brainiest boxes in the development scene by a wide margin, took to Twitter to express his doubts over the new Mantle API’s reception among console manufacturers.

“Considering the boost Mantle could give to a Steambox, Microsoft and Sony may wind up being downright hostile to it,” he said.

Carmack admitted that he doesn’t “know the details”, but said Mantle is being “pitched as a console level hardware access for the PC from AMD”.

Low-level access to specific hardware (as opposed to a generic, high-level API like Direct3D) is one of the advantages of console development as it allows for greater optimisation, and if Carmack’s assessment of AMD’s ambition is correct, Mantle will give Steambox – and other PCs – that same advantage.

Valve and AMD have not confirmed that they’re working together, but Valve announced that it’s working with multiple partners – including Nvidia – and it seems unlikely AMD wouldn’t be one of them.

AMD provided the architecture at the heart of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and therefore presumably enjoys a strong relationship with Sony and Microsoft at present.

Valve has multiple SteamOS devices in the works for 2014 release, and will begin shipping to beta testers soon.

Thanks, Polygon. Twitter links: 1, 2

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20 Comments

  1. DSB

    Man, that’s some claim.

    I think Carmack is getting a little too excited though.

    #1 12 months ago
  2. fearmonkey

    Of course MS will be hostile to it, but I don’t know about Sony.
    Ms has loads of reasons to not be happy about mantle, but it doesnt effect Sony near as much.

    MS has long neglected PC gaming and it’s about time we have some some exciting news regarding it. The market will leave them behind if they do not act and stay still.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. deadstoned

    Yep, personally I’d like to see Microsoft take massive damage and or as much damage as possible. After the last 8 year draught and GFWL. Well… They deserve it.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/7371/understanding-amds-mantle-a-lowlevel-graphics-api-for-gcn

    Those that are interested in tech stuff.

    TLDR: It suggested that it will make porting games to PC much easier with low-level access much like what the developers use for next gen. Also this is something that Developers will use when developing for next gen. Pretty cool stuff, can’t wait until November.

    If this is true it will potentially hurt Nvidia and Intel based PCs if Developers use mantle.

    Also MS or Sony aren’t going to get pissed. Carmack is being overly excited and dramatic. This would just make PC games easier to port for AMD based PCs.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. ysleiro

    @fearmonkey so Sony isn’t worried about its console business being challenged by PCs?

    Being that every family has at least one PC if I were Sony I would be worried about technology that given time could potentially turn many PCs into some sort of gaming console competitor.

    Don’t be shortsighted.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. xxJPRACERxx

    @4 Mantle is supposed to be open-source so there’s no reason nVidia couldn’t use it.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @6

    Where did you see that? That article says that the draw backs that Intel and Nvidia based devices would take a hit on performance. I didn’t see where it said this was open source.

    Edit: Oh you are totally right so there is no reason why Intel or Nvidia won’t use it. Though seems really weird considering how much AMD is hurting for money.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. Ownsin

    Meh, not much to see here. Carmack seems to think SteamOS will be a traditional console with propriety hardware.
    I think Valve’s biggest hurdle in their new platform is getting people to understand what it is and showing consumers and developers what it has to offer over the competition

    #8 12 months ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @8

    No he doesn’t. This Mantle system will work for PC and next gen consoles. It works with AMD GPU and CPU to talk to the metal of the devices and since it is open source that means Intel and Nvidia can add to it. Its a way to replace Direct3D or use with Direct3D and OpenGl.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. pcbros

    This is good news for PC game development and gamers. But obviously, Steam Machines would benefit from this as well.

    It’s been quite a week, lots of things looming on the horizon.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. sebastien rivas

    @2
    I understand why MS would be hostile but seriously, NO ONE, no one asked nor forced MS to choose their APU. It just makes me see that MS wanted the most with the extreme least but then down the road realized oops, that may not be enough so let;s boost this and that.
    Sure they will succeed but to what cost?
    An X1 in a year and half short of breath to keep up?
    Remember this, MS mentioned they want their console to be profitable and that point makes all sense in the world.
    Lesson learned, lesson learned.
    AMD created a technological feat with their APU lineups but manufacturer(s) should claim they are bad because they did not choose the right one in first place…
    Sounds to me like a good Benny Hill show if MS ever come forward that way!

    #11 12 months ago
  12. xxJPRACERxx

    Glide 2.0? ;)

    #12 12 months ago
  13. Cobra951

    “9X more draw calls per second.” If true, that would bring PCs into the realm of console efficiency. I’ve been harping on the huge performance cost of the current hardware-abstraction layer (i.e., DirectX). A factor of 10 is about right, compared to direct access to the silicon. If unshackled from that burden, PCs would gain tremendously in usable power. The problem is that PCs don’t have a standard set of specs. The hardware can vary wildly. Mantle would have to accommodate all the possibilities–like DirectX does now–while allowing unfettered access to the hardware. Is that possible? We shall see, won’t we?

    #13 12 months ago
  14. Phoenixblight

    @13

    November they will go more into it but you can use Mantle with Direct3D and OpenGL. Its really up to the developers to use it and apparently BF4 will be the first to use it.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. smoke.tetsu

    John Carmack may sound excited about it but he’s not going to use it in the near future… “I won’t be writing any Mantle code in the near future, since I’m not working on consoles now. OpenGL for PC, mac, linux, and mobile.”

    #15 12 months ago
  16. Keivz

    “Mantle is a new low-level graphics API specifically geared for AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture.”

    It’s optimistic at best to think this will be something Nvidia will be able to use.

    It may be moot though as I hear developers are dreading the possible return of the glide vs. D3D days.

    #16 12 months ago
  17. Phoenixblight

    @16

    It makes sense to do it and since it is open source there is no reason why Nvidia or Intel won’t especially since both Next Gen devices will be using it or a variation of it.

    #17 12 months ago
  18. Vice

    Any chance this thing can help developing of console emulators for PC? I’d love to lay my hands on those Sony exclusives without having to pay for them…

    #18 12 months ago
  19. smoke.tetsu

    @18 It may help with their performance but it wont help make emulation development any easier because there are a long list of things that have to be done first besides graphics API stuff.

    #19 12 months ago
  20. nollie4545

    New API…. Yawn…. AMD are not cutting edge in anything but losing cash.

    #20 12 months ago

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