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.