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[Ars] Why Intel bought Project Offset and the Offset Engine

post #1 of 16
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By Joel Hruska | Published: February 25, 2008 - 10:23PM CT

Quote:
By all appearances, Intel's interest in gaming is on the rise. Not only is the CPU giant developing its own graphics technology and a founding member of the PCGA (PC Gaming Alliance), it has now acquired Project Offset. Project Offset is a game engine development team that has kept its own plans close to the vest—thus far, only Red5 Studios has licensed the Offset Engine—but the company won a great deal of praise for the gameplay trailer it released last July. Intel's decision to acquire Project Offset may be a dream come true for the company, but it raises the question of what Intel intends to do with a game engine.

Game engines and game development studios aren't exactly part of Intel's core business, but purchasing one opens doors for Intel on multiple fronts. The number of cores in any given system will only increase in the next few years, but games are notoriously difficult to parallelize. By bringing a preexisting studio in-house, Intel acquires its own engine for testing and modeling without going to the trouble of developing its own 3D engine. The fact that Intel also owns and maintains its own compiler gives the company a unique opportunity to develop and test parallelism at the CPU, game engine, and compiler level.

Larrabee may not launch until late 2009/2010, but again, purchasing Project Offset now gives Intel a real-world engine with which to evaluate Larrabee and ties in well with the company's purchase of Havok last year. Between the two, Intel has the makings of a very solid offering. To date, the Offset Engine has only been licensed to one other studio, but the stability and feature-set of an Intel-backed product could lure developers—particularly if that product comes with funding and partnership opportunities.


One lizard, as rendered by the Offset Engine. It's not just for breakfast anymore!

Intel has remained mum its plans for Project Offset. It's apparent, however, that the company is taking an interest in all of the separate technologies that drive 3D gaming and game development. This probably has less to do with gaming, per se, and more to do with the difficulty of extracting parallelism from one set of instructions while an entirely separate set of calculations is already taking place. With the number of cores-per-CPU continuing to grow, Intel faces the challenge of keeping all those cores busy—and that's before we consider Larrabee, which is designed around its own multicore architecture. While we probably won't see "The Adventures of Pentia" on the market anytime soon, the research driven by acquisitions like this could lead to significant advancements in parallel programing and, by extension, multicore efficiency.
[SOURCE]

Intel may eventually revitalize and revolutionize the PC gaming world... It's a pipe dream, I know.
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Calculon Ω
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post #2 of 16
It'd be nice to have another major company in the gaming industry, especially Intel.
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post #3 of 16
Maybe they are buying that engine as a benchmark for their VGUs Or perhaps it wants to test on ways to factory optimize cores for graphic/physic processes instead of letting game companies do it... /shrug.

Only one thing can come of this... AMD in trouble
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post #4 of 16
I think its more of intel saying "We will not be using lube for the unspeakable things we are about to do to nvidia, those non-sharing bastards."
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post #5 of 16
Intel VS EA Games. I cant wait!
post #6 of 16
Hm. I could get used to his. Project Offset - the game I'm most looking forward too - has just got even better.
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post #7 of 16
Hopefully this ends the stagnation we've seen in the GPU market since the launch of the 8800GTX.
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post #8 of 16
it makes sense for them to do this, if pc gaming falls then so does most of their profits. But if they keep pc gaming around (supporting studios with their money) then they continue to make millions on people upgrading.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rduffy123 View Post
it makes sense for them to do this, if pc gaming falls then so does most of their profits. But if they keep pc gaming around (supporting studios with their money) then they continue to make millions on people upgrading.
i never even thought of that...that seems brilliant
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post #10 of 16
I almost forgot about Offset. The demo is still the best graphics in a game I've ever seen. I hope the engine performs like that in the real world as well.
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