Published in Graphics
ATI screams about DX10.1, again
by Nermin Hajdarbegovic on 18 August 2008
Nvidia robbed its customers of DX10.1
As Fudo reported here, the vast majority of IT hacks present at the R700 launch event in Belgrade didn't find DirectX10.1 a very important feature in the big scheme of things. Some of them might have been just too lazy to raise their hand, or were too shy. Some probably weren't feeling too well either, thanks to an ugly heatwave which turned the picturesque Serbian capital into the biggest frying pan in the Balkans.
However, it's still a fact that things with DirectX10.1 aren't going ATI's way. Just remember the Assassin's Creed controversy, as well as Futuremark's decision not to include the API in its latest benchmark. Most developers embraced DirectX10.1, but actual DX10.1 titles don't seem to be catching up with their promises and ATI's expectations.
After Fudo posted the story, AMD's Senior Marketing manager for EMEAI, Ian McNaughton, sat Fudzilla down for a talk about DX10.1. He basically said DX10.1 was far more important than the hacks in the room thought.
"Nvidia robbed its consumers of DX10.1", said McNaughton, "DX10.1 is free and it would have taken them just a few weeks of work to implement DX10.1 in their products."
According to Ian, Nvidia is working on a gradual implementation of DirectX10.1, and as DX10.1 is an integral part of DX11, this is to be expected. McNaughton went on to say that AMD offers a superior price/performance ratio than its competitors, and DX10.1 just adds more value to their products.
So who's to blame for ATI's DX10.1 woes? Well, a decade ago a certain graphics company tried to persuade consumers they didn't need 32-bit color in their games. One of their competitors seized the opportunity and sent 3dfx to the happy hunting grounds. It didn't stop there, Nvidia ended up acquiring it and learning a few lessons in the process, but that's another story.
The point is, like Nvidia, 3dfx was lulled into a false sense of security. 3dfx was on top for too long, it got arrogant, it got lazy and it paid the ultimate price. Two years ago Nvidia conquered the DX10 market, taking the lead and leaving ATI sloppy seconds. However, Nvidia didn't just conquer the DX10 market, it created it from scratch, prematurely, mainly thanks to its aggressiveness and arrogance.
Arrogance is not necessarily a bad thing, if you can afford it, that is. It seems ATI could do with a bit now that it's on top, and we're sure more people would start raising their hand when asked if DX10.1 was important.