NVIDIA Wants to Help Microsoft's Xbox One Strut

Love it or hate it, the Xbox One console stands alone as Microsoft's  (NASDAQ: MSFT  )  entertainment platform of the future.

In fact, fellow Fool Rick Munarriz recently went so far as say Xbox One represents a considerable threat to Apple's largely expected foray into the smart TV market, based on features including live TV integration, voice recognition, and Skype video chat. What's more, thanks to Microsoft's decision to lean away from its previous reliance on specialized processors in favor of a more accessible eight-core x86 CPU, the Xbox One will also be able to run Windows 8 apps and games if need be.

Xbox One. Source: Microsoft

Of course, Rick also pointed out the new console is largely "courting an army of one" with its core audience of solitary game enthusiasts, and many such gamers have already voiced disappointment with the company's lack of focus on actual gaming when the Xbox One was revealed.

And that, my fellow Fools, is where graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA  ) would like to lend a helping hand.

It's the little things in (virtual) life
You see, last week the folks at NVIDIA officially announced support for their PhysX and APEX software development kits for Xbox One.

For those of you unfamiliar with software engineering, a software development kit -- or SDK -- is essentially a way to give programmers access to a library of useful, proprietary programming tools. In short, this saves software engineers -- or, in this case, game designers -- the hard work of implementing complicated algorithms necessary to make those tools themselves.

To be sure, few people would argue any company knows more about creating realistic graphic effects than NVIDIA, which arguably popularized discrete graphics processing units with its GeForce 256 cards in 1999.

NVIDIA's PhysX platform, for its part, revolves around the ability to design and simulate real-time, real-world physics effects into games -- think about things like the way debris flies, or the way fire burns, or how people and objects move.

Then there's APEX, which gets more specific by expanding the "quantity and visual quality" of destructible objects, providing the ability to recreate life-like smoke and water effects, and creating clothing which moves in response to characters' bodies.

For example, check out a few of NVIDIA's examples of how PhysX improves the visual effects in Sony's new massively multiplayer online game, PlanetSide 2:

Of course, this will certainly help Microsoft boost the gaming appeal for Xbox One as more game developers come on board to take advantage of NVIDIA's tools. However, it should also come as no surprise NVIDIA would want to extend its platforms to Microsoft's Xbox One, which I think will be a much bigger hit than many investors realize.

In the end, both PhysX and APEX are also similar to NVIDIA's previously announced Chimera digital photography architecture: They each serve as a way for NVIDIA to secure its place as a one-stop shop for all things related to effective graphics processing.

NVIDIA was ahead of the curve launching its mobile Tegra processor, but investing gains haven't followed as expected, with the company struggling to gain momentum in the smartphone market. The Motley Fool's brand-new premium report examines NVIDIA's stumbling blocks, but also homes in on opportunities that many investors are overlooking. We'll help you sort fact from fiction to determine whether NVIDIA is a buy at today's prices. Simply click here now to unlock your copy of this comprehensive report.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2013, at 8:28 PM, deeboy17 wrote:

    NVIDIA and AMD on the same console! Wow. Things are heating up. That could make cloud computation an actual fact on Xbox One. I think they've got something up their sleeves that they will no doubt share at E3.

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2013, at 8:53 PM, gearsofwarking wrote:

    Xbox Strut? More like a limp...

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2013, at 9:32 PM, busa89 wrote:

    I find it funny that people actually think the "company's lack of focus on actual gaming". Playing games is already a given. How are people confused by this?

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2013, at 9:35 PM, MaxFlare wrote:

    now that everyone hates microsoft so much the American media is desperate to spread propaganda against foreign SONY and in favor of Xbox One to convince people to buy the console. this is pathetic. not one legitimate article has been posted by U.S. mainstream media about disaster of popularity plummet that microsoft is facing. this is corporate propaganda at its finest.

  • Report this Comment On May 29, 2013, at 10:36 PM, Nomadder wrote:

    Well, busa89, I don't think anybody's actually confused, just upset.

    Of course, I haven't seen a Fool article yet that honestly addresses the full range of reasons people are leery of the X1.

    The lack of focus on games at the announcement is nothing but a minor irritant to the core gamers next to the real issues (which hopefully turn out to be overblown).

    If you want to know why gamers are upset, visit a gaming news site. There's quite a bit to be worried about until Microsoft deigns to grace the gaming public with a bit of clarity.

    Then; relief...or riots (or more likely just a PS4 purchase).

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