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Valve to present glNext: High Performance Graphics at GDC

by Mark Tyson on 5 February 2015, 12:20

Tags: Valve, Unity Technologies, Epic Games, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA)

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Games software creation and distribution firm Valve will present a special session at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC), all about the next generation of OpenGL. The session is called 'glNext: The Future of High Performance Graphics' and takes place during the GDC, San Francisco, starting at 10am on Thursday 5th March.

The glNext API will be an effort to rebuild the multi-platform graphics API specification from the ground up - to be a low-overhead modern graphics API. It is perhaps felt that something radical needs to be done with OpenGL in the face of new 3D gaming APIs from AMD (Mantle) and Microsoft (DirectX 12).

A teaser for the presentation says:

"Join us for the unveiling of Khronos' glNext initiative, the upcoming cross-platform graphics API designed for modern programming techniques and processors. glNext will be the singular choice for developers who demand peak performance in their applications. We will present a technical breakdown of the API, advanced techniques and live demos of real-world applications running on glNext drivers and hardware."

While Valve presents the session, it will be joined by developers and graphics architects from the likes of Epic Games, Unity Technologies, EA (Frostbite Team) and Oxide Games.

What has excited some industry observers, in the short term, concerns speculation about what the live demos and real-world applications on show will be. There has even been talk that this GDC session will be the first official confirmation and glimpse at Half Life 3, Portal 3 or Left 4 Dead 3 in glorious glNext action.

While those long awaited blockbuster PC games might not make a showing at GDC remember that Valve has promised to give Steam Machines a 'front and centre' presence at GDC. We also expect to see a finalised Steam Controller design and more news of SteamOS development.

HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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A finalised steam controller? I'll believe it when I see it :p

Hopefully ONE of these new APIs will stand out as the best and be adopted, although the pessimist in me thinks we will take a step backwards and end up with games that will run better on one API or another and then have graphics cards that support one API better than another……just like Unreal Tournament days again.
“Half Life 3, Portal 3 or Left 4 Dead 3” this is all I want to hear about from Valve, they've p*ssed around too much with all the other cr*p and neglected the fans who made them what they are today.
They have changed their core business model from developer to publisher. Yet they still create and improve new games and are getting into tech innovation (slowly).

I can't see HL3 ever being released, and if it is I won't be excited. Ive already forgotten the story and plot archs from the first 2.66 games.

I am a day 1 user and fan, and I am happy they have made the PC Gaming industry more streamlined. Without steam, I would guess Consoles would have won.
It makes me wonder if the wait will actually be worth it? I really hope it will be…

I do look forward to this though - should be interesting what they have to offer. In addition to half life 3 that is :P
It's sort of meaningless if everyone else out there doesn't come on board, or as noted above, the API's become even more fractured. I'd be far more impressed if their geniuses came up with some sort of wrapper, like the old glide wrappers from days gone by, that allow decent or better ‘emulation’ for DX/D3D under Linux, instead of having to futz around with Wine/Cedega/PlayOnLinux/Etc.