I am not a fan of Nvidia’s marketing practices as I firmly believe they damage the PC gaming industry, creating division through the use of proprietary technology where open standards are available that can produce exactly the same effects. Many people criticise ATI for the scant attention it pays to developer relations, citing the tangible advances that Nvidia offers gamers through its TWIMTBP releases and the use of CUDA and PhysX. However, I do not want to see ATI respond in kind as Nvidia seems intent on creating a situation wherein the consumer will eventually be forced to ask whether a given game is an “ATI title” or an “Nvidia title” wherein performance is essentially crippled on the competitor’s cards. I did not buy, nor will I buy Batman Arkham Asylum as Nvidia paid the developer to turn off in-game AA on ATI cards. I find that reprehensible: it is one thing to optimise a title for your hardware; it is another thing to pay the developer to ensure that the performance of a given title is reduced when you use the competitor’s hardware. Again, whilst many people ask why ATI didn’t pay the developer to ensure that this function was enabled for its hardware, I firmly believe that development should be left to the developers and that certain aspects of a game, such as AA, should be available irrespective of the brand of graphics card that the consumer decides to purchase. By all accounts Arkham Asylum is an excellent game; however, my principles will not allow me to support such practices with my money – to each, his own. I just finished reading the review of Just Cause 2 over on HardOCP. It was very refreshing to find a reviewer who, despite the obvious pressure placed on tech sites, was willing to openly criticise Nvidia’s TWIMTBP program and marketing practices: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/05/04/just_cause_2_gameplay_performance_image_quality The Way It’s Meant to be Played? We have no doubt that the Bokeh filter and the GPU Water Simulation options could have been executed successfully on AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 series of GPUs. That the developers chose NVIDIA’s CUDA technology over Microsoft DirectCompute or even OpenCL is probably due to the fact that NVIDIA’s developer relations team worked with Avalanche Studios developers, and of course they like to promote their own products. (We would surely love to see the contract between the two, but that will never happen.) It is certainly their right to do so, just as it is Avalanche’s right to choose whatever API they want to use. We would certainly not presume to tell any independent game developer how to design their own game, but we would suggest that a more open alternative (such as OpenCL or DirectCompute) would have been preferred by us for those gamers without CUDA compatible hardware. This is an old argument, and is basically analogous to the adoption of PhysX as opposed to a more broadly compatible physics library. NVIDIA wants to increase its side of the GPU business by giving its customers a "tangible" advantage in as many games as possible, while gamers without NVIDIA hardware would prefer that game developers had not forget about them. As it stands for Just Cause 2, gamers without NVIDIA hardware are missing a couple of really nice graphics features, but those features are not critical to the enjoyment of the game. Just Cause 2 still looks just fine and is just as fun without them. But if you want the very best eye candy experience possible, NVIDIA's video cards, especially the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470, will give it to you. When NVIDIA tells us that it will "Do no harm!" when it comes to gaming, that is really a bold faced lie, and we knew it when it was told to us. It will do no harm to PC gaming when it fits its agenda. NVIDIA is going to continue to glom onto its proprietary technologies so that it gains a marketing edge, which it very much does though its TWIMTBP program. And we have to assume that marketing edge is worth all the bad press it does generate. To say NVIDIA does not harm to PC gaming is a delusional at best. You AMD users just got shafted on these cool effects that could have been easily developed for all PC gamers instead of just those that purchase from one company. This is another title that I refuse to buy. I doubt that this will cause much concern to Avalanche Studios, but if sufficient numbers avoid a developer’s titles because it allows Nvidia access to areas of development that should employ open standards, the developers may begin to take notice. Hopefully, TWIMTBP will become a thing of the past as it creates division and artificially introduced differences that are neither necessary nor desirable from the point of view of the consumer.