Oh and by the way, Carmack denounced Direct3D early on and that's why they stuck with OpenGL but now we know that Direct3D had a bright future because it would evolve faster and be better targeted for gaming.
The reason why he denounced Direct3D is because it was a pretty bad API. But it steadily improved and by D3D7 Carmack was on the record as saying that it has finally caught up to OpenGL in usability.
That's the reason: it used to be bad, then it got better. And JC definitely was right about that.
Don't know about the PhysX stuff, though. I guess it depends on how expensive it is for nvidia to include the technology. If integrating it is not much of a technical problem then I it is a good thing, even if it is a gimmick for cool looking smoke.
If on the other hand a considerablly large portion of the graphics card sales price is used to pay for it, then I think JC is right and it is not worth it.
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