More Technology from 3dfx
A new kind of press conference
The verdict is in. Everyone (including us) has been badgering 3dfx about image quality issues so much that they've now gone over the top, and have arguably become the champions of higher image quality gaming. How so? Well, we found this out 20 minutes before 1PM yesterday, when we were scheduled for an official 3dfx conference call to discuss some new technology.
FiringSquad broke the 3dfx texture compression news to you in our 3dfx interview regarding the GeForce 256. Scott Sellers alluded to some "very exciting developments" in the area of texture compression, and this conference call confirmed everything. A technology summit very much like the T-Buffer conference last month, the teleconference was held with key online gaming sites to debut 3dfx's new FXT1, touted as a "next-generation texture compression technology" that will bring us yet one step closer to the goal of "Digital Hollywood on the desktop."
Why a phone conference?
Well, to keep things concise, the inclusion of texture compression isn't something that's completely new and unheard of. 3DFX has been using Narrow Channel Compression and 8-bit palletized textures since the Voodoo 1. Application developers have implemented software compression systems as well, and S3 has been tooting the advantages of their own open compression standard S3 Texture Compression (S3TC for short) for quite a while. In general, the idea isn't too hard to explain. The T-Buffer effects however, require a little hand-holding in order to understand - who except the more technically inclined can understand the process of creating soft reflections or shadows, anyways?