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Creative unwraps 3dfx Wrapper

Run Voodoo Glide games on your nVidia TNT card -- but is it legal?

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Creative Technologies yesterday released the first beta Wrapper, a utility that maps calls from one 3D acceleration chipset's API to another's, in this case to allow 3dfx Voodoo-based games to run on nVidia's Riva TNT chip. However, the company is being very cautious about the release, even going as far as to claim the software isn't a Wrapper, according to a report in Maximum PC. And well they might -- only last month, 3dfx set its lawyers onto Web sites posting independently developed Wrappers. 3dfx's claim: that the developers infringed its intellectual property rights by developing their software. Creative's attempt at a Wrapper -- sorry, "pure transition layer and nothing more", as Creative brand manager Jim Carlson would have it -- is called Unified. It translates calls made by a game to 3dfx's Glide API into Direct3D calls. Unified was developed using only publicly available information, claimed Creative, so 3dfx should have no beef with Creative. And, indeed, 3dfx was playing it cautious too: a company spokesman, cited in the Maximum PC report, said 3dfx would evaluate the matter shortly and determine whether or not legal action would be appropriate. The Creative wrapper is likely to be released free of charge, but tied in to Creative's own TNT and TNT2 cards, even though it will technically run with any Direct3D board. ®

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