NVIDIA has announced that PhysX 5.0 will launch in “soon in 2020” with a handful of new features.
The video shows a handful of deformable objects dressed up as a beach scene. Balls are thrown against an inflatable flamingo, and cloth chairs sag under the excess slack. They also show the legs being lifted and caught into notches, which suggests a relatively stable collision simulation with concave mesh colliders.
Note that when people talk about physics stability – we don’t mean in terms of crashing. We mean as in objects don’t shake or fly off. The simulation converges toward its intended value.
This post arrives about a year after the launch of PhysX 4.0, which suggests that NVIDIA is transitioning to some form of rapid release cycle. Several engines use it as their back end, such as Unity and Unreal Engine 4.0. Unity will be upgraded from PhysX 3.4 to PhysX 4.1 when 2019.3 releases in January. I believe Unreal Engine 4’s public roadmap is PhysX 3.4 for the foreseeable future (although that is the sort of thing that may not be announced until the release notes of the version that implements it).
I should note that both Epic Games and Unity are developing in-house alternatives, although the main engine is still PhysX in both cases. For example, Unity is revamping their engine from object-oriented GameObjects to data-oriented entities; the latter data format will be able to use the in-house engine or Havok. Basically every current Unity game is based on GameObjects, however, which is all PhysX. Epic Games is currently experimenting with Intel ISPC for efficient vectorization, but I don’t think they have announced a long-term vision for PhysX vs their physics engine yet.
PhysX (3.4-and-up) is licensed under the 3-clause BSD license (except on consoles).