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OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a free and open source standard specification defining a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL was originally developed by Silicon Graphics in 1992 and is widely used in CAD, virtual reality, scientific visualization, information visualization, and flight simulation. It is also used in video games, where it competes with DirectX on Microsoft Windows platforms.
|Version||Release Date||Release Notes|
|OpenGL 1.0||January, 1992||Initial releasee|
|OpenGL 1.1||January, 1997|
|OpenGL 1.2||March 16, 1998|
|OpnGL 1.2.1||October 14, 1999||Multi-texturing added|
|OpenGL 1.3||August 14, 2001|
|OpenGL 1.4||July 24, 2002|
|OpenGL 1.5||July 29, 2003|
|OpenGL 2.0||September 7, 2004||Added support for GPU assembly language call ARB|
|OpenGL 2.1||July 2, 2006|
|OpenGL 3.0||July 11, 2008||Support added for frame buffer objects and hardware instancing|
|OpenGL 3.1||March 24, 2009|
|OpenGL 3.2||August 3, 2009|
|OpenGL 3.3||March 11, 2010||Simultaneous release with version 4.0|
|OpenGL 4.0||March 11, 2010|
Games that use OpenGL
Despite the dominance of DirectX within the PC gaming industry, OpenGL is used in a variety of commercial games. For instance, OpenGL is used in the Call of Duty, Quake and Unreal Tournament franchises. For games like Half Life 2, the Left for Dead and Portal series, and World of Warcraft, OpenGL is used for the OSX release only, while DirectX is used for the PC, XBox and Xbox 360 releases.