From the description:
Houdini 17 includes a wealth of new features, including a GPU-accelerated multisolver for cloth, hair, soft bodies and grains, a new white water solver, a material-based destruction framework, facial autorigs, fullbody IK, enhanced animation and modeling workflows, UV autoseaming, GLTF I/O, gamedev tools and much more.
You guys hear that, GPU-accelerated cloth engine! Looks like we won’t even need nCloth or Marvelous Designer in the future. I honestly don’t know how they do it, but every new release blows our friggin’ mind, unlike Maxon’s releases, which takes a lot of concentration to spot the changes. Don’t get me wrong I still very much like Cinema4D, releases are still leaps and bounds better than Autodesk’s bug-ridden products, but it kinda hit a R&D block for a few years now.
As far as Autodesk go, well I guess given their huge market share, they might stay relevant for a few more years, but if you want job security, I’d suggest to jump on the Houdini bandwagon as soon as possible. Houdini 16.5 has been going stable on my Deepin Linux box on first try, while Autodesk Maya took a lot more effort to install, and even by some miracles you manage to get it to run, it wouldn’t last long, a simple graphic driver update (which is absolutely necessary) would break your installation easily. Face it, a company with decades operating in the industry and billions of dollar in the bank, still couldn’t get something as simple as that done, then it’s only a matter of time before people move on to better things.
Get Houdini today! (I’m not even getting paid for promoting it, it’s just that the team over at SideFX is just too awesome)