NVIDIA, the company known for high performance video cards, had a press release yesterday at CES showing off their new technologies and how they are reaching out to new markets. They released information on several interesting products and technologies which targeted the mobile gaming and cloud computing sectors.
The first issue that NVIDIA wanted to tackle was the accessibility of PC gaming to the average person. What makes consoles so great is their ease of use. PCs, however, can be many times more powerful than any console but have so many different configurations and settings that it can be a daunting task for the average person to adjust for the most optimal visuals and performance. The technology that was presented is called the “GeForce Experience”– a cloud based system that will automatically configure every possible setting for every game for optimal performance for the user. This essentially gives the simplicity of a console game with the performance of a PC and lets the user focus on the game instead of fiddling with settings to get the perfect balance of frame per second and crystal clear graphics.
With the explosion of cloud computing due to the much decreased expenses of storage and bandwidth its applications spread throughout computing, but gaming has been left by the wayside. The reason being that videogames are creating entire worlds in real time as opposed to a movie or a television show where prerecorded frames are played back. NVIDIA wanted to pair cloud computing with gaming technology with its NVIDIA GRID. NVIDIA GRID is system that uses a rack with 20 GRID servers featuring 240 GPUs and can process at 200 Teraflops (which is the same amount of computing power as about 700 Xbox 360s). The GRID system can be used by simply used anywhere, you could be playing a game on your tv, then pick up where you left off on your laptop or smartphone.
To add to the mobile market NVIDIA unveiled the Tegra 4, a 72 GPU core and 4 CPU core, LTE optional powerhouse. NVIDIA demonstrated it against the most powerful tablet on the market today, the Samsung Next 10. In a webpage loading race it was 3.5x faster. Against the iPhone, it was more clear and fast in HDR filming and has the capability of realtime processing by taking two photos at high and low exposure and compounding it into one (iPhone takes about 2 seconds to convert). This high powered Tegra 4 is great for mobile gaming and can be used with NVIDIA’s TegraZone, which features games that are optimized for the Tegra. It is definitely going to be a new powerhouse in the mobile gaming market.
To round off mobile gaming market NVIDIA, featured its own mobile implementation of the Tegra 4 called SHIELD. It comes with a battery life that allows for 5-10 hours of gaming and 24 hours of video playback. It has a sound system that is top notch by including a bass reflex system that has a large range and output. The SHIELD comes with a console style game controller and was demonstrated by playing music, videos, Facebook, and Need For Speed– all on a Shield and on a LG TV. And a this technology is compatible with GeForce GTX GPUs. All of which is at a very low latency. NVIDIA intends to sell the SHIELD to pay for the GRID system service, and depending on the price point I think it can be a huge success as it appeals to hardcore gamers all the way to the average person.
What a great idea it is to have many technologies combined into a way that is very useful to gamers. By focusing on mobile technology you don’t always have to be anchored to your extreme gaming rig to play intense graphic games. This could essentially make the weaker console platforms completely obsolete as well, as they have always lagged behind PC games in graphics. The Grid platform would make sure that all your games are being played at the highest graphic settings that are available for the game. I’m very excited to see NVIDIA implement this and look forward to using this technology in the future. Just hope your internet connection doesn’t cut out.