Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nvidia GeForce GRID - Cloud Gaming platform

Nvidia, a leader in the gaming industry, recently announced the launch of the GeForce GRID - a Cloud Gaming solution. Cloud computing itself is nothing new - any computing that is delivered directly from a web server to a computer can be loosely termed as cloud computing. Where Nvidia is planning to shake things up, though, is by providing a dedicated cloud gaming GPU - the GeForce GRID - which is stated to reduce existing latency in cloud gaming, increase the capacity of gamers that can be handled by a single game, and increase the quality of the games that can be played. All this while simultaneously reducing the power requirements for the cloud gaming servers by using higher powered yet more efficient GPUs. Nvidia claims that cloud gaming is the future - and if you look at the computing world today, everything is being pushed to the cloud and so, it is definitely logical to believe that cloud gaming would take a huge stride forward in the coming year or so.

Nvidia quotes the superiority and the efficiency of the new GRID GPU as being able to provide a more playable gaming experience when compared to previously offered cloud gaming services. As you can see from the graphic below, the GeForce GRID GPU should be able to deliver a gaming experience almost similar to using a standard console/computer for dedicated gaming. Of course, the bandwidth of your Internet connection is a factor that is not taken into consideration in the graphic below - but this gives us a fair idea of how Nvidia's new Cloud Gaming solution is placed with respect to previous entrants to this market.

Nvidia GeForce GRID - Latency comparison chart

If you are wondering what hardware you would need to play a game backed by Nvidia's GeForce GRID, you would be happy to know that the only real hardware requirements would be a computing device that can handle the decoding (processing) of displaying a h.264 video stream (which is most modern smartphones, tablets, computers and televisions). Of course, since this is Cloud Gaming, you would need a decent Internet connection. There are no "minimum" stipulations laid out, but Nvidia state that they 'recommend' a 2 Mbps connection at least for playing games at 720p resolution, while a 5 Mbps connection would be a good connection to try out cloud gaming at 1080p. Nvidia was quite liberal in mentioning Gakamai - who appears to be one of the first and largest partners for the new Nvidia GeForce GRID platform. Gakamai is sort of like a "middle man". They take care of getting some games and putting them on Nvidia's new cloud gaming platform, and they provide the service to end users like you and me. Apparently, some of LG's latest Smart TVs have the Akamai service built-in - so you can enjoy cloud gaming without an additional hardware console or computer - you would just need a compatible LG Smart TV. Gakamai seems to be charging a monthly fee to end users to access and use Cloud Gaming, but we're sure that some cash-laden rich company somewhere would come up with a entry-free solution for cost-conscious gamers to get into the cloud gaming action.

More Info: Nvidia GeForce GRID

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