NVIDIA is known for mobile CPUs and desktop GPUs. It often aims to introduce innovative products and added few products, which we discussed later in this article. NVIDIA has concentrated more on Gaming department in recent years so to optimize major game titles for its CPUs and GPUs; NVIDIA started working with Gaming studios. Later, it was announced dedicated portable gaming device called NVIDIA Shield, which makes sense for NVIDIA to dig deeply into the Gaming arena. To continue pushing forward, NVIDIA also announced SHIELD tablet with exquisite specs at an affordable price ($299) tag for those who want play games in the big real estate but what’s next for NVIDIA? What can they do more for Gamers? NVIDIA has an answer for this in the form of NVIDIA Grid. Let’s see what it is ? and Why it is the matter for Gamers?
What is NVIDIA Grid:
NVIDIA Grid is a cloud-based game streaming technology to provide extremely high-quality Gameplay over the internet. It works just like Sony’s PlayStation, but NVIDIA Grid has few more advantages over Playstation Now. NVIDIA is trying to deploy this new game streaming service to provide reliable Gameplay experience across all the devices without a need to carry any game CDs or other products.
Pre-requisites for NVIDIA Gird:
You want to experience new service means you always need new hardware setup. In this case, users should be connected to game ready router for incredibly faster ping times and high-speed Wi-Fi connection to experience rich Gameplay. It works with NVIDIA Shield and NVIDIA Shield tablet for now. We will see support for more NVIDIA based products, which makes sense for NVIDIA knows how it can optimize better for its GPUs and CPUs.
How it works:
NVIDIA is trying to build a centralized location where it gathers all the popular game titles in extracted format, which means they are ready to stream and provide Gameplay for users over an internet connection. Users just need to log in with NVIDIA ID from the supported device whenever they want to play games.
Each time user request for competition, it will process data in the form of packets. It bundles all the required data and send it back to the users. NVIDIA servers have to do it thousands of times each second. Means, NVIDIA has to build staggeringly fast servers to make it happen without any glitches. So, NVIDIA is building servers with 20 GRID servers per rack to handle these extremely high-quality graphics, there are 240 NVIDIA GPUs. This combination of processing power can execute 200 TFLOPS means 200 x 1012 Floating-point instructions per second, which is equal to 700 Xbox 360s processing power. To add more, NVIDIA engineers are trying to keep the network latency below 150ms to reduce the lag in real time Gameplay. The company is already building up brand new server facility to achieve this rare feat. Sony is the only other company has done this successfully so far.
The very first and key position with cloud-based game streaming service would be providing universal Gameplay across all the devices. Users don’t need to carry or don’t need to install same game on all their devices. This action would lead to spare gigs of memory in their devices. One more key feature is that users can continue to play the game even they switched to another device. Simply, Grid will sync your Gameplay across all your devices. Remember, users should be logged into their devices with the same ID to sync all their data. Since all user data store in the cloud, they don’t need to worry about data loss. You guys may have known about the technology behind the cloud, which spreads your data across all the cloud storage’s means your data often backed up by cloud servers once you start playing the games.
- Universal Gameplay experience across all devices
- Easy sync of your Gameplay with various devices
- You never lose your data since it is using Cloud storage
I was worried about adding this point because it is one of the pre-requisite mentioned by NVIDIA but unfortunately, that turned into the problem. Every user should buy new hardware and must and should connect to the high-speed internet. NVIDIA has mentioned that the connection speed shouldn’t be less than 10Mbps, which isn’t possible for all the people. Sometimes, it struggles to provide smooth Gameplay even on high-speed internet connections. There are a lot of factors we need to take into account so it might be tough for NVIDIA to bring it to all the gamers.
- Need to buy slightly expensive hardware
- supports limited devices (at least for now)
- Need faster internet connection (at least 10-15Mbps)
- A lot of factors will affect your Gameplay so frame rate might drop.
Current titles offering by NVIDIA Grid:
Most of the popular titles are available at NVIDIA Grid; the list is below. Furthermore, NVIDIA is aiming to provide nearly 100 titles by the end of this year to match with Sony Playstation Now.
- Alan Wake: American Nightmare
- Astebreed, Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Batman: Arkham City
- Borderlands 2
- Brutal Legend
- Darksiders 2
- Dead Island
- Dirt 2
- LEGO Batman 2
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
- Race Driver Grid
- Saints Row: The Third
- Street Fighter x Tekken
- Strike Suit Zero
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
- Trine 2 and Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Pricing is the major factor where NVIDIA is way ahead than Sony. Currently, NVIDIA Grid users can play 20 titles at absolutely free of cost. Yes..what you heard is right. It’s free but there is a catch. NVIDIA is offering free game streaming service until May only. We will hear exact pricing details once we hit the deadline. On the other hand, Sony is charging its users $2.99 for 4 hours of Gameplay, which is ridiculously high pricing because every gamer wants to play as much time as possible. However, it will wipe out your wallet very quickly.
To beat Sony, NVIDIA also planning to offer monthly plans just like what Netflix is doing for their customers. It will provide unlimited game streaming at an absolute cost, so users don’t need to worry about the play time.
NVIDIA engineers are working so hard to make it official by this May. We may hear a new device, which supports NVIDIA Grid gaming service. The early reports are indicating that the new device will be called “SHIELD 4K Tablet.” However, I know, this is too early to comment on this.
Yes..there are some advantages as well as disadvantages but NVIDIA is trying to overcome all the problems of the time so we should appreciate that, and I would say, this is the future of Gaming. We don’t need gigs of memory, don’t need to carry CDs, DVDs and we also don’t need to worry about a loss of data anymore. Grid is safe, secure and offers extremely high-quality experience. Moreover, NVIDIA is going to provide monthly plans, which is matter most for gamers. Initially, Grid might not compete with Sony’s Playstation Now because Sony service is offering more reliable Gameplay even on slower internet speeds and it has over 100 popular titles, which you can play whenever you want. However, NVIDIA is still building Grid project, and we have seen tremendous progress already, so I would say, it will play a fundamental role in future of gaming, and it is the FUTURE OF GAMING. You can also post your queries in official Grid Gaming forums from here.
Updated on October 3rd, 2015: NVIDIA pushing Update 2.0 for SHIELD Android TV, Grid gaming renamed as GeForce Now, catch full details
Ok..folks, I hope you guys learned something today, and I want to give a break for now. Head over to comment section below and drop your opinion there on NVIDIA Grid..!!