Nvidia Wants To Stream Your Next GPU To You

NVidia made a splash at the 2012 GPU Technology Conference (GTC) this week, with the announcement of its first virtual, cloud-based GPU.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed a presentation explaining how the Nvidia VGX — based on the new Kepler architecture — can distribute streaming graphics processing. It's aiming its new tech both at businesses and at gamers, unveiling a service it calls the GeForce GRID.

The idea behind the GRID tech is that games can have a device-agnostic, location-blind future. A droid phone or an iPad doesn't have the physical footprint to cram an Nvidia GTX 670 (and its heatsink needs) on board, but it can access the graphics processing power remotely and stream it to your face.

Huang demonstrated the principle on-stage with a demo from upcoming mech shooter Hawken being played live on a television. Not on a console connected to a television, but rather on a television with an ethernet cable and a controller plugged into it, streaming the game directly.

In its press release, Nvidia promises that the GRID can work just as quickly, if not more so, than being plugged directly into a device with a GPU on board: "The latency-reducing technology in GeForce GRID GPUs compensates for the distance in the network, so gamers will feel like they are playing on a gaming supercomputer located in the same room. Lightning-fast play is now possible, even when the gaming supercomputer is miles away."

While controls and human input still remain an issue, if top-notch streaming graphics processing catches on, the future of on-the-go gaming could see a great boost from the tech. A laptop or tablet that couldn't, by itself, support running a brand-new game now can. For now, Nvidia is partnering with cloud-based game-delivery service Gaikai, who will use the tech, presumably, to make its streaming game offerings snazzier-looking and more responsive.


    Holy Dooly!... Onlive must be like DOH!

      How is this different from OnLive?

    This....this is freaking awesome. The only thing that concerns me once they overcome the technical limitations (distance of user, their bandwidth speeds etc) is how they'd make this avaliable...from a pricing standpoint

    e.g. Subscription for the VFX(p.m. or p.a.) and then the cost of the game. Possibly something Valve should look into for Steam! I personally wouldn't endorse game publishers running the servers (you just need to look at EA's current decomissions to feel the reluctance of going with a publisher based server model).

    Either way, still awesome.

    And the chances of this ever becoming available in Australia...?

    This is pretty awesome, the title is a little misleading made me think Nvidia wanted to go that route for ALL their stuff, but I could get behind this. Would be awesome for Ultrabooks and the like. Just another reason why I like Nvidia.

    LOL NVIDIA, I'm still laughing about your $1700AU graphics card and now this.

      Yeah even 1400 in the usa... how can you release something you cant supply and give it a 999us price tag and no one but the selected few suppliers that can get a hold of one are benefitting by selling them at twice the price...very bad to your consumers. AMD should release a card that owns it and actually be able to supply and for 999 they will make a killing

    hmmm, 1920X1080p = 500KB per second = 30MBs a minute = 1.8GB per hour = 5hrs of gamming = 9GB. over a month about 270GB. THat would kill my internet within 10 days.

    I would dare say the day we live in umetered environment will be when things like this and the cloud kick off.

      That is why Australia don't have great streaming services locally. Our internet sucks

    Diablo III is evidence enough that companies are flat out having the infrastructure and resources to serve a large number of players with small data amounts let alone large numbers of players with large data amounts that streaming video would demand.

    660 Ti please.

    watching Jen-Hsun Huang talk at a conference is like watching a used car salesman do his thing; I've never heard someone sound so fake, and trying so hard to sell people on shit. It's laughable. I remember this one time from an earlier conference, where he was demonstrating the same kind of technology, he was saying things like, "surely if I open this HD video, it's just going to crash ... Oh wow, look, it just works." He then proceeded to say this same irritating crap ("oh wow, it just works") for about the next 5 minutes. LOL ... it's puke worthy.

    Nah, rather have the physical hardware.

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