If you're used to getting the most recent drivers for your NVIDIA card via Windows Update or NVIDIA's home page, you're in for a rude surprise. Starting mid-next month you'll have to not only install the GeForce Experience (GFE), but register with NVIDIA to get your fix of "Game Ready" software for your graphics card.
This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.
The first part of this move has already transpired with the latest GFE beta, as Reddit user dekenfrost discovered this morning:
Starting with the BETA update to GFE 2.8.0 I am no longer able to download Game Ready Drivers through GFE unless I sign up for an account ... Keep in mind that this is a beta version, but this is how it's going to look sometime in December when this gets pushed to the main channel. You will then only be able to download Game Ready drivers, that are optimized for new and upcoming games, if you register for a GFE account and have the software installed.
No need to panic just yet — this change has only been introduced in GFE's beta. For now, you can still grab the most up-to-date drivers via the usual channels.
Come December, you'll need GFE and registration to get NVIDIA's "Game Ready" drivers. These are pumped out ahead of a AAA release and include specific optimisations and tweaks for that particular title. NVIDIA won't shut you out entirely however, as Brad Chacos over a PC World wrote in October:
The drivers you can grab on GeForce.com or via Windows Update will be limited to quarterly releases for bug fixes, new features, security updates and so on. More frequent Game Ready drivers will be GFE-only.
If you're happy to use quarterly driver packages, nothing really changes. For those who prefer the cutting edge, it's an annoying barrier that will no doubt catch many off guard once the change is rolled out in full in December.