LAS VEGAS – Nvidia has made quite the splash at CES 2013. The company not only announced a gaming handheld (codenamed Project Shield), but paired that announcement with another that introduced a new cloud-based gaming technology: GRID. It’s a bold move, especially considering the challenges OnLive faced after unveiling a console and cloud gaming service.
Nvidia claims GRID will allow users to stream 36 “HD-quality” games from a single server with its new virtualization technology. The company boasts that it can reduce latency by 30ms, which would create a console gaming-like look and feel.
To manage the feat, Nvidia has equipped its servers with its most powerful hardware and software. By the numbers, you can expect:
- 20 servers per server rack
- 240 GPUs per rack (for handling graphics)
- 720 games all happening at once
- Adding up to about 7,200 subscribers per rack
The raw numbers are quite impressive, but we’ll have to wait and see if Nvidia can deliver as promised. And Nvidia is promising big.
“By using the NVIDIA GRID Platform, our partners will allow gamers to play anywhere, anytime, without being tethered to a box,” said Phil Eisler, general manager of cloud gaming at NVIDIA. “The world’s most exciting games can now be played as easily as you can stream a movie, right onto your TV or mobile device. No more discs to shuffle or files to download and install. Just click and play.”
There is a bit of optimism surrounding the company, however. Unlike other cloud gaming services, GRID is the product of a computer hardware giant that focuses on graphic and processing power. Nvidia is capable of creating the proper hardware to maintain and improve existing server architecture, and has an established developer base. The initial Nvidia GRID partners include Agawi (United States), Cloud Union (China), Cyber Cloud Technologies (China), G-cluster Global (Japan), Playcast Media Systems (Israel), and Ubitus (Taiwan). Still, Nvidia is not to big to fail in this transitional gaming market.
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