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NVIDIA GeForce GRID Cloud Gaming Acceleration

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the still-won't-run-crysis dept.

Cloud 56

Vigile writes "NVIDIA today announced a new technology partnership with Gaikai, an on-demand gaming company that competes with OnLive, to bring GeForce GRID to the cloud gaming ecosystem. GRID aims to increase both the visual quality and user experience of cloud gaming by decreasing latencies involved in the process — the biggest hindrance to acceptance for consumers. NVIDIA claims to have decreased the time for game stream capture and decode by a factor of three by handling the process completely on the GPU, while also decreasing the 'game time' with the power of the Kepler GPU. NVIDIA hopes to help both gamers and cloud streaming companies by offering 4x the density currently available and at just 75 watts per game stream. The question remains — will mainstream users adopt the on-demand games market as they have the on-demand video market?"

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No (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012371)

Not as long as Comcast controls my bandwidth.

Re:No (4, Insightful)

Zaelath (2588189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012595)

Cloud assumes bandwidth is free... they assume incorrectly. It might be cheap in US markets, but it's never free.

Sat (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013131)

Cloud assumes bandwidth is free

Agreed. It also assumes that latency is faster than a typical satellite Internet connection.

Re:Sat (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40014043)

Cloud assumes bandwidth is free

Agreed. It also assumes that latency is faster than a typical satellite Internet connection.

So why are you considering it at all? Or is it something that's being sold to someone else? After all, why would every product or service be suitable for everyone...

Exclusive (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40026589)

The fear is that certain major publishers will make even their single-player games exclusive to these cloud gaming services, leaving people living outside the service area of wired broadband without games to play.

Re:No (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | more than 2 years ago | (#40015481)

Hmm. I wonder if this is why the industry keeps pushing cloud computing...

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012837)

Also no as long as rates in Canada are this expensive....
stop this stupid need for games to need internet or your slowly gonna put yourselves into a need to charge 200$ a game and only 5 morons will buy them

Numbers seem suspicious (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012449)

I have to say, some of their comparisons seem... unfair.

Their main chart compares three things: regular "console connected to display", "current cloud systems", and "GRID cloud rendering".

First off, they cite 66ms latency just at the display level, which is definitely at the higher end of the spectrum. But at least they use the same latency in each.

Their cloud/cloud comparisons are also quite suspicious. Reducing encode by 60%, yeah, I can buy that. Reducing *decode* - which, I remind you, is done client-side - by the same amount is also suspicious in light of their "this does not require an nVidia client, it will work with any h.264 decoder" claim.

Then they claim to have reduced network latency, and significantly (75ms to 30ms). Now, I can vaguely see how they *could* - if they can reduce bandwidth usage significantly, they might eke out a bit less latency, but I highly doubt they can more than *double* their compression efficiency. Unless they're doing something crazy like putting a network interface directly on the GPU (one image they show contradicts that theory), I think this claim is also pretty dubious.

The worst one is the "game pipeline" time. While I can believe that a newer, more powerful graphics card can definitely perform *twice* as well as an older one, I can also state definitively both that "you can put that new card in the home console as well" and "new games will expand to use that power, leaving you back where you started at 100ms render times". The former I can state because they've *already* released Kepler-based cards (to rave review, although my own seems to be backordered); the latter I can state because that's how the industry has worked since at least the late 70s.

Long story short, they seem to be doing some *extremely* unscientific, biased comparisons. Do they probably have something here? Yeah. Is it literally going to be as good as an actual console (or better yet, PC) connected directly to the console, as they claim? No.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012525)

They may have reduced the group size by sending more I-Frames which would reduce the overall latency of the video stream.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012823)

That will also reduce the overall quality of the video stream as I-frames are by definition larger than predictive frames.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013379)

Low-latency streaming video doesn't use traditional i-frames, since every frame has to be roughly the same size. Instead, systems like OnLive have a sort of rolling-refresh, where one column of macroblocks is refreshed with the equivalent of interframe data every frame. Think of it like dividing your i-frame into a bunch of chunks and interleaving into the video stream.

Yeah, you lose a bunch of efficiency since you can't reference stuff on the other side of the currently refreshed column, but the gains in uniform frame sizes (and hence latency) are enormous.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013049)

No, that only works when someone starts watching in the middle of stream.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012605)

Yea the reduce decode seems like pure BS to me. You can't decode 30% faster because then you would have a 30% faster frame rate, and you can't decode into the future.

They could possibly reduce the size of the buffer that needs to be built and maintained to decode by increasing the I-Frame to other frame type count, but that would massively increase the bandwidth, but reduce decode latency.

MPEG (2, 4, what ever) is a decode standard, not an encode standard. A compliant stream is based on rules for decoding. You are then allowed to get very creative on the encode side.

As for network latency an improvement of 30 to 75ms is not the impressive when you realize that gaming latency is round trip. There is latency for video coming down, but there is also latency for the control going up. That's only 15ms on each leg. I guess if they move the NIC into the GPU with TCP offload in the core, they could do that.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012923)

Of course you can decode 30% faster. Then you twiddle your thumbs for a few milliseconds while you wait for the next frame to come across the network. You don't decode into the future, but you are able to get the frame you're currently dealing with onto the screen slightly sooner than a hypothetical friend who is still busy decoding while your TV is already busy doing whatever they manage to waste 66ms on.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012655)

The numbers are the least of my suspicions...

First off, they cite 66ms latency just at the display level, which is definitely at the higher end of the spectrum. But at least they use the same latency in each.

Yeah 66ms is insanely high, but don't matter since they used it on all three.
Wat does bother me is the 100ms for a gaming console, which I'm gonna assume they used an SNES lol. Since theres noway im gonna believe thats a real number for any of the current consoles on market (xbox360,ps3,wii) without testing to prove it.

Reducing *decode* - which, I remind you, is done client-side - by the same amount is also suspicious in light of their "this does not require an nVidia client, it will work with any h.264 decoder" claim.

They might be using an encode setting that reduce the processing latency, such as less prediction, that way any h.264 would work.

Then they claim to have reduced network latency, and significantly (75ms to 30ms). Now, I can vaguely see how they *could* - if they can reduce bandwidth usage significantly, they might eke out a bit less latency, but I highly doubt they can more than *double* their compression efficiency. Unless they're doing something crazy like putting a network interface directly on the GPU (one image they show contradicts that theory), I think this claim is also pretty dubious.

Yes, if they lower the instantaneous bandwidth they could reduce the latency by a 1ms, but the only way they could reduce the networking portion is by using a special network protocol that reduces the time to transmit enough data to construct a complete displayeable frame. I agree with u that putting a NIC on the gpu would be nice, but theres prolly code that needs to run on a cpu.

The worst one is the "game pipeline" time. While I can believe that a newer, more powerful graphics card can definitely perform *twice* as well as an older one

Thats irrelevant as cards improve in processing speed, not in output latency times.

The most important issue here is, that ppl should never buy into this.
NEVER GIVE CLOUD computing YOUR MONEY.
They are EVIL, and are looking to turn software into a service, and charge by the minute.
When YOU BUY into a system like this, THEY CONTROL all YOUr data, and hold all your cards. If they disappear or go offline, YOU ARE LEFT WITH NOTHING.
The way things are headed, you will be paying your ISP per gigabyte, and ur game provider per minute.
Dont let them ruin computers with capitalist greed.

I am just happy that finally the a-hole laws of physics, and EVIL ISPs with slow networks will finally be working for me, in preventing them from removing network latency to an acceptable level, since 30ms will be horrendous, and thats a best case.

- HasHie @ www.TrYPNET.net
"Dont let em ruin it for us yet again"

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013393)

They claim massive improvements by doing video encode on GPU, but the competition (OnLive) does their encoding in dedicated fixed-function hardware anyhow, which I'd imagine would be faster than a GPU...

The compression shit is really not likely (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013775)

Particularly since for a given encoding technology, more bits means more quality. So if you cut the bitrate in half, sorry quality will suffer. I don't give a shit how good your encoder is, you don't get it for free. I've used x264 to reencode stuff with the quality settings cranked and I'll say it does a very good job, but there is still no mistaking a reduced bitrate stream for what it is.

This is one big problem Onlive has, and things like this will always have until there are stupid levels of bandwidth available, is the compression makes things worse. Onlive likes to claim you can play the latest games with the highest settings. That really isn't true. Sure they may be rendering on the server with that, but it doesn't look like that when it gets to you. As with most compression, it uses 4:2:0 chroma subsampling so you get 1/4th the chroma resolution off the bat. Also it is 1280x720, to save on bandwidth. Then, due to all the high compression, you lost a lot of fine detail, particularly on things with motion. Net result is the image is acceptable, but not very pretty. You could get something better looking with cheap GPU at home.

There just isn't any getting around it. You can make things look a lot better if you throw bandwidth at them, toss a 30mbps AVC stream at it and you'll be close to the kind of quality you can have locally but of course that is rather problematic for network based services, particularly if low latency is the rule.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40015055)

Good post. Very unlike most ./ posts, which is a good thing.

disclaimer (not directed at you gman): don't read this post if ur a typical /.'er who likes to repeats BS memes and also only posts stupid knee-jerk reaction whining comments. And posted non because I'm on a public computer and don't want to log on (username Mognuts).

i havent tried gakai. no idea how it runs. but i tried onlive. it does actually work. really well actually. the only complaints i've found:

1) the game is playable over a higher latency/slower wi-fi connection. if u want the best though, you MUST play over ethernet. also, you must have a router that can handle it too. if you don't, play on a direct connection (ethernet directly into your modem)
2) the only type of game that is left wanting is *multiplayer* FPS. It's actually pretty workable regardless, but while i can't complain about input latency at all on any the game/type of game, this could be a complaint for some
3) use a controller. it masks a lot of the latency. actually this might be competition for consoles moreso than pc. because consoles rely on controllers with games to mask low framerates, this could actually make onlive if it wants to make high resolution games available a viable competitor.

i'm divided on everyone here complaining about DRM and server-side games. As all engineers know, everything has a cost & benefit. My take:

Benefit:

I can play any game at medium detail on *anything*. I have an aging C2D with a 8800 GTS 512. I can't play my two favorite games right now: BF3 and Arma 2 (note to you two devs, an onlive release would be awesome--see below). Not because of my card mind you. This is the first time (due to every dev making PC games just console ports) that I can't run a game at ANY setting (maybe EVERYTHING at low but I can't stand that eyesore) due to my CPU (which Im shocked at). And With streaming, when I travel for business or when i'm just on the couch and don't want to get up, I can play from my netbook or even just from my android phone.

Portability. I really do love this one. I visit family a lot. No problem. When I go over, just log in on their computer and play. My save game is even available. Just pop right in. I don't have to lug a gaming machine or a console carrying case everywhere I go. And as a side note, I want the PC game or full console version. Don't say "buy an iPhone." I have a disconnected 3GS with a ton of games. I don't want to play punch the monkey games or ports of SNES/PS2 games. I played them in the 90s. I want FULL modern games and portability.

NO install. I cant tell u how refreshing this is. This may even beat consoles on this one because anyone with a PS3 knows that it takes 2 hours of installing and codes to get any new game running. And PC gamers, this is for u GFWL. I like GFWL for the reason that I don't need to buy from Steam to get auto-updating. I can buy the retail disc from anyone and get easy patching. BUT when it comes to install (yea I'm looking at u bioshock) when it takes logging in like 3 times and 3 restarts, i want to kill GFWL. Onlive: just select your game and ur done.

Costs

Medium detail at 720p resolution. Now, consoles are aging. Offer people with good connections max 1080p resolution at max settings. Any game in your catalog doesn't need more than a cheap 7850 radeon to play at max. I want to play games at max settings but I just don't really give a shit anymore about building or even buying another computer with gaming in mind. I have a high-level job and in my early thirties. I don't have the time for that shit anymore. And I don't even want a desktop anymore. And that said, a gaming laptop is just too heavy and big for me. Even that new alienware 14 is too big and heavy. And while the solution may be a console (and i have both), unless it's well done, games look like ass. And as a side note, even if u have to compress the hell outta a 1080p picture, its better to do so than stick with 720p. Ever compress a JPG from a compressed JPG? Looks like shit. That's why u stick to the RAW picture and then compress to JPG. Looks great even though it's lossy. And making the resolution higher in a game is the single biggest thing u can do for its graphics--full stop.

bandwidth. Yea it takes a lot. But I'm not 14 years old and can spend 8 hours a day playing games. Like me, most adults are lucky if they get 2-3 hours twice a week to play games. So this doesn't use up your caps. So yes, bendwith is a problem. But is it really a problem considering that the gamer demographic is me? Lack of games. Now, this really isn't a cost or a problem. They actually have a lot of games. I'm surprised they got the titles and publishers they did quite frankly. But I want my niche PC games and other AAA titles and even MMO's (yes MMO's can run on anemic hardware but I want max settings at 1080p because most MMO's look like shit even at max settings--at low, my god ugh). As I wrote earlier, Arma 2 (or Red Orchestra 2 or BF3) is fucking awesome. but i can't play SP or MP. Imagine playing Arma 2 with 1000 unit battles on a freaking netbook. Drool. And since you only have one point of entry, MP for arma could be unified. Right now to get to know people to play on a private server or clan is something I just don't have the time or patience for. I want console like experience which onlive could do for PC games (and also give me those niche games that consoles can't provide). I want it to be like BF3 for the ps3: Select a map and match type, join. Done.

Re:Numbers seem suspicious (2)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40015515)

Good post. Very unlike most ./ posts, which is a good thing.

disclaimer (not directed at you gman): don't read this post if ur a typical /.'er who likes to repeats BS memes and also only posts stupid knee-jerk reaction whining comments. And posted now from my own account.

i havent tried gakai. no idea how it runs. but i tried onlive. it does actually work. really well actually. the only complaints i've found:

1) the game is playable over a higher latency/slower wi-fi connection. if u want the best though, you MUST play over ethernet. also, you must have a router that can handle it too. if you don't, play on a direct connection (ethernet directly into your modem)
2) the only type of game that is left wanting is *multiplayer* FPS. It's actually pretty workable regardless, but while i can't complain about input latency at all on any the game/type of game, this could be a complaint for some
3) use a controller. it masks a lot of the latency. actually this might be competition for consoles moreso than pc. because consoles rely on controllers with games to mask low framerates, this could actually make onlive if it wants to make high resolution games available a viable competitor.

i'm divided on everyone here complaining about DRM and server-side games. As all engineers know, everything has a cost & benefit. My take:

Benefit:

I can play any game at medium detail on *anything*. I have an aging C2D with a 8800 GTS 512. I can't play my two favorite games right now: BF3 and Arma 2 (note to you two devs, an onlive release would be awesome--see below). Not because of my card mind you. This is the first time (due to every dev making PC games just console ports) that I can't run a game at ANY setting (maybe EVERYTHING at low but I can't stand that eyesore) due to my CPU (which Im shocked at). And With streaming, when I travel for business or when i'm just on the couch and don't want to get up, I can play from my netbook or even just from my android phone.

Portability. I really do love this one. I visit family a lot. No problem. When I go over, just log in on their computer and play. My save game is even available. Just pop right in. I don't have to lug a gaming machine or a console carrying case everywhere I go. And as a side note, I want the PC game or full console version. Don't say "buy an iPhone." I have a disconnected 3GS with a ton of games. I don't want to play punch the monkey games or ports of SNES/PS2 games. I played them in the 90s. I want FULL modern games and portability.

NO install. I cant tell u how refreshing this is. This may even beat consoles on this one because anyone with a PS3 knows that it takes 2 hours of installing and codes to get any new game running. And PC gamers, this is for u GFWL. I like GFWL for the reason that I don't need to buy from Steam to get auto-updating. I can buy the retail disc from anyone and get easy patching. BUT when it comes to install (yea I'm looking at u bioshock) when it takes logging in like 3 times and 3 restarts, i want to kill GFWL. Onlive: just select your game and ur done.

Costs

Medium detail at 720p resolution. Now, consoles are aging. Offer people with good connections max 1080p resolution at max settings. Any game in your catalog doesn't need more than a cheap 7850 radeon to play at max. I want to play games at max settings but I just don't really give a shit anymore about building or even buying another computer with gaming in mind. I have a high-level job and in my early thirties. I don't have the time for that shit anymore. And I don't even want a desktop anymore. And that said, a gaming laptop is just too heavy and big for me. Even that new alienware 14 is too big and heavy. And while the solution may be a console (and i have both), unless it's well done, games look like ass. And as a side note, even if u have to compress the hell outta a 1080p picture, its better to do so than stick with 720p. Ever compress a JPG from a compressed JPG? Looks like shit. That's why u stick to the RAW picture and then compress to JPG. Looks great even though it's lossy. And making the resolution higher in a game is the single biggest thing u can do for its graphics--full stop.

bandwidth. Yea it takes a lot. But I'm not 14 years old and can spend 8 hours a day playing games. Like me, most adults are lucky if they get 2-3 hours twice a week to play games. So this doesn't use up your caps. So yes, bendwith is a problem. But is it really a problem considering that the gamer demographic is me?

Lack of games. Now, this really isn't a cost or a problem. They actually have a lot of games. I'm surprised they got the titles and publishers they did quite frankly. But I want my niche PC games and other AAA titles and even MMO's (yes MMO's can run on anemic hardware but I want max settings at 1080p because most MMO's look like shit even at max settings--at low, my god ugh). As I wrote earlier, Arma 2 (or Red Orchestra 2 or BF3) is fucking awesome. but i can't play SP or MP. Imagine playing Arma 2 with 1000 unit battles on a freaking netbook. Drool. And since you only have one point of entry, MP for arma could be unified. Right now to get to know people to play on a private server or clan is something I just don't have the time or patience for. I want console like experience which onlive could do for PC games (and also give me those niche games that consoles can't provide). I want it to be like BF3 for the ps3: Select a map and match type, join. Done.

I sincerely hope not (4, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012469)

Movies are not games. With movies, you often tend to watch once in a few hours and then not touch again, so services like Netflix are much more efficient. You also don't need powerful hardware to run movies in real time or stream them.

Games need hardware, they need good latency, but most of all games are fundamentally different from movies. You're interacting with the game, often for extremely long stretches of time. I can't seriously think for a second that services like Gaikai or OnLive would be cheaper than buying the game straight away, unless you're uncertain you'll be playing much. I can see them being good demo-like services, but not full-blown gaming services.

Finally, there's one critical element that makes PC gaming, which is what's targeted by these services primarily, unique: the games can be modified. Mods have breathed life into games that deserved it, fixed games that were broken, improved games to perfection, kept games alive for years. They're the one thing that PC gaming has as a crucial advantage over just about any other (closed) model. You can't mod Gaikai games. Say goodbye to those amazing Half-Life 2 or UT2004 mods.

Oh yeah, and say hello to gatekeepers getting to choose which games are available. Dominance of streaming game services would be bad news for indie developers, since hardware would slowly get deprecated and not replaced. With the current market, you don't have to be on Steam to be competitive; the Humbe Bundle more than proves that.

I really hope this won't happen. We don't need more centralization than we already have.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012659)

I completely agree. Games are not something you play for 2 hours and never look back. Large game distributors would the only ones to benefit. I can see it being used in other ways though. Using multiple machines with a capable GPU could be pooled to speed up graphics for "the geek that has everything".

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012901)

Finally, there's one critical element that makes PC gaming, which is what's targeted by these services primarily, unique: the games can be modified.

That's not unique to PC gaming, in fact I'm pretty sure there are people modding current-gen console games, and I know for a fact people mod games for previous generations (I myself have hacked Sega Genesis games and also hack around on Guitar Hero II on the PlayStation 2). There hasn't been a single generation of gaming consoles that's not been hacked or modded in some way regarding the software running on the system.

No homebrew for 3DS yet (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013107)

There hasn't been a single generation of gaming consoles that's not been hacked or modded in some way regarding the software running on the system.

Not even Nintendo 3DS? Or did I miss something?

Re:No homebrew for 3DS yet (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40014007)

Ok, I missed that one. My out is that I said "gaming consoles" and not "handheld gaming systems".

Yeah, a bit weak. Still, outside of the 3DS, my point stands. Even the Vita can at least run PSP homebrew.

Re:No homebrew for 3DS yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40019077)

Excuse me while I put this the most polite way I can:

Fuck you, the 3DS is a gaming console. It has physical buttons, eats cartridges and its primary function is video games.

Re:No homebrew for 3DS yet (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020183)

I said it was a bit weak of an out, no need to get adversarial. For the record, I'm a big fan of Nintendo's work, just not a fan of some of their policies and legal wranglings over the years.

Would you be appeased if I said "handheld gaming console" which at best is a subset? When people hear the term "game console" they inherently tend to think of something that hooks up to an external display device, which handhelds tend not to do (but there have been a few) but even in those circumstances, controls are often internal to the system itself, and not externally attached (even here there are exceptions, the Virtual Boy is one off the top of my head).

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013791)

Hacking console games requires hardware changes and software development skills, modding a PC games requires running the map editor that came installed with the game.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013997)

Hacking Guitar Hero II on the PS2 requires no hardware modification and no programming skill.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40014133)

Then perhaps we have a different interpretation of what the word "hacking" means.
Could you please explain what you did with Guitar Hero II?

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40018437)

It is possible to make custom note charts and import custom audio, modify all of the text, modify many of the settings of the game engine, and modify most of the graphics. It's also possible to do advanced stuff like altering the UI flow but that is a little closer to requiring actual programming skill (I myself have done this to the two existing GH2 demos in order to unlock menus that were locked away). None of this requires touching the main game executable (with the exception of the hack I developed to make the game use a different save file on the memory card than normal, and to give it a different name to show up in the PS2 browser).

It does help that the tools required to do this were made by others, but this is still not unheard of for other games.

Wii games are also regularly hacked, I can think of two projects right off-hand.

Remember the 1983 crash? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013115)

and say hello to gatekeepers getting to choose which games are available.

Except people like CronoCloud would claim that gatekeepers are a good thing. Nobody wants a thousand hello-world falling block clones or hello-world Pong clones, and nobody wants a thousand sophomoric games about crudely having sex. A flood of me-too knockoffs and porn games is believed to have caused the video game market to go into recession in the early 1980s.

Re:Remember the 1983 crash? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013319)

nobody wants a thousand sophomoric games about crudely having sex.

Yeah, well, that's, like, your opinion, man.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013685)

Actually it wouldn't even be good for demos, because both the Windows appstore as well as many games on Steam have free demos as well and the steam sales would make it cheaper just to buy the game on sale than to pay for the bandwidth.

I think the BIG mistake all these 'cloud" services are making is thus: They all assume that the bandwidth costs plus the service will be less than just buying the game, yet as we have seen all the ISPs seem to be heading straight into caps and many have frankly crazy overage charges. We can be pretty positive no matter what performance tricks they use that pushing HD gaming down the pipe is gonna seriously suck some bandwidth and who is gonna want a service that will suck up all their cap in a couple of weeks and leave them screwed for the next two weeks, when they could just buy the game off Amazon or Steam and not deal with bandwidth costs?

Personally i wish their bright happy huge bandwidth future was gonna be reality, and it probably will be in Asia and parts of the EU, but here in the USA we are just getting caps. so sorry guys, I think I'll stick with Steam and Amazon and not have to worry about paying the crazy overage charges for exceeding my cap.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

Ndkchk (893797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40015213)

You're seeing cloud gaming as a replacement for PC gaming, which it really isn't. It's more of a replacement for console gaming, which just happens to take place on a computer - or, in some cases, on a smartphone. This is awesome because it lets someone play the new games without the initial costs: they don't have to buy a fancy graphics card or a PS3. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of the upsides of PC gaming, but it's not trying to.

Re:I sincerely hope not (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40019097)

Sure, there are some downsides to this, and not everybody wants cloud gaming - on the other hand, there are a lot of benefits. For example, you don't need to upgrade your graphics card every few years to play the latest games with the best quality settings. Consoles could keep up with state-of-the-art graphics, and PC games that arrive late in the console cycle won't be dumbed down so that they look the same between the PC and consoles. Going to a LAN party? Leave your desktop at home; bring a small portable device (say a phone, tablet, or ultrabook), a controller, and maybe a display - or just plug a controller straight into a TV, for that matter. Find an awesome new game? Tell your friends, and in under two minutes, they're playing it with you. No need to download it, or go to the store to buy it. Like Mac OS X, but you're a gamer? No need to have two computers (one for gaming, one for other use), or reboot into Boot Camp. Or more generally, no need to worry about whether the awesome new game is available on iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Windows, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, etc. - use it on whichever one you prefer. And use it on different platforms at different times, without having to buy it again.

There will always be a market for buying physical copies of games so that you own them; you can still rent and buy DVDs in person, despite Netflix's best efforts (and huge success) with DVDs-by-mail and streaming video. But it does have the potential to disrupt the market, and introduce some new concepts and business models that just aren't possible otherwise.

cable VOD has control lag and can get overloaded (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012611)

cable VOD has control lag and some times get overloaded.

Now if they can install systems at your local cable headend then that can cut down on the lag.

inevitable (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012745)

I predict that "GRID Cloud Gaming" will end up being mainly a way to make gaming more expensive. Somehow, someway, it's going to mean paying more to get the same product - with extra DRM goodness.

Now, I say that without reading the article or knowing one thing about GRID or clouds or what's required to decode...whatever it is they're trying to decode.

And that does not reduce my confidence in my prediction one bit. Nor does it reduce the probability that it is absolutely correct.

Re:inevitable (2)

LocalH (28506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40012881)

This is really the ultimate in DRM as far as I'm concerned. You don't actually get the game binaries, nor is your own hardware even running the game code. This is "streaming gaming", where it's essentially a virtual monitor cable and input device connection, across the Internet, to a remote system that is actually running the game.

Do game developers really want their games to be lost to history when they're not offering authentication, or in this case keeping the massive server farm it would require just for one game, never mind hundreds? It sure sounds like it nowadays, and that's sad, because we've already seen short-sightedness destroy thousands of audio, video, and film recordings. Here we are in 2012 and I'm pretty much watching the same thing happen to gaming and computing, with heavy-handed copyright laws that ensure that by the time it's actually legal to freely distribute antique software, there won't be many authentic copies surviving. I salute those who have chosen to tread the fine line between fair use and infringement in archiving and preserving confirmed authentic copies of original media, and preventing the situation where the only surviving media is hacked or otherwise modified in some way.

Re:inevitable (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013183)

So what you're saying is that this "GRID cloud gaming" will allow us to pay more for what isn't even the same product and is in fact considerably less than the same product.

God, I love innovation.

Re:inevitable (1)

lannocc (568669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013323)

You're just not seeing the appropriate market differentiation: casual gamers (like myself) would gladly pay more for each use and enjoy a decent gaming service without investing in serious hardware. The article states this implementation sends down a simple H.264 stream, so even Raspberry Pi units could potentially make use of this! I can see it useful in a hosted retail environment (cafe/lab) or offered by a regional network provider (where latency can be controlled).

Re:inevitable (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40020555)

You're just not seeing the appropriate market differentiation: casual gamers (like myself) would gladly pay more for each use

That would be fine, Shawn, if it did not also mean that serious PC gamers will lose out big time. We will increasingly be pushed to using "cloud gaming" instead of installing software on our own machines. Then, we'll all be pushed into these "pay as you go" games where the purchase of a $60 game only gets you a coupon to a never-ending, continuous stream of purchases for DLC, in-game equipment, etc.

Just look at what's already happened to one of the classics of the standalone PC gaming history: Diablo. Now, if you want to get that great armor or weapon, you are invited to spend additional money at an in-game store. And this is just the start.

If you want to play games in "the cloud" in your browser, that's fine. But the gaming industry is going to flock to this model and leave the rest of us behind, just as PC gamers have now been forced to settle for inferior ports of console games. And no, it has absolutely nothing to do with "piracy".

Re:inevitable (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40017945)

You're thinking is short-sided and reactionary. Thank god Nvidia isn't like that.

Kudos to Nvidia actually. It's brilliant. They are developing this technology because quite frankly, this is the future. Remember using ray-tracing in games? They can use a whole farm of this stuff and develop fantastic graphics. Not only that, but the fact that they are developing it means they want to sell it. See where this is going? Consoles. I wouldn't be surprised a streaming component (onlive-like) was released on the new consoles alongside normal games. They could gradually phase out normal local games within 2 console cycles. Also, this allows devs to have massive computational power available for the intensive stuff like real-time lighting, physics, and AI. And not only this, it will actually be feasible due to economies of scale. Yea lighting may be "expensive" for a video card, but when you have a farm running it in the petaflops, it doesn't seem all that "expensive" or expensive (as in hardware dollar cost).

The console model is not sustainable long term. Not only that, but when game development is measured between 4-6 *years* now, how can a company plan development for a console cycle. I bought a whole bunch of games for my consoles that in the next year or two may not even work when the new consoles are released (think disabling of patching servers which affect even single player).

Look, I don't disagree with you. I think we should do everything locally, not server-side ("in the cloud" BS). I'm just saying is that there are some pretty cool benefits that may erupt. And quite frankly, if online would offer say like BF3 or Crysis 2 at max settings streamed, I'd never buy a gaming machine or console again.

Re:inevitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012951)

I predict that "GRID Cloud Gaming" will end up being mainly a way to make gaming more expensive.

The goal is to take high-performance computing devices out of the hands of citizens. Having them pay for it is just a bonus.

Re:inevitable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40014103)

Cloud gaming is idiotic in the first place, it adds input lag, sends a video stream back to a decoder then renders it on a monitor. A pc or a console takes out the network lag and does the same thing with usually higher quality since you don't have to worry about stream bit rates over a network. So it still requires basically the same hardware, maybe less video card, but you add input lag, dependance on network bandwidth and latency, and another monthly fee (which ends up costing more then a decent video cards life anyways).

As a gamer I'm pretty god damn sick of everything wanting a monthly fee plus micro-transactions and whatever else just constantly trying to nickle and dime the crap out of me.

These are the projects you get when you take a solution like "the cloud" and start searching for a problem, you invent one.

Niche (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012809)

I'm sure cloud gaming will carve out a niche.

People still play games on:
- Old 8/16-bit consoles
- Old handhelds (Gameboy)
- Modern consoles
- Modern handhelds (DS, PSP)
- DOSBox emulated DOS games
- Windows / Linux desktop games
- Online MMORPGs on the Internet (WoW, EVE, etc.)
- Mobile phones (iPhone, Android, etc.)

Will cloud gaming find a market? Maybe, if they offer something valuable to consumers.
Will it displace any of the gaming I've mentioned above? No. Because it will serve a different niche.

Always Online (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40012953)

So now, they have an excuse to shove the always online DRM down our throats.

Re:Always Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013173)

It gets even better... Soon we'll have to pay subscription fees for the GPU in the cloud, otherwise games cannot run at all.

One problem i see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40013375)

i think this is great. No more dvd's, etc etc

But just one problem. Quad HD is already here. You can buy quad HD monitors on Ebay for the same price as a normal monitor now.

Wont the higher resolution mean that the latency will increase ? Not sure ??

Would not want a single supplier (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013401)

webM has it on their roadmap only. AT the very bottom

http://www.webmproject.org/code/roadmap/ [webmproject.org]

Re:Would not want a single supplier (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40013435)

wait. There is an OPenCL implementation for video encoding and decoding.

https://github.com/awatry/libvpx.opencl [github.com]

Gank it quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40014417)

After reading all the posts I agree about all this being pointless & expensive. Especially when it comes to bandwidth... 8
It is an extrapolation of control. To have a sense of doing something against the percieved threat Piracy has on sales.
It's also done to leverage tech/developement & to keep lawyers happy about their shares. (last point is a personal intuition)

The best thing these guys could do would be to do PhysX in the cloud or something like that. That would be justifiable if it can be
done properly.

I don't like virtual clouds only the real ones will do. :)

Rent seeking (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#40014519)

on-demand games market

Seriously, I hate seeing the PC become prostituted and sold short. I've watched its decline since last century, where it has gone from number-crunching powerhouse to (almost) just a dumb terminal. Why bother getting a PC at all under these conditions? Let's go back to coin-operated video games. I'm sure the "market" will love that. Except of course it's going to cost you much more than $0.25 per go this time. $10 bills only.

Let's hope latency lasts forever. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40015185)

Why in god's name is NVIDIA working to eviscerate their market?

A few dozen clusters of high-power processors is far less profitable than 100,000,000 almost-as-powerful game cards.

Where do they think the money to develop future 3D card advancements will come from once home computers turn into dumb video terminals?

Re:Let's hope latency lasts forever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40016597)

Why in god's name is NVIDIA working to eviscerate their market?

A few dozen clusters of high-power processors is far less profitable than 100,000,000 almost-as-powerful game cards.

Where do they think the money to develop future 3D card advancements will come from once home computers turn into dumb video terminals?

Easy... subscriptions. They can make a lot more money from the plan than the card for most consumers. It's also a great way to ensure that they don't need to keep jamming out new products every couple months to keep up. They can just keep raising your share of the compute environment (at a price) and just backfill with more of the same.

Re:Let's hope latency lasts forever. (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40018045)

The bulk of Nvidia's revenue comes from low cost cards. Think laptop, low-end discrete desktop, and in the future, the Tegra platform. So it's not being profitable from your 680 or 670 flagships. So that eliminates your entire premise to begin with.

Not only that, but the money is *always* in OEM's and volume shipments. It's always in enterprise. Why do you think every computer manufacturer focuses on the enterprise? Why do you think HP dumped its consumer biz to focus on its profitable enterprise even though it was #1 in the market?

And it won't be a dozen clusters. I'd be betting they're making this to sell to MS or Sony for an on-live like deal for the consoles that will run along side traditional gaming. They're gonna do bad-ass graphics eventually, made "cheap" by server farms and economies of scale, to deliver stuff. But this takes big server farms. Jesus Christ, I mean doesn't Facebook alone have like 100,000 servers? That's just one company. And because it's enterprise, their margins could be a lot higher. So they make more money by selling less units AND they don't have to deal with whiny retail individual consumers like you.

Re:Let's hope latency lasts forever. (1)

wintermute000 (928348) | more than 2 years ago | (#40037673)

you obviously have never been involved in any enterprise class hardware or software purchasing decisions
to summarise: licensing, licensing, licensing....

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