Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

Nvidia GM: Next-gen consoles will be the last

Nvidia GM: Next-gen consoles will be the last

Fri 21 Sep 2012 7:24pm GMT / 3:24pm EDT / 12:24pm PDT
Technology

Chip maker's cloud gaming GM unfazed by OnLive outcome, says all cloud gaming issues are solvable

If cloud computing is indeed the future of gaming, it might be a future without consoles. Speaking with VentureBeat, Nvidia's GeForce Grid Cloud Gaming general manager Phil Eisler said as much, suggesting experiences that are beyond the capability of cloud gaming in the near future (like 4K resolution) might be more than consumers are interested in (or given the price of compatible displays, prepared to take advantage of).

"They say this is the last console, and I am certainly a believer in that," Eisler said. "The last one is almost 10 years old now in terms of the technology. As we go through time, the good thing about cloud gaming is it's going to get better every year. One of the reasons we're investing in it is we see that there are some issues today, but they're all solvable and they're all moving in the right direction. Bandwidth is going up. The cost of server rooms is going down. We're bringing latency down. The experience will just get better and better every year, to the point where I think it will become the predominant way that people play games."

Eisler also touched on the recent news surrounding cloud gaming services OnLive (which declared insolvency last month, laid off half its staffers, and sold its operations to a venture capital firm) and Gaikai (which was acquired by Sony for $380 million). He noted that cloud "naysayers certainly had a field day" with the OnLive debacle, but sees its troubles as self-inflicted more than an indictment of cloud gaming's potential. As for Gaikai, Eisler said, "Clearly Sony believes in it enough to put their $380 million dollars into it. That was equally supportive for those people that are pro-cloud gaming. Anybody who's in the game console business is clearly awakened to the potential of streaming games to TVs."

32 Comments

Pier Castonguay
Programmer

194 105 0.5
More than consumers are interested in? If I could have a 4k display now, I would. The only reason why I don't use OnLine/Gaikai to play my games is because of the compressed effect on the picture instead of native full-res. Same thing with NetFlix.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Pier Castonguay on 21st September 2012 10:05pm

Posted:A year ago

#1

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

962 1,160 1.2
This is only true if you believe the only thing that matters in consoles is their graphics, and not their interface or unique features (See: Wii, Wii U).

Posted:A year ago

#2

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
I think, just like businesses are coming to question the real value of cloud systems consumers will also become burned and jaded by a full move to cloud systems. Not to mention you still need a "console" to get the cloud content to your TV as I doubt many consumers will want to buy another new TV and/or put a computer at the foot of their entertainment center...

You know what I think? I think that if both Sony and MS go a cloud-only route and Nintendo doesn't (because they generally lag behind in these things) I think that Nintendo will have their most successful console ever. The first sign and reports of not being able to access your cloud games or the first widespread hack of accounts and loss of money and credit card info and you'll get people avoiding those systems like the plague. At least when PSN was taken offline for months everyone's PS3 worked. At least when XBL wasn't working for a few months everyone's 360 worked. Not so for cloud gaming systems.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
I'm with you James.

I can, just about if I try really hard, imagine my current internet connection being performant enough to remove controller lag at some point in the future. What I can't envision is it ever being fast enough to outclass what my PC can already do right now for visuals. Why would I want compression artefacts even if they're small and infrequent which they won't be.

As stated, you will still need some sort of box to run this on, so we're just talking about a cheaper box than a console. And does price put people off buying consoles now? Not really. Plenty of bitching and moaning about price all the time, but it seems to me that everyone has one anyway.

I'm out.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 22nd September 2012 11:05am

Posted:A year ago

#4

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
Yea, I can see the next consoles being the last. 10 years ago, 1080p streaming was an outrages idea. It took me several seconds just load a 100x100 pixle gif. Snake was cutting edge of mobile gaming and the GeForce 4Ti was having a hard time rendering Neverwinter Nights. Seeing how tech has a exponential power progression, I don't think we will need a box under our TV in 2022.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
I think maybe because music and movies fit streaming so well, some are jumping to the conclusion that games must be next. With movies it there is presumably roughly the same amount of video data to download or stream, and most people are happy to watch a movie only once (those that watch them more are the ones still buying discs anyway). It also doesn't matter if it takes several seconds to buffer, as long as once the film starts it keeps running smoothly, lag isn't an issue as long as it is roughly constant over the course of a film, and fluctuations in signal can be overcome by a small buffer.
Music is similar, although people do tend to listen to tracks more than once. But music files are much smaller, and most music streaming services allow paid users to store favourite tracks, allowing off-line use, and meaning you don't have to constantly use up data on the same music.
Just because it works on over media does not mean it will work for games. Streaming code may work better, but then you lose all the cited benefits of On Live, as you need to have the right spec equipment, the code is sent to you meaning it doesn't have anti-piracy effects.

It just seems to be a solution to a problem that no one feels they have. This may change in time, but I'm not convinced.
People like to point out that Gaikai may be an ideal way to sample a demo, is it not also an expensive way to deliver a demo? Also, if in the demo, lag is noticeable and picture quality suffers, people with less understanding of the problem may take that as the game being unresponsive and having rough graphics, and deciding not to buy the game based on faults that actually lie with the demo delivery method ("Hey I was interested in shooter X, but I tried the demo, and compared to CoD, it seems unresponsive and the it don't look good.") If demos start discouraging people from buying the games, then there is a major problem.

If technology improves, will this lead to an increased cost in providing the service? If Sony start only offering demos via stream, does this mean anyone without a 5M connection with low latency won't try any demos? Is streaming all games anyone plays, in the way that On Live or Gaikai do, a good use of the Internet bandwidth, or will it put more strain on our communication network.

"Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should. " Dr Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park ;)

Posted:A year ago

#6

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,209 2,048 0.9
Lack of buffering, latency, infrastructure failures and bandwidth caps.

I'll keep my console.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
Internet speeds are not following Moore's law though.

In fact where I live, they're ridiculously subpar. I can see it getting better in future, but it won't ever be 100x quicker in homes even if businesses can get a direct connection to the backbone.

Plus, I don't want a compromised experience either. In 10 years time if I can run a game at 4096 by 3072, then that's the rez I want my games running at wherever they come from. And I can categorically state that no tech within 20 years will be piping that into my living room. That's a DVD per second, and there won't ever be a reason for comms companies to lay that kinda piping to tens of millions of homes, especially without charging so much for it that a console would be cheaper.

I agree with the above sentiment; this is a solution looking for a problem.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 22nd September 2012 3:07pm

Posted:A year ago

#8

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
Actually, Internet grows about as fast as Moore's Law, As someone who was sitting on a 2mb line in 2002, if we expect close to 50% increase in speed per year (if they followed mores law it would be closer to 60%, so I am giving some slack here) I would have 115mb/s today.
And as it so happens I am sitting on a 122mb line now, so stuff is getting better all the time. If the rate of progress continues, (and frankly, the fiber cables are made from sand, so there is no limit in growth due to lack of materials) I can expect my first 1gb line in 5 years, and 7gb in 10 years.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Doug Paras

117 61 0.5
The internet where I live is 150kbps and its been like that for years, Telus has not tried to even upgrade it even though I check regularly to see if I can get a better service. the internet is just not growing that fast unless you live in a major city. Even in major cities there are isues with internet and bandwith sharing, its just not on par with streaming of 50-100gig games which will probably only get bigger.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,209 2,048 0.9
Mats, speed isn't the problem. Latency is. And bandwidth caps are still common.

Posted:A year ago

#11
The internet is not going to improve anytime anywhere soon. Cloud will still be a while..while while long time away as the de facto whatever. But someone has to trump up and make it pretty for the investors right?

Posted:A year ago

#12

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
Popular Comment
Speed of Light ping limitation:
Don't worry, we'll "fix" the speed of light.

Datacenter overhead costs:
Don't worry, we got free computers

ISP bandwidth limitations:
Don't worry about those few extra bucks you will be paying

Compression artifacts:
Don't worry, those codecs designed for movie content will magically rewrite themselves for games and their constant tunnel vision.

Remote area Internet:
Don't worry, by 2022 we will all be living in cities eating Soylent Green anyway.

GPU virtualization:
Don't worry, our nVidia graphics cards will have so much power, developers will only be able to use a fraction of it for one game anyways. So we will run 10 current gen games on one piece of current gen graphics hardware.

If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Posted:A year ago

#13

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
"The internet is not going to improve anytime anywhere soon." Actually, that is exactly what will happen. People who are sitting on a dialup, won't go up to a ADSL, then 2mb cable, then fiber, they will do the jump directly to fiber or future tech wireless. The same way that people who don't have a PC now, won't first get a 486, then a Pentium II, they will jump directly to the highest level. The same thing will go with bandwidth caps, I used to have 50gb, then I got bumped up to 250gb, now I have 500gb. The higher the speeds the higher the caps, simply because download caps are limited due to speed needing to be distributed on a set amount of people.

Once the speed goes up, the caps will rise the same way. The only reason we have caps now is because the mass of people using the network increased at a faster pace then network speeds did, but unless city centers increase in size of 50% each year, then the speeds will outpace it and caps will rise.

Stop thinking about internet speed in the same way we think about food/water or other sparse resources. Internet speed is made up by sand, you can continue to upgrade it into infinity. Prices will sink, quality will rise, and this will continue until price is near zero and speed is near infinite, in the same way the cost/quality of a transistors has. This has been empirically proven for the last 30 years, and unless someone has evidence for what has change to prevent this from continuing onward, I see no reason why I should believe otherwise.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
"Prices will sink, quality will rise, and this will continue until price is near zero and speed is near infinite..."

Seriously? The day a damned US service provider LOWERS the price on their broadband by NOT bundling it with the other plans they offer or charging twenty bucks to ship a finger-sized USB adapter that costs fifty to a hundred to buy from them and doesn't come with any guarantee it will work (and nope, it can't be returned) is the day actual ethics comes to that side of the communications industry.

Quality will rise, YES, but guess who has to pay for that quality because we're all too stupid to yell at these companies that indeed, prices SHOULD be lower, period? We're force-fed the lie that better technology always means more expensive technology when you should be paying less as time goes on, not beings shoehorned into contracts and fine-print agreements where you can't even sue should it be made clear that yup, you were being ripped off on fees for years.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,199 317 0.3
" Internet speed is made up by sand, you can continue to upgrade it into infinity. "

The ability to make fibre-optic cable is not the limiting factor that keeps internet slow, as much as the fact you then have to dig up the road to lay the stuff. If that was done a few years ago, the council will wait years to do it again. That is why in my hometown the houses built on a new development 10 years ago have worse internet than the houses built in the 60s, the cabling was put down more recent so they are way down the list of areas to improve.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
Andrew: If you cannot get wires into your house, then the best bet is for post 4g wireless, work toward shutting off the broadcasting signals for TV and Radio to free up the radio wave spectrum. These are all solvable problems, and the tech is maturing at a faster rate than anything else.

Greg: I am paying less for my 122mb line then I was for my 2mb line 10 years ago, and that is not even taking inflation into consideration. I am on the same 1 year type of contract that I was back then, and I still stick a cable into the wall to get the signal. Speeds improved, prices down, quality of service rose.

And while I can appreciate all the anecdotal evidence being posted here, between Butler's Law and Nielsen's Law there is so much evidence that internet speeds will rise with a faster and faster rate, no amount of "I have it so bad" or "corporations will never allow it" can convince me.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
>> Actually, Internet grows about as fast as Moore's Law, As someone who was sitting on a 2mb line in 2002

Case in point really. I'm sitting on a 2Mb line right now. I could upgrade my console, but I cannot upgrade my telecoms company.

Matt, there's an awful lot of rose tinted glasses wearing there. Pure optimism is great and all, but I'm afraid business reality will kick in long before you see your nirvana. And all these massively desperate fixes you mention, like moving TV signals etc? Why would anyone do that. We want games, we can buy a console which for many of us is a few hours worth of wages once ever.

As has been said, this is a solution looking for a problem. Even if we had every one one of those wet dream things you've mentioned in this thread, how will that still outweigh the benefit of having a console under my TV ? If anyone ever answers that question, I'll sign right up.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 23rd September 2012 6:08pm

Posted:A year ago

#18

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
Here's one that's not mentioned much in these things.

What the pro camp are trying to force us to swallow is that in 20 years we'll be playing games this way. I assume they mean games of current gen quality, but in 20 years time, as current gen quality is what I see in their examples for bandwidth and what can be demoed now.

Imagine what a console could manage from 20 years into the future. Is this new system gonna be streaming games of that quality? No. Just no.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
Paul, if I have rose colored glasses, I am yet the only one who has presented any objective argumentation for my case (see: Butler's Law and Nielsen's Law) The only thing I hear from the naysayers are how bad you individually have internet. The average internet speed in the UK is around 8mbit. (http://goo.gl/8xGrP as per feb 2012) And is increasing at a steady rate as I predicted earlier.
If you are sitting on a 2mbit, that is like you holding up your Nokia 3310 and proclaiming how the WAP on is horrendous.

You also need to understand, high internet speeds is only used for gaming in a tiny portion, progress will happen, no matter if the entire gaming industry fell into dust tomorrow. We have no impact what so ever on this trend, it will happen, no matter if we get a new console or not.

Posted:A year ago

#20
Mass improved stream-able broadband has yet to come to London. Fast BT infinity may come to some areas, but in the most the promised 8mb broadband is nerfed to 2mb at best, with laughable. totally laughable upload speeds for home or biz broadband. Fine, we know they (telecoms providers) are ripping us off (and making us pay for more improved broadband, not less)

For the considerable next 5 years, its makes sense to have a console for home entertainment.

Whereas maybe a smaller nation like sweeden, or heavily integrated network like japan/korea are at the forefront or internet. But unfortunately, for the rest of us plebs..seeing as most of the roads are already recently dug up, it'll be osmetime before we have a whiff of something regular and decent, much less super fast broadband. (its just all a illusion/false promise)

Posted:A year ago

#21

Mats Holm
Technical Process Analyst

49 29 0.6
"Whereas maybe a smaller nation like sweeden" Sweden is twice the size of the UK (450.000km2 vs 244.800km2) and about the same size as Korea (219.000km2) and Japan is far larger (377.900km2). The only thing preventing UK from having internet on par with the Scandinavian countries or Japan/Korea/Taiwan, is time. Easy estimates is the speeds will rise with 30-50% each year (same progression they have been going since early 90s), unless government incentives cause them to rise faster, the average internet speeds in the UK will be around half a gig in 2022. (South Korea will however have 2gb/s, so I am sure everyone will still be moaning about how poor their internet is)

Posted:A year ago

#22

Paul Johnson
Managing Director / Lead code monkey

787 931 1.2
>> If you are sitting on a 2mbit, that is like you holding up your Nokia 3310 and proclaiming how the WAP on is horrendous

You see, this is where the rose tinted glasses come from. You're there in your expensive office, doubtless living in a major city. Pretty ivory tower for someone pertaining to understand the issues. I live on the Isle of Wight and my computer business is run out of a barn conversion. We get 2Mb at work and I get 3Mb at home. That's the fastest option available unless we pay to dig the roads up ourself. I know that for a fact as I phone BT every six months about it.

Hard cheese? Maybe, but I'll ask again: I've highlighted a real world issues without trying. So what compelling problem is being solved for anyone here with onlive? Customer reduction?

>> The only thing preventing UK from having internet on par with the Scandinavian countries or Japan/Korea/Taiwan, is time
No, the only thing stopping us is having one telecoms company with no competition. And that will never change regardless of how much bollocks the govt tries to hide that behing with all these other lease sellers. You might pay a bill to someone else, but BT own the wires. Anyone else here think BT are a model of consumer focus? lmao

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 23rd September 2012 9:44pm

Posted:A year ago

#23

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,209 2,048 0.9
Mats, I already told you it's not about speed but latency.

What the hell good is having a 122 Mb connection if you have latency? You can't buffer a video game like you can buffer a streamed movie.

Posted:A year ago

#24

Ove Larsen

28 10 0.4
There's a reason why publishers are still pressing discs.
@Mats
You can't be serious. Sure we've got awesome connections available all over Scandinavia. Doesn't give you the right to deliver your Disney-esque clap-your-hands-and-believe fairytale.
Laying the cables is easy enough, but if your provider is happy wit the current state of affairs - delivering crappy internet and still get paid for it - things are not going to improve anytime soon, sand or not.

Posted:A year ago

#25

robert troughton
Managing Director

216 84 0.4
I can definitely see cloud gaming happening in 10 years' time - for some, such as those on a Google Fiber connection, I could see it happening sooner still. ISPs who don't offer fast enough connections, who don't stop capping speeds and who limit monthly bandwidth will simply be left behind by consumers.

Satellite TV, disc and download gaming, I predict, -will- go away. And 4k resolutions? They'll come too - that's just a bandwidth issue.

Lag, as Jim says, is the current issue - that will definitely come down in 10 years, though. And that's what nVidia are talking about here. They're not saying that cloud gaming's going to cancel out consoles tomorrow, or even next year, they're talking about sometime after the year 2020...

Posted:A year ago

#26

Dave Herod
Senior Programmer

517 731 1.4
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528745.400-the-scramble-to-avoid-home-broadband-metering.html

Don't fall into the trap of thinking "if it increased this much in the last ten years then it'll increase by the same factor again".

Also, as far as this being a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, I think people are looking at it the wrong way. The problem here isn't the consumer's, it's the providers. The content providers want to stream everything so they're in total control of who's allowed to consume what content, and when. Why can't I download movies to keep in the UK for my tablet? Every time I look they direct me to some streaming page like Netflix. That's not much good if I'm on a plane with no wi-fi is it? I'm getting absolutely sick of this cloud crap and being treated like a criminal despite wanting to pay legitimately for content that I can use whenever I want.

Posted:A year ago

#27

Ove Larsen

28 10 0.4
I can't imagine cloud gaming being solved in just 12 years, and on top of that rendering a new console launch pointless (seeing as the next console launch will be the last).. And let's not forget that, to reach a similar number of customers worldwide, that new wizard networking technology would have to be able to deliver that lag-free experience to ISDN connections.
But hey, 10-15 years. More than enough time to squeeze out a platform that happily provides games to its customers, whether they are connected to the internet or not. No problem, right?

Posted:A year ago

#28

Dwayne Wright
Studying Physics

5 8 1.6
Consoles will still exist, perhaps in an unseen form, but they will still be around. It is more likely that such services will be available on the units themselves, with each of the companies having licensing arrangements for their cloud services which compete against each other. Even if this is solely driven by Nintendo, who are generally resilient and will be the most reluctant to feature their games on services Nintendo had no involvement in producing. Perhaps we will see consoles converge into multifunctional living room entertainment devices/computers, specifically designed for us with TVs and streaming to tablets, but these will be designed independently of PCs. Interaction with tablets will be a key feature of the computer though, and so we will most likely see a change in landscape of the 3 companies (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) that have been seen in the last decade, and perhaps more collaborative infusions with Apple, Google, Windows, OnLive, Samsung, and the like. Perhaps tablets and Pointer devices similar to Wiimote+ or Move will become the main means of interacting with a new generation of smart television/console sets, instead of the standard remote, again another reason to see these devices and services combined, rather than having a mess of units performing different functions.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dwayne Wright on 24th September 2012 12:30pm

Posted:A year ago

#29

Barry Scott
Software Design

19 2 0.1
Matt has the situation summed up quite well.

In town I get 60Mb/s from Virgin at 20 with 30ms ping times.
At work I get 2ms ping times. But you say what about people on in towns.

BT is trailing all fibre exchanges at the moment. I understand that the plan is that as a subscriber all you
will get is a fibre connection for all services, voice and data. If the trails go well they will
replace the copper cables with fibre. Bearing in mind that with the cost of copper soon it
will be cost effective to remove the copper and sell it to pay the costs of installing the fibre.

See http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/03/bt-selects-deddington-uk-for-its-first-fibre-only-broadband-and-phone-trial.html

As for 1Gb/s "in a few years" look at https://fiber.google.com/about/ where for $70/month you can get 1Gb/s now
if you live in Kansas.

Posted:A year ago

#30

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
Having had to make substantiated arguments backed up by validated data many times in my career I can't see how two "laws" (one of which I can find no mention of by googling it, and the other only applying to "high-end home users" [That's Nielson's "law"] and does not speak of the average or even common experience) are objective argumentataion - let alone support anything in this debate.

Secondly, taking a larger country that has smaller, more densely formed population centres than another that has its population more evenly spread out and then only comparing land mass is disingenuous.

Posted:A year ago

#31

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
when everything becomes cloud gaming system, that is when I will quit buying videogames.

I have had a good run and loads of memories, and maybe in the 5th year of the Wii U I may buy it because of situations in my life right now I can't commit to the Wii U at the moment.

But if cloud gaming is the thing of the future, then maybe when I move into a new house and have more loungeroom space for consoles I may be a retro console collector collecting things before the cloud days.

Posted:A year ago

#32

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now