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Nvidia gathers partners for Grid cloud gaming platform

By Matthew Handrahan

Nvidia gathers partners for Grid cloud gaming platform

Mon 07 Jan 2013 10:20am GMT / 5:20am EST / 2:20am PST

Forms alliances in US, China, Japan, Taiwan and Israel for high performance cloud solution

Nvidia's Grid Cloud Gaming Platform has acquired six international partners ahead of its launch.

The platforms initial partners are Agawi in the US, Cloud Union and Cyber Cloud in China, G-Cluster Global in Japan, Playcast Media Systems in Israel, and Ubitus in Taiwan.

"By using the Grid Platform, our partners will allow gamers to play anywhere, anytime, without being tethered to a box," said Phil Eisler, Nvidia's general manager of cloud gaming.

"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."

However, while the cloud is expected to play a key role in the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony, so far performance has been a significant issue.

Nvidia claims that its Grid platform will eliminate these problems. The technology can concurrently serve "up to 36 times more HD-quality game streams" than first-generation cloud services, while also reducing lag by up to 30 milliseconds. Nvidia is confident that real-world performance will match that of a console directly connected to a television.

To date, the most prominent players in cloud-gaming have been OnLive, which stumbled badly in 2012, and Gaikai, which was acquired by Sony for $380 million.

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Project Shield + cloud = could really surpass the PS vita and allow for console gaming on the go

Posted:3 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

351 241 0.7
Project Shield needs to evolve into an outside the home experience as latency issues confine it to the home network for the foreseeable future. I think we need to tread carefully when we describe any non-Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo device or service as console gaming (except in the sense that Project Shield is a new console); it can only be a PC catalogue at the moment unless the console manufacturers open their garden gates which is unlikely anytime soon.

On the Nvidia Grid (what IBM used to call the cloud in the old days!), this seems to be offering current technology services that have also been content aggregators (G-cluster, Playcast etc) the possibility to run their own unique services without requiring their current deal structure with telcos. I'd like to understand how their respective tech solutions fit in with the Grid and how standalone publishers could deploy their catalogues on the Grid.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 7th January 2013 11:08am

Posted:3 years ago

Project shield runs off your local network fro your local PC, which is effectively zero latency.
But "cloud gaming" requires data transfer over the internet which is a whole different ball of wax.

OnLive claimed early on to be able to solve the latency problem of the internet and couldn't.
I'm curious as to how Nvidia expects to, as its been a completely intractable problem up til now.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Jeffrey Kesselman on 7th January 2013 4:34pm

Posted:3 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

351 241 0.7
Jeffrey, I'm not technically proficient to be able to answer this but as I understand things, OnLive was trying to provide one GPU per user on its servers while Nvidias Grid offers multiple users per GPU (I think). Furthermore, Nvidia can fit in more GPUs per server. Please don't shoot me down here, I'm looking for some clarity on what the big news is here regarding the technology.

Posted:3 years ago

Hi Nick.

What sort of resources are being used on the back-end to execute the content has no effect on the latency.

Latency is the time delay it takes to get information across the internet. Typical one-way latencies on the internet on either the east coast or west coast of the US are 60ms - 100ms. Across the US its more like 120ms - 120ms. Its even more if you go over sees.

Since an action by a user has to be sent to the server, processed on the server, and returned to the suer for display you are talking a minimum of about 100ms or 1/10th of a second lag. In practice it will often be worse and, whats worse, it will be random.

This is what makes Onlive feel "laggy" unless you are effectively local to their service center (live in the SF bay area.) It was always the obvious technical flaw in the entire "cloud gaming" concept to anyone who understood how the internet actually works.

Edit: As an aside there is also fundamental economic flaw in the concept in that it takes at least as much resource on the back-end to run a game as it does today on the desktop PLUS it takes the player hardware on the desktop and internet resources to communicate. The result is that gameplay is more expensive this way then locally. This is a weight that the "cloud" must over-come with improved utilization before it even breaks even let alone becomes economically advantageous.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Jeffrey Kesselman on 7th January 2013 7:52pm

Posted:3 years ago


Nick Parker Consultant

351 241 0.7
Thanks Jeffrey. So progressive download solutions would be the short/mid term answer until true streamed on demand from the cloud becomes viable in say 2020?

Posted:3 years ago


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