Nearly 60 gaming and technology editors from around the world gathered in Montreal to feast on French bread, fromage, 4K, and a plethora of new gaming technologies that developers are using to create next-generation games like “Batman: Arkham Origins,” “Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag” and “Watch Dogs.”
NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said, “We’re focused on improving open game platforms: PC, Android and cloud. We want you to be able to enjoy games irrespective of what computer you’re using or where you happen to be.”
To that end Jen-Hsun announced several new gaming technologies that deliver massive performance gains and fundamental changes in the way we game. Foremost among these is NVIDIA G-SYNC, a new hardware technology that dramatically improves the game play experience by eliminating the tearing, stuttering and lag that have affected PC games for many years. It includes a G-SYNC module designed by NVIDIA and integrated into gaming monitors, as well as hardware and software incorporated into certain Kepler-based GPUs.
Jen-Hsun also announced NVIDIA GameStream, which enables gamers to seamlessly stream PC games from their GeForce Kepler-based PC to their big screen HDTV. With GameStream, gamers are able to get a GeForce GTX caliber gaming experience on their big screen TVs without having to drag their PC into the living room.
NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen announced that ShadowPlay is releasing Oct 28th as part of GeForce Experience and showcased new technology capability which lets gamers record their gaming experience at 1080p, stream it out to Twitch, and share it live or view later – all with no perceptible performance impact. It’s like having a DVR for your PC.
The biggest surprise of the afternoon was when Jen-Hsun welcomed three legendary game developers to join him: John Carmack (co-founder of id Software, Tim Sweeney (founder of Epic Games, developer of the Unreal Engine) and Johan Andersson (technical director for Dice’s Frostbite engine, which is behind all the Battlefield games).
The three, who had never appeared onstage at the same time, powerfully endorsed G-SYNC (as well as NVIDIA technology, developer support, and even NVIDIA’s drivers). They said NVIDIA G-SYNC achieves the holy grail for display and gaming experience — effectively eliminating stutter and tearing, while reducing lag. This means gamers will finally enjoy a beautiful and smooth gaming experience.
Epic’s Sweeney described the experience of G-SYNC is “like using an iPhone for the first time. You get a smooth and great experience without artifacts.”
DICE’s Andersson said: “It’s really awesome. It completely changes your perception of the experience. I was surprised, and everyone [at our studio] came out with the same experience. As a developer, [G-SYNC] makes it much easier to deliver the gaming experience you really want.”
Id’s Carmack said, “For years the PC space has had a willful blindness of these sorts of egregious artifacts. We made compromises to deliver a consistent experience, but we gave up 20% of the performance we could have achieved. To unlock from 60 fps is just a better experience. Almost every single game can benefit from this.”
A Last Surprise
While NVIDIA said that The Way It’s Meant To Be Played Montreal was not about a graphics card launch, but about gaming technologies and experiences, Huang surprised the audience by announcing a brand new GPU, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. No other details or specs were released, but suffice it to say that it will continue the tradition of delivering industry leading performance in every dimension – speed, power efficiency, thermal and acoustics.
Combined with yesterday’s presentations about NVIDIA’s ongoing commitment to support game developers, it was impossible to come away doubting NVIDIA’s steadfast commitment and passion for gaming. Perhaps no one said it better than Carmack, who said “NVIDIA’s support and tools are better than everyone else in the world combined.”